Rainbow Six 3 Review

Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: March 16, 2004 Also On: GCN and PS2

Rainbow Six 3 for the PS2 is a stripped down version of the Xbox version. Ubisoft ported the game, giving and taking elements of the game. They removed many of the Xbox’s graphical techniques, but added things such as multi-player offline. I’ve only seen my brother play the Xbox version, and for one, the lighting affects are greater on that platform than PS2. He’s played multi-player co-op with me on the PS2 and has stated some of the levels are different than their Xbox counterparts and that levels were also added.

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Our goal in reviewing games is helping you choose purchases. Comparing the Xbox version of the same game isn’t necessary, since assuming you own a PS2, you would rather have comparisons to other PS2 games. Let’s take SOCOM as an example. It encourages players to take a slow route to reaching their goal, but is somewhat wide-open. The paths in Rainbow Six 3 are purposely linear, so that you do what you have to and move on to the next level, instead of giving the sense of realism that an open area would. Now take a game like Conflict: Desert Storm 2 into consideration. When compared to Rainbow Six 3 (R63), CDS 2 is more or less an arcade military shooter. The enemy AI doesn’t take cover, which they do in R63. In R63, you can order your partners to clear rooms by storming them, smoking them out, or flash banging.

Let’s quickly take a look at the controls. Action icons appear above the team members’ names. The X button is used to open doors, hand cuff prisoners/hostages, and command your squad. Holding X brings up the quick order interface. Square is used to regroup your team, circle to reload, and R1 to fire. Clicking in on the left analog stick will have your character crouch and the left analog stick itself is used to move.

R63 is a tactical squad-based first person shooter. You control a team of anti-terrorist fighters, known as Team Rainbow. The single player game has 15 total levels. The three difficulty levels include recruit, veteran, and elite. You are given three international team members, controlled by computer AI, but also designed to follow your commands. Commands include open and clear; open, flash (flash bang), and clear; and open, frag (grenade), and clear. The offline multi-player allows for split-screen action, with two players on one team and no CPU allies. The same can be done under “custom� missions, except without a second player. Selection of game type (mission or terrorist hunt), difficulty, and map, is all up to the player.

If you came to expect a Halo or GoldenEye multi-player online, you will be disappointed. Again, this is a tactical shooter, so it belongs in an entirely different category. Attacks are short-bursts and storming rooms, not seek-out missions, like you find in the Unreal-type games. The online modes offered are survival, team survival, and sharpshooter. The host selects the number of players, weapons, map, and time limit. The maximum number of players is six. In comparison, the Xbox version allows for as many as sixteen players. Chat capabilities are available both in the game and lobby.

The game itself does not boast the best visual presentation. The in-game movies are dark and low-quality when compared to the Xbox version. The environments, which include Swiss towns, an oil rig, Quebec skyscraper, and Middle Eastern city, are low in overall detail, but are sufficient for the game’s ability to perform. The upside to this is the lighting and shadows, both of which are nicely done and can help spot enemies. Sound effects for explosives and grenades take place before they are even thrown. Your team mates inform you of close enemies and when they kill someone, along with a comment here and there, like “there’s no time for snacks�, though that is not a direct quote from the game.

While some other people might suggest purchasing the Xbox version, I’ll pass on that, considering someone who has never played it, does not have the right to judge which one is better. If you own a PS2 and Xbox, simply ask yourself which you prefer: graphics (Xbox advantage) or offline multi-player (PS2 advantage). If you want online gaming, you’re set, since it is included in both versions, but of course, Xbox Live costs, when the PS2 online service does not. If you own a PS2 and not an Xbox, this choice is easy; either purchase it now or rent it to see if you will enjoy it.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 7.1
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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