Tom Clancy's macho espionage series struggles to translate to the DS system
On the home consoles, Splinter Cell is one of the most thrilling series in gaming history, blending stunning graphics, sumptuous lighting and heart-stopping gameplay to create a compelling, movie-like experience.
On the DS, though, it's a mess. While it's impressive to see Chaos Theory's shadowy 3D worlds and characters in the palm of your hand, the action chugs and jerks along as if in jittery slow motion, making the game almost impossible to play and undermining any sense of tension established by Tom Clancy's macho tale of international espionage.
The controls - which use a combination of the directional pad and DS' touch screen - are also cumbersome, making it tough to sneak past enemies without the camera swinging wildly in the opposite direction, causing you to stumble out of the shadows and be cut down in a hail of bullets.
A pathetic radar, tinny music and disappointing multiplayer modes also mean that Sam Fisher's DS debut widely misses the mark, making this portable edition a black mark on Splinter Cell's otherwise unblemished record.