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Rainbow Six 3

While UbiSoft has published its fair share of 'Tom Clancy' games, Rainbow Six 3 has got to be the best so far. Rainbow Six 3 gives you a feeling of Ghost Recon, but at the same time a mixture of Splinter Cell. This game was supposed to come out sometime in late 2002, so Xbox fans have been waiting a long time for this one. UbiSoft also made it clear that this is not a Raven Shield PC Port. The main idea behind Rainbow Six 3 is taking out terrorists, diffusing bombs, breaching doors, and securing hostages. This is not a game where you walk around levels and pick up ammo, and collect weapons to use. This is a game where you go in with a limited amount of things, and you have to make it out of there with them.


UbiSoft totally took a different approach and made RS3 into a traditional first-person-shooter, because now you can see the gun your holding. It seems that things have worked out for the better, because it controls superbly. This is not a FPS where you walk around and just start opening fire on everyone you see. Rainbow Six requires a bit of patience, and minor planning. Walking cautiously around corners is a good idea, because you never know how many enemies are going to be around there. You don't, however, have to worry about hiding bodies. After you watch blood spill out of someone, they usually just disappear after a short while.

The campaign missions consist of a team of four. You control the main man, Ding Chavez. The other 3 are computer AI controlled, but you can give them many different commands. Since you control the team leader, Ding Chavez, if he goes down the mission is over. If other members of your party are killed in action, the game plays on. Always remember, your team needs you just as much you need them. Each mission can be setup to your own customization, or you can just go to "start mission" and the game will give you everything you need automatically.

You don't have individual control of the other members of your team like in earlier Rainbow Six's. This individual control, and the ability to switch off to another team member was one of the unique features to be in Rainbow Six games. With this feature absent, you can't position your men to your liking as you could before, but they do position themselves in a good style, due to the advanced AI. In Rainbow Six 3, everything is done as a team. The 14 single player missions are plenty to keep you busy if you don't have access to playing this with other people. The levels are hard enough and will require a bit of thinking. If you find the game too hard or too easy, there are three difficulty levels to choose from.

As stated before, you always want to take caution before opening a door. You have many options to tell your team what you want them to do. Some include: "Open and Clear," "Breach and Clear," and "Open, Frag, and Clear." After your team storms through a door, they take cover in strategic positions. You can also do on "Zulu" commands. Zulu commands are great for when you want to plan something out a little more in-depth. It works like this: you give your team a command, but they don't execute it right away. This give you time to move into a position, and then give them the okay whenever you're ready. The issuing of the actual commands can be done with the simple menu that is displayed for you, or you can use the Xbox Live communicator. The voice recognition is probably the best way to go about playing this game because it feels like you are there and is very realistic.

If you aim at a wall, or an object and press A, your team will go to that area. The black button serves as a command to get your team to regroup and follow you, or to hold their position. Controlling your character is as easy as anything I ever played. The controls are set up very nicely. Besides your primary weapon, you can also carry a secondary one that is usually a grenade launcher or an MK 23 (45 cal). Nothing is confusing about the controls, besides them being so easy to learn. You can switch from night and thermal vision with the press of a button. The overall control and button arrangement is good and easy to get used to.


While the single player mode offers a wide range of detailed missions to be explored, the Xbox Live play will probably be the bulk of your playing time. The highly addictive co-op play will not allow me to stop playing this. Playing online with 3 other people on your team is what I have been waiting for in a Rainbow Six game for a long time. Let's just say it's everything I ever expected. The system link option is also very much valued. No split screen is the only drawback when it comes to wanting to play on one Xbox.


When you throw a flash grenade, and you're in view of it, your vision and hearing get very distorted. UbiSoft did a better job at this than Namco did with kill.switch. The graphics are, for the most part, the same as Splinter Cell. With that said, if you were expecting crisp, clean, and wonderful visuals, that's what your going to get. The use of lighting with thermal and night vision goggles makes this game (and Tom Clancy series) one of a kind. A broken pipe will give off a gas that distorts your vision, and it looks very impressive. The rest of the environments look incredible. Rain coming down has never looked so good in any Xbox game I have ever played. Shadow effects of your team member(s), and other enemies (especially in the oil refinery) look amazing, and they really play a huge part in effecting the gameplay. Certain levels have houses, and the inside of all of them look highly realistic. When a person gets shot, they never fall the same way. Sometimes they will be slumped up against a wall, and other times they will just fall a certain way. There's many different animations, and you rarely see the same one twice. There are many other incredible details, but one that really caught my eye was the sunlight shining through a window.


The sound department in Rainbow Six 3 is amazing. Every surface seems to have its own unique sound when you walk over it, or if it gets shot at. The gunshot effects and echoes in an outside area are wonderfully done. The music in the RS3 is very similar to the likes of recent Tom Clancy games (Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon). Glass breaking, explosions all sound so intense, and they play a major part in keeping you focused. You really never know what to expect. Your fellow teammates also do quite a bit of chatting. If a man goes down, they'll announce it and let you know. Also as you move them into certain areas, they will announce when they are in position. Planes flying by in an outside environment also sound lifelike. As for the sounds of your weapons, they all sound strong and powerful, while some of the handguns sound rather sharp. Background music coming from a radio and/or a clock ticking as you raid a house feel like you are really watching a movie. The music in RS3 sounds just like any other Tom Clancy game, which is perfect. As if you were watching someone die in a war movie, the music changes to reflect ones death. That feeling alone is one that makes this game what it is.

Bottom Line:

Last year, UbiSoft had a super line-up of great games. Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon are two worth naming. And after last year's feast of great games, we all knew it would be a great task to make an even better Tom Clancy game. Well, they did it. Smooth gameplay with awesome graphic effects make RS3 one of the best Xbox games that I have ever played. If squad-based shooting games are your style, then you will enjoy Rainbow Six 3 very much.

Related Links:

Official Rainbow Six 3 Website

-Steve Melanson