Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3
Review by Old Rooster
"Lead the world's deadliest counter-terrorist force.
When a terrorist plot threatens to tilt the balance of peace between
the United States and Saudi Arabia, Team Rainbow is the only answer.
You must execute your mission with deadly force in order to protect
the innocent and ensure peace!"
Most of us have heard of and, perhaps, read one or more of the
superb techno-thrillers by Tom Clancy. The ex-insurance man has
enjoyed great success with his topical forays into the shadowy worlds
of espionage, terrorism, military hardware, intelligence-gathering
and governmental machinations. He has earned particular rapport
with the armed services and characterizes his novels with incredible
detail as well as heart-stopping tension.
In the late 90s, Clancy brought his considerable talent and reputation
to the creation of PC games imbued with the spirit of his novels.
Beginning with the Rainbow Six series, his franchise has
gone on to include Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell, all
of which have add-ons and new versions out and upcoming.
Spawning a subgenre sometimes termed "squad-based tactical
shooter," these thinking person's action games move well beyond
the classic Doom-type, "if it moves, shoot it, many
times!" first-person shooter. All of Clancy's efforts involve,
to one degree or another, planning, thinking ahead, at least several
failures with initial attempts, Thief-type sneaking, one-hit
kill, and a very high degree of tension.
In the Rainbow Six series, as exemplified in this latest
iteration, we are presented with a team of four elite counter-terrorists,
whom you control. After being presented with your overall mission,
done with excellent cutscenes, you are challenged with 15 specific
missions, each with a series of objectives. These goals range from
hostage rescue to disarming a bomb to killing all of the bad guys.
Locations include New Orleans, a snowy village, London, the Cayman
Islands, and more.
The essence of this series is planning, perhaps taking as much
time and effort as the actual execution of the mission. You are
first allowed to equip your squad of four with a range of "Clancy-type"
weapons, often designed for very specific purposes. Fortunately,
the game will make this choice for you, if you're anxious to just
get on with it. Having done that, you're off and runningor
sneaking! When entering a building, for example, to perform a rescue,
you need to not alert the hostage-takers in such a way as to lead
to the execution of the hostage if you're heard coming. So placement
of your team, along with "go points" and related commands,
becomes critical well before you use your tear gas or flash-bang
grenades, let alone take down the terrorists. The squeak of a door
opening or the slight fall of footsteps becomes a cue that alerts
you to the threat of imminent danger. Moving ever so carefully through
the floors of the building to the final room or other destination
can be literally sweat-inducing!
The Three Ms
The Rainbow Six games for the PC are outstanding. I've played
them all, and I finished the PC version of Rainbow Six 3 some
months ago. The graphics, using the Unreal engine, are colorful
and detailed, sound effects in 3D are compelling, ability to manage
(HUD interface) and give orders to your team is very effectively
done. Mouse control, such as using the wheel to open a door, has
been embellished over the years. Improvements are such that Six
3 is clearly the pinnacle of a classic series. You don't have
to get bogged down in detail any more than you desire, and you have
a range of options available to enjoy the experience. Further, multiplayer
matches and teamwork options compose the primary enjoyment for 50%
of Rainbow Six fans.
So how does the Gamecube version perform and compare? Unfortunately,
three Ms come to mind: mouse, multiplayer, and movement. As with
any first-person game, console versions really suffer, in my opinion,
by not having mouse capability. Especially with the subtle improvements
made with the PC version, my 'Cube experience was a considerable
letdown. Movement of the characters is also not as precise and,
for those addicted to or expecting multiplayer, all you'll have
is a potential two-person co-op, split-screen option. At least the
PS2 and XBox versions offer an online possibility, but not so with
any of the 'Cube games, including, unfortunately, Rainbow Six.
Having said that, and being a bit "glass half-empty"
at first, let's look at the brighter side of the game. All 15 missions
from the PC version are represented. Although simplified a bit in
terms of linearity and length, as well as team options, the tension
is still evident. Graphics and engine framerate are excellent (much
like Splinter Cell for the 'Cube), and sound effects seem
much like the PC version. The story and settings are varied and
interesting. The A.I. of enemies and your teammates is well-done,
i.e., they behave as you might expect given a particular situation.
High-tech weapons (heat vision and heartbeat sensor) are at your
Therefore, I'm offering a qualified Thumb Up rating for Rainbow
Six 3 for the GameCube. The PC version is easily at a Gold Star
level. This Clancy-inspired thriller provides a thoughtful, tense
and tough gaming experience. So if you have a PC that will run it,
get that version. It controls better, is more flexible, has multiplayer
and is a lot cheaper! If you are PC-deprived, get the XBox or PS2
versions for the multiplayer option. However, if the Gamecube is
your only way to play games, then you will undoubtedly enjoy entering
the dark world of the Rainbow Six team.
Release Date: June 15, 2004 (Gamecube version)
Four Fat Chicks Links
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP only (XP recommended)
800 MHz PIII (1.3 GHz P4 recommended)
128 MB RAM (XP users: 256 MB RAM required) (512 MB recommended)
32 MB DirectX 8-compliant 3D video card with hardware T&L (128
DirectX 8.1-compatible sound card
DirectX 8.1 or higher (DX9 included on the disc)
16X CD-ROM 16x or faster (not recommended for use with CD-RW
2 GB free hard disk space
Windows-compatible mouse required
Multiplay: High-speed Internet connection for play on ubi.com (56k
modem supported but not recommended)
Where to Find It
(Gold Pack) 39.99
Prices/links current as of 7/11/04
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