As with the original Splinter Cell, this much anticipated sequel debuted on Xbox before being ported to the remaining consoles and PC. Well, three months seems to be all it takes, and those of you who have so far failed to succumb to the temptations of Microsoft can now enjoy the delights of the next instalment in Ubisoft's stealth adventure on GameCube. As you would expect, Pandora Tomorrow picks up where the original left off, offering a series of brand new adventures for protagonist Sam Fisher, as well as introducing an assortment of new gameplay features.
The game's story is set in the year 2006. US troops have become controversially embroiled in a conflict between East Timor and a band of government-supported Indonesian guerrillas. Guerrilla Militia leader Suhadi Sadono has made himself nearly invulnerable, having planted scattered smallpox carriers around the world, to be released if he dies. When Suhadi's men attack and occupy the US Embassy in Jakarta, taking dozens of civilian and military personnel hostage, the super-sneaky Sam is called in to put an end to the situation.
Gameplay continues in similar fashion to the game's predecessor, with you taking on the role of Sam Fisher and stealthily taking on a wide range of top-secret missions, amidst an international assortment of shadowy environments. Along with an assortment of improved visual effects, the game introduces a range of new moves and gadgets, giving our Sam an even more diverse array of cool manoeuvres and abilities. As such, you can now jump up from split jumps, hang upside down, shoot from pipes, and perform special forces-style SWAT turns, which apparently make you almost invisible.
As with a certain household brand of tomato ketchup, we are assured that the wait for the GameCube conversion has been worth it, with the inclusion of a smattering of new content and bonus features garnishing our proverbial Splinter Cell feast. As such, Nintendo loyalists can now enjoy the likes of an extra new mission, post-mission stats and scoring, new alternate paths in revisited missions, and a new 'booby trap' element, which sees you disabling explosive devices in a similar vein to the game's lock-pick feature. Also, if you've gotten around to acquiring a USB headset then you can use it to receive in-mission situation reports and communicate with your remote team.