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I’m working on a Splinter Cell Conviction write up, but in the meantime I thought I’d share my thoughts on Splinter Cell Chaos Theory. It’s the third game in the series and seems to be considered the greatest by most of the fans.

But instead of talking about the game like I usually do, I’ve decided to review it through a step-by-step visual guide for the PC version of the game.

Guide to Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

  • Step 1: Get your bought and legally owned copy of the game. (See Fig.1)


  • Step 2: Insert the disc in your Windows 7 (or Vista) PC.
  • Step 3: Follow the instructions to install the game.
  • Step 4: Discover that the anti-piracy StarForce protection will not work with your Windows 7 (or Vista) PC and won’t let you get far enough to type in the CD key, never mind play the game.


  • Step 5: Navigate through Ubisoft’s badly designed website to find the patches section. Take an estimate as to which patch (of many) you need to download.
  • Step 6: Download and install the patch.
  • Step 7: Smoulder with rage as you repeat Step 4.


  • Step 8: Put the disc in a Windows XP PC to see if it works on the OS it was made for.
  • Step 9: Install the game.
  • Step 10: Get angrier when the unstable game freezes after you take a few steps forward in it.
  • Step 11: Restart your frozen computer. You may need to switch it off at the back.
  • Step 12: Give up on XP or angrily discover that it will randomly crash like this constantly.
  • Step 13 : Spend an hour fruitlessly Googling a solution to the Windows 7 compatibility problem and ask about it on forums.
  • Step 14: Discover that the makers of the game (Ubisoft) and the copy protection company (StarForce) have not provided and will not provide a solution.
  • Step 15: Be informed of the only solution. (See Fig.4)


  • Step 16: Also learn that even if you uninstall the game, StarForce protection will remain hidden on your computer.
  • Step 17: Download a special application to remove the copy protection drivers installed on your computer for a game you uninstalled that won’t work because of the broken copy protection.
  • Step 18: Curl into the foetal position, cry and break something.
  • Step 19: Hope that Ubisoft learned their lesson from this.
  • Step 20: Be crushingly disappointed.
  • Step 21: Finally – decide what to do with your new paperweight. (Fig. 5)




  1. It saddens me that you had these problems with your copy of the game, because I’m fairly sure that under other circumstances you would have written a relatively hate free review of this game. ;D

  2. Step 19: Hope that Ubisoft learned their lesson from this.

    Yeah right =)

  3. No…I’m building a win 7 pc for myself this summer, and was going to install SCCT…this sucks, oh well…

  4. Hey, I have the only solution for you: If you are going to buy the game, then buy it on Steam. Steam automatically patches all of their games when the patch comes out.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] realised there were flaws with our previous piracy protection measures.” Max Béland, creative director of Splinter Cell: Conviction, […]

  2. […] My worries about running a six year old PC game on a modern machine were compounded when I saw the Ubisoft logo on the box. Previous experience tells us they are not good with this. […]

  3. By The End? « Grimly Enthusiastic on 15 Apr 2011 at 5:08 pm

    […] Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory guide for the PC – A serious take on the weighty issue of anti-piracy DRM for PC games and the effect it has on consumers. […]

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