Future Publishing


Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3

Author: Gavin Ogden
Publisher: Ubisoft
Machine: Xbox (EU Version)

 
Published in Official Xbox Magazine #23

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 (Ubisoft)

The year's biggest shooter explodes onto the squad-based scene

By the time you read this review, you should have already gunned your way through our exclusive playable demo and eyeballed every single sentence to death in our Exclusive Access feature in last month's issue. Rainbow Six 3 has got everything Tom Clancy's famed Ghost Recon series hasn't, which you might think is not a lot, but let us assure you that this is where the future of squad-based action lies - especially online or over System Link.

Little has changed in the final version compared to the build we hammered last month. There's a lot more vocal activity in there now, especially from the hostages and terrorists. Hostages will now shout at you not to leave them alone after you've secured them and the area, while terrorists scream and shout like a bunch of teens in an American horror movie. Granted, terrorists only scream like girls when you blow holes in their bodies, so we'll forgive them for that. Even your team-mates shout out to let you know what's going on, and more importantly where.

The game's setup is similar to that of Ghost Recon. You can choose to play through a meaty campaign with a politically themed storyline, or opt to play a variety of quick missions with the usual variables such as map type, game type and difficulty settings. Three difficulty levels (Recruit, Veteran and Elite) are also presented in the Campaign mode and as you've probably already guessed, it's quite a challenge whatever level you choose (nothing compared to the rock hard PC version, mind you). Easy isn't easy and Hard doesn't come anywhere close to doing this level of difficulty justice. But a Clancy game just wouldn't be the same without the pain. You love it and so do we.

As team leader Ding Chavez, you get to command an elite squad of special operatives against all manner of terrorist foes. Usually they come clad in really bad Hawaiian beach bum shirts, or sport George Michael stubble and shades. This makes you want to hit them more though, which is good. Because you play the role of team leader, if you get it in the face, it's game over. No one else is skilled enough to lead the charge, so make sure you don't get shot. Sending in your guys first and mopping up the dregs is a class tactic. There's no shame in hiding. Controlling team-mates is as simple as pressing A in the direction you want them to move.

The third instalment in the series takes you across the globe, visiting locations from London to the Cayman Islands and everywhere in between. The overall goal is to stop a madman (dead) in his tracks before his doomsday plot is realised. Some of our favourite locales include the meat factory, oil tanker, and a very wealthy CEO's house. The variation in settings is truly amazing and helps keep the game nice and fresh. You never feel like you're covering the same ground twice.

Each level is pretty linear and straightforward. You won't ever find yourself getting lost or not knowing what to do next. Objectives are continually updated and a handy little map labels where your next target is - be it a bomb to defuse, a 3D hostage to secure or a phone to bug. If you just follow your nose, you'll always find more trouble to deal with.

During the pre-mission briefing you can opt to pick out your own weapons and accessories, though we found the standard weapons for every level very entertaining and this way you get to know each weapon of massive destruction. There's also a shipment of different grenades to choose from that'll bring tears to the eyes of your enemies and blind them for life. Over the course of the game you'll have to defuse bombs, capture key members of the terrorist organisation you're up against, hack into laptops to steal information and rescue hostages caught in the crossfire.

There's never a dull moment in the single-player game, and this translates beautifully into the multiplayer arena. There's no split-screen action but those of you with access to System Link, or better still, Xbox Live, will lose countless hours of your life never to be found again. You can team up against each other or the terrorists, in modes such as Mission, Survival, Terrorist Hunt, Team Survival and Sharpshooter. All of which pretty much do what they say on the tin. You'll also be able to download new maps soon after the game's gone on sale. Bonus.

Rainbow Six 3 is the ultimate package for fans of realism-based first-person shooting. It looks great, sounds incredible and the action is relentless. It holds a great single-player game but fire up multiplayer and you'll be in FPS heaven. It's the best shooter of the year. Go! Go! Go!

Good Points

  1. Super-easy to control team-mates
  2. Great variety of missions
  3. Excellent multiplayer options

Bad Points

  1. Controls could be a bit tighter

Verdict

Power
Squeezes out every little ounce of power to produce sights and sounds like the real thing.

Style
Easy to navigate and work your way through the menus. Setting up multiplayer games is easy.

Immersion
You'll be completely drawn into the world of counter-terrorism from the word go.

Lifespan
With downloadable content and full online play, you won't put this down until Halo 2 comes out.

Overall Rainbow Six 3 has delivered in every area possible. By far the best squad-based shooter to be released this side of Christmas.

Gavin Ogden

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