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Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear

  

  Tom Clancy is world renowned for his entertaining books and a few of them have been transformed into computer games.  Rainbow Six is possible the most famous of these.  Several games have now been released on the various computer platforms in the past five years, from the Playstation to the new highly advanced X-Box game.

  Rogue Spear is the sequel to the highly acclaimed Rainbow Six game. With new weapons and advanced AI (apparently).

  The Rainbow Six games are tactical first person shooter games.  Trying to keep everything as realistic as possible, so thereís no picking up health packs or ammunition for the shrink ray you just found. 

  You are an anti-terrorist group, Ďthe best of the bestí, from SAS, Navy Seals, French Special forces etcÖ

  Each team member has his or her (actually his-I donít think the game has any women in it), own strong points, be it sniper, demolitions expert or computer hacker. And it is your job to pick the right people for the different missions ahead and equip them with the right weapons and gadgets to ensure victory.

 

I say shoot em.

 

Graphics:

  When it was first released on the PC the graphics were considered to be top notch and unbeaten, but they didnít bother to upgrade the graphics when the sequels and mission packs were released.  And it is the same for the Dreamcast version.  The Graphics are not terrible, but they arenít good either. 

  The people that you come across, like hostages or scared civilians, are poorly animated and look very blocky. Your team does look quite good- if you think about the anti-terrorist team in Counter Strike you should get an idea of what they look like, but the terrorists are pretty poor- not as bad as the hostages but there certainly isnít anything to shout about.

  The levels themselves are quite well designed and constructed, but again the graphical detail is very low and the rooms you visit are very plain, you wonít find anything to really make you stop and say ďwowĒ.

  

Gameplay:

  The Rainbow Six games essentially consist of two different game modes. 

  1. Is the pre-mission planning. Where you are given a basic map layout of the level ahead and you have to create a path for your teams to follow (You usually have a couple of groups on each mission).  Also itís up to you to pick the right team and equip them correctly.  For example if you are about to go onto a jumbo jet it would be silly having a sniper and a bomb expert- what with it being an enclosed space and sniper rifles not necessary and bombs having the danger of blowing everyone in the room up.

  This is very boring and can get frustrating when it doesnít do what you tell it to.  It also took me a while to actually work out what I was trying to do.  Though one good thing is that for the Dreamcast version of the game, they added pre-planned mission structures, so you donít need to plan yourself- you can essentially just get straight into the level. But the option is still there for those of you who enjoy planning ahead.

 

  1. Is the mission. You take control of the whole team essentially, one person at a time mind. The game is a first person shooter and you take control of a team member and can take them anywhere in the level (you donít need to stick to the given route) but the rest of the teams will follow the path that you made in the mission planning and if them come across any hostiles they will try and take care of them, so you donít have to do everything yourself. 

  During this you can switch to the other group and see how they are getting along.  The idea being that the different groups take different routes through the level looking for hostages and terrorists.  And if you need to use a sniper then you can Ďbecomeí the sniper and use his skill.

  The game concept is a nice idea, but it has not been pulled off very well.

  The gameplay is very slow and I found that the AI isnít particularly good.  Sometimes I could accidentally walk into a room full of terrorists and they would look at me but do nothing.  Other times, Iíve had it when a terrorist sees you coming, through the walls, and will step out of the room and kill you or he will hide behind a chair and shoot you through the furniture.  Also sometimes my team will be amazing and just walk around shooting terrorists here and there.  Other times they will walk into a firefight and stand there being picked off one by one.  Very frustrating.  The game just seems to be flawed, making it a boring experience.

  

The briefing part of the game can get a bit tedious.

 

Presentation:

  The game menu system, when choosing a mission to begin with can be a bit confusing.  No real effort seemed to be put into the making of the game, nothing to stand out and make you really want to play it.

  Also, I donít know if it is just my copy of the game but the sounds are flawed.  Half the time you canít hear any gunfire and the levels feel muted, even though I have all the volume settings on high and my television is fine.  You can hear the chatter of your teammates ok, but everything else is crap.  For example I could fire my gun and get few good Ďbang, bangí sounds out of it, then it will go all quiet and sound like someone pinging a paper clip across the room.  It may not sound too great a problem, but it makes the game seem very dull and does hinder the gameplay for me.

  Also some of the levels are a bit too big for there own good.  Iím not saying that you get lost or they take too long, for example, the first level is set in a Museum showing a new Egyptian exhibit.  The Museum is very large with plenty of rooms and a couple of floors to explore.  But you donít need to explore them. If you use the initial mission plans that are given to you, they go directly to the right rooms, killing any terrorists along the way you donít need to go into half the rooms that there are.  I think they could have reduced the level sizes a little bit- like make it so that certain rooms are locked or something and then perhaps make the graphics and gameplay a lot smoother, even though the Dreamcast should be able to handle a game like this with great ease even with higher quality graphics.

 

Replay Value?   

  Wish I could be bothered to complete it first.  Just trying to play the first couple of levels makes me tired.  If you really love this type of game then you will probably be able to find some entertainment in replaying it.  Iím sure there are a few levels later on that offer some enjoyment.

  And there is the four-player death match that can be kinda fun.  But you need to have some mates that are really up for it, as the death match is a slow as the main game.  Itís not like Quake or Unreal where you are running around frantically trying to fire rockets at each other, or like Halo where you need to aim properly with your assault rifle or pistol to get the kill.  In this they keep the realistic effects Ėso a couple of random shots to your leg and abdomen will make you incapacitated Ėitís just not as fun as other death match games.

 

Whoever said it was wrong to play a game of craps while on a mission?

 

Worth Buying Now? 

  Only if you really want to play it, or if you love the other Rainbow Six games.  But otherwise stay very clear of this.

  I would consider looking at Hidden and Dangerous- itís not quite the same, but it has many similar features and I would say that itís a lot more fun.

  NOTE:  If you own an X-Box and have Rainbow Six 3, then really, really donít get this game. 

  The X-Box game is vastly superior to the other Rainbow Six games and is actually a brilliant game.  The style of play is different; You donít plan your mission, your team mates follow you and you can only play as one of the team, but you give the rest of the team orders via headset (they actually understand your voice) and the game, graphics, special effects everything is much better than the Playstation and Dreamcast games.  If youíve played Splinter Cell then you should know what to expect, as the same company makes it.  And the online play is great fun.

  If you own and X-Box and want a decent realistic shooter- then get Rainbow Six 3, itís much better than most games at the moment.

 

Summary:  

  A great concept for a game, but poorly executed and made.  A really boring game.

 

Graphics: 4

Gameplay: 4

Presentation: 4

Replay Value: 3

Worth Buying Now? 3

Overall: 4

~G~