Review By: WoLf | Posted: 08/12/2003
The Final Word
A truly challenging FPS that stands out amongst a plethora of so-so titles.
Here's another review by Jenksy.
Rainbow Six:3 is another one of those titles whose release date constantly seemed to slip. Originally it was set to be released at a similar time to the PC. After a significant delay plus a change of title (its not called Raven Shield where the PC version is) the game is finally here. Is this change of title mere marketing or does it point to something more significant? Was it worth the wait? Why do I always start my reviews with questions?
The first thing you will notice when you pick up the box is that it is a Tom Clancy game. Now we all know that Tom Clancy pretty much means top quality, which is true of this game. The game puts you in control of Ding Chavez a Spec Ops master whoís in charge of a small group of elite soldiers. For those of you familiar with Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon, this game fits somewhere between the two. The game is a squad based shooter seeing you lead your team through a series of politically charged missions in a bid to save the world from an evil madman.
Sounds a tad of a clichť but it isnít too bad a story. For those of you who played any of the previous Rainbow Six games or even the PC version of this game Raven Shield. You will notice some very significant differences. The main one being that this is more of an arcade version of the series. There is less route planning, levels are more linear, the range of equipment and weaponry feels a touch more bland. Item descriptions feel they lack depth. Also the game is easier than the PC version, which probably isnít such a bad thing. The PC version was one of the most difficult titles around. Even though this version of the game is easier, it is still way more difficult than most other games available on the XBOX. The difficulty is comparable to that of Splinter Cell. There is lots of slowly working your way through the games varied locations setting up your men in the correct positions and then bursting in on the enemies for some pretty fantastic firefights. Itís a Close Quarters Battle version of Ghost Recon in some respects.
I may have sounded rather critical when I badged this as an arcade version of the series, but itís not meant as a put down. The game is more accessible to the masses in this new form, it is quite easy to pick up and play and the pace is far more suited to the console style of play. Strategies and movement are some of the core principles of the game. You can issue move and action commands to your men by pointing the crosshair at an object and selecting a command such as move, frag, breach and clear. This is quite different to the more traditional waypoint system like those seen in Ghost Recon. One of the most used strategies in the game seems to be to send your men in first and then follow them picking of any enemies that remain. This is due to the enemies being very accurate and quick with their weapons. Its not unusual to take a beating from a sniper before you actually work out that heís about half a level away. Again this is another change from the other games as traditionally, one or two shots was enough to off one of your men, whereas now you can take a good few shots before you drop. The game separates itself from Ghost Recon in another dimension. You canít switch players, you can only ever play as Ding Chavez. A nice addition to the game is a Zulu command. This is where you can give your men an order to be carried out when you push the Zulu button. For example you are outside a room with two entrances. You set your men to Breach and Clear the room on your Zulu command. The men then wait in position for you. You then move to the other entrance and ready your weapon. As you begin to open the door you hit the Zulu button, meaning the breaching charge takes down the door and your men go storming in. You also storm in from your entrance leaving the enemy completely confused and caught in a vicious little crossfire.
At the beginning of each mission you get to set your on weaponry and gear to suit your own style of play. If an entire level is going to be set in confined spaces you can use a gas mask and gas grenades. Gas the enemy and go charging in completely immune to its effects. Or for larger levels use a long range rifle and a machine pistol as a side arm. There is also a good range explosive options. The range of weaponry does seem a touch limited compared to the PC version which is a shame but, there is a weapon for every purpose so youíll never find yourself feeling cheated.
In addition to the single player campaign there are a good range of multiplayer options. Unfortunately split screen play isnít possible so you either need to use system link or XBOX live. This is a touch unfortunate because all us XBOX owners know how difficult it is to get our XBOX round a mates house.
Graphically the game is very impressive, the brutish power of the XBOX is fully utilized. Lots of nice little graphical effects, high framerate, detailed textures, few visible bugs, everything youíd expect from a quality title. The little touches do make the difference, when flash bang go off make sure you look away, because if you donít youíll end up with your screen going crazy with the outline of the last thing you saw before it went off dominating the screen. The different vision modes add another level to game tactics, with both night vision and thermal vision being available from the start. Also levels are extremely varied which will prevent players from getting bored.
Controls are quite tight, which is what youíd expect from a modern title. Controls are so important in this game as you need to be very accurate with your aiming. Unlike most other First Person Shooter games there is very little in the way of autoaim.
Overall this is a quality title that will keep most players busy for a while in the single player campaign and for those with access to XBOX live the multiplayer should keep you going for a long time. Fans of the PC version may be disappointed at the arcade feel of the game, but ultimately this is a console game not a PC game.