Tom Clancy knows his stuff. Take a look at anything he's written and you'll see that while his CIA, FBI or KFC conspiracy chronicles are often farfetched, they're always believable and vaguely based on truths. Enter Cold War, a game where combining plastic bottles with 9mm ammunition can create non-lethal rounds, sticking an alarm clock in a box with some anaesthetics creates a paralysing time-bomb, and pointing your X-ray camera at a bad guy causes him to combust.
You play as Matt Carter, a journalist who's unwittingly become entangled in a Splinter Cell clone, and must uncover something to save somebody. If you ignored the clumsy camera, the terrible and often non-existent animations and the appallingly bad wisecracks, and then closed your eyes and spun about on your chair until you were deliriously dizzy, you'd almost think you were playing Splinter Cell. That said, Cold War does inherit some of Fisher's stealthy thrills, and the assembly system (which enables you to build the aforementioned unlikely gadgets) is an interesting twist in what would otherwise be a thoroughly boring game.
It looks great too, which redresses the balance somewhat, and then there's the novel X-ray camera which you can use to avoid enemies (or viciously murder them). As for the story, well this is the stuff Tom Clancy will be writing when he's a senile old loon in a home. In all, Splinter Cell on a budget.