Rainbow Six 3 is almost everything you could wish for in a tactical first-person shooter. Despite certain problems that prevent it from being flawless, you’ll still find yourself enjoying this gem inside and out. It’s also quite possibly one of the best Xbox Live games to date.
Rainbow Six has been a strong and long lasting game franchise. Tom Clancy has found the transition between books and games to be a successful one, though not without its fair share of bumpy roads. Rainbow Six has developed quite a following, much like his novels, and with the third gaming installment released for the Xbox, one can argue that it’s simply the best Rainbow Six title yet. Of course, the fact that you won’t need a powerful PC to play the game certainly helps, and most people don’t count the Dreamcast version in the equation…poor Dreamcast.
But enough talk about which Tom Clancy title is the undisputed king of Rainbow Six, though. Let’s talk about why this particular incarnation could be, and we’ll start with everyone’s favorite aspect of a game: gameplay.
Everything you’d expect to find in a tactical first-person shooter is here, with a few fresh bells and whistles to use to your advantage. You play as Domingo ‘Ding’ Chavez, who is the squad leader of a fact reaction, anti-terrorist unit, including three other military specialists. Through Ding you take command of the unt and are despatched internationally wherever acts of terrorism are committed. You’re able to command the team to a degree, but you won’t find yourself giving complex directions involving individual covering, bounding or suppression. Wishful thinking for the tactic fanatics out there, but it’s a drawback when you can only command your squad as a whole rather than individually.
However, issuing squad orders is still involving and fun…plain and simple. You can give them basic commands including follow, hold position, and cover, as well as other more specific orders. The more specific orders include breaching doors, fraging and clearing rooms, disarming bombs and securing prisoners and hostages. One neat detail in the game is the Zulu-go-code. Here, you can issue your team an order but they won’t execute it until they hear your Zulu-go-code. Basically, that requires you to hit the white button when you want them to carry out the order. It’s quite useful for storming a room through different doors and angles…and any other such stategic and tactical genius you might think up while playing Rainbow Six 3.
Enemies can be hard to see sometimes, so you really have to keep your eyes peeled. This is actually a good thing, though, especially considering that real terrorists (though I’m no war expert) wouldn’t exactly be jumping around and screaming in order to gain your attention. Therefore, they can be in any room, behind any door, and any vehicle. This is great for campaign play, but unfortunately the placement of the terrorists is not randomized. It’s the same each time you play through. Luckily, the game has a skirmish mode, if you will. You’ll be able to play in any level you’ve all ready completed, and the enemies will then randomize each time.
Rainbow Six 3’s graphics are rather top notch as well. The weapons look polished and realistic, and depending on which one you’re using they can look big and imposing…as most field weaponry used tends to. The gun fire is loud and impactive and sounds terrific. You might even be able to distinguish certain guns by their sound, which is a classic trend. Everything from the level detail to the sound effects help set the tone for the game, and can really help you become immersed. The storyline isn’t exactly A-grade originality, but again, it gets the job done and is expected fare from a Tom Clancy title.
In conclusion, if you’re pining for a tactical shooter, or merely a fan of Tom Clancy’s novels and games, then you’ll have an absolute blast with Rainbow Six 3 (no pun intended). It has its short comings, and after a while you’ll start to get the idea that the developers could have done a lot more with it than they did. No split-screen multiplayer, which is understandable, but they do add Xbox Live capability and system link play, which is just as fun. Go pick this one up.