Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 - GC - Review
Oh, the lonely GameCube owners of
the world. It seems all of the other systems get to taste the newest and best
games before coming out on GameCube. Lately some publishers have even been
dropping support for the GameCube entirely. But UbiSoft has been gracious enough
to continue support for GameCube with their latest offering, Rainbow Six 3.
While it might now pack all of the bells and whistles of the PS2 or Xbox
versions, GameCube owners shouldn’t pass on their opportunity to play the latest
entry in the long running series.
The game revolves around your character, Ding Chavez, who is the leader of an elite group of counter-terrorists named Rainbow. The year is 2007 and world is facing a serious crisis. The United States is facing an oil embargo from the world’s major suppliers. However one nation, Venezuela, is still providing oil to the United States. Because of their involvement, terrorists have been targeting the assets of the U.S. and Venezuela. Terrorist acts on citizens of the U.S. and Venezuela have been escalating and it’s up to the Rainbow team to stop the terrorists.
With the war overseas and the constant threat of terrorist activities against the United States, anti-terrorist games can be a big issue for gamers. In the game it’s up to your team of experts to stop the terrorists and prevent a global crisis’s from escalating further. As Ding Chavez, you control a group of other highly trained Rainbow members known as Team 1. Team 1 is composed of yourself, your boss (John Clark) and three other members, Louis Loiselle, Eddie Price and Dieter Weber. As you can see from the names not all of the members are Americans; the Rainbow teams are composed of members from all over the globe.
The game is composed of 15 different missions. Before each mission, John Clark will brief you on the objectives of the mission and there will be a brief cut-scene to expand the story of the game. During the briefing stage, you have the ability to view the different members of your party and select different weapons to use during the mission. Most of the missions are similar to each other in objectives; rescue the hostages and diffuse a bomb. The biggest differences between the missions are the locations. You’ll play through different locations such as countryside town in the middle of a snowstorm, to an underground tunnel near a fuel truck accident.
A counter-terrorist game isn’t a new genre in today’s gaming market, but with Rainbow Six 3 you get a solid, entertaining game. The Tom Clancy name is known throughout the literary world and is quickly becoming a household name amongst console gamers. The game gives shooters fans something different to try and is a big shot in the arm for the GameCube library. GameCube owners (who didn’t play the game on Xbox or PS2) should give the game a try. But remember even in today’s heightened political climate a game is only a game, not a means to an end.
The game plays out in a first-person perspective, similar to other First-Person Shooters. The controls of your character will be familiar to gamers who have played a FPS. The analog stick moves your character, while the yellow stick moves your view point/camera angle. You fire with the right trigger button and change weapons with the left trigger button. There is also the addition of a night & thermal vision option that you can toggle on and off during the game. If you carry a weapon that has a scope, you can zoom in with the scope at anytime. There is also the ability to peak around a corner by pressing the left or right direction pad. The controls are very tight for your character and your character responds in an instant.
But the big difference here is the addition of the other members of Rainbow that you can command during the game. During most of the game your team consists of yourself, Ding, and three other members of Team 1. While you move your character around in the stage you can issue commands to the other members during by simply pressing the “A” button on the controller. The commands vary depending on where your action icon is pointed. If the action icon is pointed towards an open area, your team will move to that area. If the action icon is pointed to a door, your team will open the door. The action icon will change depending on the appropriate action that can be taken by the team.
Since this is a squad-based shooter, most of your time is spent issuing commands to the Team. This can be the downfall for some gamers since this concept never gets you involved in the game. You can spend a majority of the game following your team and letting them take out the enemy. One of the common commands in the game is an “Open and Clear” which has your team opening a door and then clearing out the room of any terrorists. Most of the time your team can take out the terrorists without a problem and usually without any help from you. Once the room has been cleared one person on the team will shout “clear” to let you know that it’s safe to enter the room. So, if you want, you can just sit back and let somebody else do all of the work. But this is entirely up to you, since you can take the initiative and go gung-ho against the terrorists at anytime.
There are other commands that can be issued beside the “Open and Clear.” The orders vary depending on what type of actions can be taken. For example there is a regroup command and a move command that you will use frequently during the game. Some of the other commands will have the team defusing bombs and securing hostages and terrorists. Another command option is the Zulu command, which tells your team to wait until you give them the Zulu go ahead. The Zulu command is used particularly if you want the team and yourself to enter a room at the same time from two different doors. Or you can issue a command, check out another area and then issue the Zulu go ahead to have your team follow the command. But the Zulu command might take a while to get familiar with it. It always seemed as if the team would ignore the Zulu command and follow an order that only I wanted to use. For example during several missions I had to issue a Zulu command repeatedly to the team to open a door on my mark only to have the team move to the door that I was trying to open. So the art of team-based strategy seemed to fall by the wayside.
