Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is widely recognised as the best instalment in Ubisoft’s stealth action series, and now it is being reimagined for a new audience in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 3D for Nintendo 3DS.
Sam Fisher, an elite agent working for the CIA, is sent behind enemy lines in Korea to discover who sank the US’ most advanced cruiser before the subsequent tension between the two nations triggers World War III.
The core storyline and gameplay remains largely the same, although the latter has been tweaked slightly to suit the 3DS’ various control mechanics.
The touch screen gives instant access to all of the weapons, gadgets and mission information Sam needs, while the Slide Pad makes him easier to control.
The Pad is also used to solve puzzles such as picking locks and hacking computers.
The visuals have also been given a makeover. In addition to the impressive 3D effects, the graphics have been improved over the original DS version of Chaos Theory.
A few touches from last year’s Splinter Cell: Conviction – such as putting on-screen messages in the environment – have also been added. All of which makes this the ultimate portable Splinter Cell.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
The first of two Tom Clancy-branded titles available for the 3DS at launch, Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars takes a more tactical approach to Ubisoft’s hit series.
Dropping the first-person perspective of its bigger console counterparts, Shadow Wars is a turn-based strategy game, akin to Nintendo’s own Advance Wars or Fire Emblem titles.
However, replacing colourful anime characters and a fantasy plot are hardened soldiers and a gritty storyline reminiscent of more contemporary conflicts.
Players must lead a squad of Ghost Recon soldier across Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Siberia as they try to stop a Russian ultranationalist from coming to power.
The game is played from a top-down perspective, with players using the touch screen to issue orders and navigate the map. The game’s development is being handled by Julian Gollop, the famed designer behind the hit PC series, X-Com.
Units are spread across six unique classes – commando, sniper, recon, engineer, gunner and medic – and each have their own skills and equipment. New abilities can be unlocked by progressing through story.
A one-on-one multiplayer mode is also included. This allows Clancy fans to face off in tense battles.
Gameloft’s Asphalt series has been somewhat of a flagship racer for handhelds.
The franchise has done well in mobile gaming markets – particularly on iPhone – and a previous version was even a key pillar for Ubisoft at the launch of the original DS.
Now the publisher has once again teamed up with Gameloft for Asphalt 3D.
The game is an arcade racer that focuses on officially licensed cars and tracks set in the real world. Players will be able to get their hands on more than 40 of the hottest cars available from the Lamborghini Murcielago to the Bugatti Veyron. There is even a selection of motorbikes.
All of these can be admired in Asphalt’s Garage mode, in which players can examine their vehicle as it spins round on a podium. This mode also uses the 3DS’ motion sensor, allowing petrolheads to tilt the camera to get a better view.
As with any decent racing game, there are plenty of different challenges available here.
Aside from the traditional races, options like the elimination mode Vigilante and Need For Speed-style High Speed Chase offer a change of pace.
Originally released in 1999, Rayman 2 was one of the most popular platformers of its time, and was a peak for the Ubisoft series.
Now the publisher is dusting off this classic title – specifically the acclaimed Dreamcast version – and giving it a new lick of paint, reinventing the adventure as Rayman 3D.
Once again, players take on the role of the titular limbless hero as he fights to save his world from invading pirates.
The video game has been given a visual makeover, not only to make use of the 3DS’ unique technology but also to bring the look of the ‘90s classic up to date for a more modern audience.
Throughout this remastered adventure, Rayman will need to regain all of his classic abilities, such as using his hair to fly like a helicopter. Each ability will enable him to traverse even trickier environments, with the original game’s full roster of 45 levels available to beat.
In the absence of a new Mario platformer at launch, Ubisoft’s Rayman 3D is sure to do an admirable job of setting the standard for platform games on Nintendo’s latest handheld.