A best-selling novelist whose books have been the subject of many a Hollywood blockbuster, Tom Clancy now seems to like nothing as much as the array of storytelling options offered by video games. Video games based on his scenarios are being made more prolifically than even his novels. The Rainbow Six games give you command of an anti-terrorist squad, and the Ghost Recon series features a team specialising in foiling the crazy plots of foreign regimes. Splinter Cell, developed in-house by Ubisoft's Montreal studios, was instead a third-person stealth game more in the style of Metal Gear Solid. Players took control of Sam Fisher, an agent of the Third Echelon (a beyond-secret US intelligence-gathering unit) whose very existence could never be acknowledged by the US government. The follow up game, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, followed the leaping, shooting and sneaking Fisher as he raced to prevent a deadly virus being unleashed across the United States. As well as new weapons and moves, the game featured an online multiplayer mode where you could battle it out as teams of terrorists and counter-terrorists. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is the third game in the series. Set in 2007, the focus this time is the relationship between Japan, North Korea and China. As tensions rise, leading to a blockade of westbound Japanese trade, the US step in to help, though Third Echelon think that the key to global stability might be rather more oblique. Michael Ironside once again lends his voice to Sam Fisher, who has access to all the fanciest gadgets and weapons, and has all his old familiar skills at his disposal and new ones to boot. AI has been improved, as have the graphics and physics (the game now features `ragdoll' body physics), and a gameplay first is offered - co-operative stealth gameplay, played on two player split-screen or even online. As before, the online service also features downloadable content such as new missions for improved lifespan. The polished stealth gameplay makes for an attractive enough proposition on its own, and the excitement of a Clancy-penned script taking you from South America to Korea and Japan via New York City certainly makes this stealth-`em-up stand out from the crowd.