Splinter Cell shares the spotlight with Metal Gear Solid as the other major force in stealth-action gaming - and the more realistic one of the two. It's also maturing as a franchise. Sarcastic middle-aged super spy Sam Fisher has only grown more short-tempered in each of the series' first three entries. Meanwhile, the Splinter Cell gameplay has in turn expanded to a more open-ended, replayable experience that culminated in last year's Chaos Theory.
In Chaos Theory, Fisher's character was much more clearly defined - due in no small part to actor Michael Ironside's best vocal turn yet as Fisher. And the trial-and-error gameplay of the previous games was all but eliminated. The experience, of course, still relied on the intelligent use of light and shadow in your environment, but thanks to his complement of gadgets and his new knife, it didn't mean "mission over" when things went bad.
For new sequel Double Agent, Sam and his environment remain the focus, but the ante has been upped. As a double agent who has lied his way into a terrorist cell in order to destroy it from within, secret agent Sam will do everything from go to jail to break out a man to skydive over the arctic. And he'll be faced with critical, story-changing decisions along the way. For instance, in prison, if the bad guy he's there to free is held at gunpoint by an innocent guard, should Sam kill the innocent man or take out the terrorist and blow his cover?