Rainbow Six 3 Review

Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: June 15, 2004 Also On: PS2 and Xbox

I knew when I started getting review copies from companies that eventually I would end up reviewing an M rated game. That day has finally come with Rainbow Six 3, a game which should have come to GCN months ago, and even in coming is not up to par in some ways with the earlier versions due to its lack of online play. Most people who cared about this game likely already have it for PS2, Xbox, or PC, but for those few who play games only on GCN, the GCN version is a decent game regardless of its having been stripped of the online elements.

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The graphics are pretty realistic, which is a good thing for a game that is supposed to be realistic. These graphics come at a cost, however, in the form of exceedingly long loading times, longer than I think I have seen in any other GCN game I have played. I also noticed that the graphics can get a bit blocky when a sniper rifle is zoomed in to its maximum zoom. That is a small gripe, but the loading times are enough to make you wish the graphics had been compromised slightly to improve them.

The sound is pretty realistic also. The voice acting of the team members acknowledging and carrying out your orders sounds very realistic, although hearing them repeat the same stock phrases over and over may get boring over time. The music on the menu screens is decent, but not particularly memorable. There is not music in the missions, but that is likely to allow you to better listen to your surroundings, which is somewhat important in a game like this. Overall, the sound is fairly well done.

So far as gameplay is concerned, Rainbow Six 3 is far from a typical FPS. Instead of it just being you going around shooting everything in sight, you are the leader of a team of four, and you have to be more defensive than in most FPS’s. Each of your team members only has four units of life, and there are no health-restoring items, so life lost is permanently lost. When a member of your team dies, they remain dead for the remainder of the mission. If you die, you fail regardless of whether any of them are alive.

There are many orders that you can give your team, from following you and moving to specific points, to opening doors and dealing with enemies inside, to defusing bombs and securing hostages. Obviously, not every possible order can be given at any time, but the quantity of orders you can issue is impressive. If that’s not enough for you, you can give them an order to be executed at a later point, allowing such things as two-pronged assaults on rooms.

Since you fail the mission if you die, it is often preferable to let your team do much of the work, but if you make them do everything, you will find yourself without a team real fast, and Rainbow Six 3 being a team game, you’re as good as dead if you find yourself without a team. Besides, what’s the fun of letting the team do everything?

This game boasts a wide variety of weapons that you can use, and it also has a lot of options for movement. When you approach the corner of a wall, you can peek around a corner and avoid completely revealing yourself. You also have the choice of going around standing up or crouched down. Sadly, you are not able to jump, but that is hardly an important element in a game that is striving to be a realistic swat team type game.

Many of your team options revolve around doors. When you approach a door, you can basically have your team do one of four things. You can have them open the door and clear the room, but that is an easy way to take damage fast. Often it is better to breach the door before going in, or going in and throwing a grenade or a flash bomb. You have to be careful which option you exercise, as there are advantages and disadvantages to all four options. Obviously, you don’t want to do anything that is going to hurt a hostage because if you hurt a hostage you automatically fail the mission.

So far as replay value goes, there isn’t as much as in the other versions due to the previously mentioned lack of an online mode. However, there are fifteen or so missions in the campaign mode, and they can be gone through in any one of three different difficulty levels. The game is difficult enough even on easy to be somewhat of a challenge. If that’s not enough for you, you can do a custom mission, which randomly places the enemies every time you play through the level so you never play the same level twice. You also have the option of playing through previously done levels in a two player split screen mode. There’s enough to keep you busy for a while, but this game won’t last forever.

If you already have one of the previous versions of this game, you have no need of getting this version. Only if you have only a GCN and/or you don’t care about online should you seriously consider getting this version of the game, but that is not to say that this version is bad.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7
Written by Martin Review Guide

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