Another issue with the gameplay was the AI of your teammates. It seemed as if your teammates were always running into each other or were always in your way. Sometimes you would have to wait several minutes while your team acted like the Three Stooges by running into each other over and over again. Once the computer figured out what needed to be done the characters would correct themselves. Another problem with the team was their ability to not obey a command. I got used to hearing “Sorry sir, can’t do that” when I was trying to move the team to another area on stage. But these are really minor gripes. The rest of the game plays great and it’s really import to use the team. There is probably no way you can just run around and shoot the enemy by yourself and expect to beat the game. You have to take the game slow and easy; let your team do most of the dirty work. You have a small life meter but it’s amazing how quickly you can die if a shoot out with the enemy. Stand behind cover and use your team to make sure you complete the mission.
The graphics are good for a first-person perspective squad-based shooter. However the graphics seemed very low key compared to other FPS games. The graphics for the different stages look good with each area having it’s own unique look. The textures are very clear for the stages and characters but nothing seems to have a great amount of detail. In fact the graphics remind me of a FPS that might have been released three to four years ago not just released today on the GameCube. There are no destructible parts to the stages and no incredible-looking physics models for the character animations. The frame-rate is very steady and I didn’t notice any stuttering or slow down during the game. The only time I had a problem with the camera angle or frame-rate was when I was firing a weapon. The camera angle would jump to simulate the feedback from the gun firing which would make it harder to aim and fire. For a GameCube game, Rainbow Six 3 does a good job in the graphics department but nothing that gamers would expect from a 2004 GameCube title.
I enjoyed the sound effects of the different weapons during the game. Each weapon has it’s own unique sound effect which came through loud and clear on my sound system. The rapid-fire sounds of the machine gun, the single fire of a hand pistol to the sound of smoke being released from a smoke bomb sounded fantastic. The music during the game, especially the opening cinema display and during the cut-scenes, sounded great. The music is based on an orchestra setting that adds a very nice ambiance to the game. The only big issue with the sound effect is the voice acting. You will hear the same phrases repeated over and over again during the game. “Roger that” “Open and Clear” are two phrases that I don’t want to hear anytime soon. But I understand why they are repeated consistently during the game, because these are simple phrases that are easy to understand during a game and during a real life scenario.
Difficulty Medium to Difficult
There are three different difficulty settings for the game; Recruit, Veteran and Elite. One difference between the difficulty settings is the quick save option during the game. Now you need to know one point right now about quick saving, you cannot resume a quick saved game after you leave a mission. The quick save option only exists for you to continue a mission if you’ve died. The game offers less quick save points during the game at the higher difficulty setting. The actual difficulty of the game can depend on your patience level. If you’re a patient person that has no problem repeating a mission over and over again, then you’ll have no problem with the game. In fact it’s easier to finish the missions if you die at least more than once. This way you know what to expect when you get to the point where you died. This usually means where a terrorist is located or which area a terrorist will appear from during the game.
Since this isn’t the first Rainbow Six game, the concept isn’t a new one for gamers. You eliminate the terrorists and rescue the hostages. Simple idea and one done in several different games. Now this isn’t to say that the game isn’t a good game, it’s just a comment that we’ve seen this idea before. The game play is simple enough for almost any gamer to pick up and play, especially those who’ve played a FPS. The command system is also very easy to understand and well suited for the game. The actions of your teammates could have used a little more tweaking. A big bonus to the concept rating, particularly for the GameCube version, would have been the inclusion of an online mode. The options for GameCube gamers are limited right now and we should have the ability to go online just like the PS2 and Xbox versions.
Now this is the big problem for GameCube owners, multiplayer. Why oh why are Gamecube owners not given the opportunity to go online with their GameCube? Nintendo released a broadband adapter and dialup adapter for the GameCube soon after its launch. I should know since I have the broadband adapter! But GameCube owners are regulated to a split-screen version of Rainbow Six 3. The split screen option is limited to just two players. But to enjoy the Multiplayer mode you first have to unlock the different stages by finishing them in the single-player mode. You can either practice the stages with your friend or play a round of Terrorist Hunt, which has you fighting the terrorist with your friend. It saddens me that GameCube owners are unable to enjoy online gaming, even though we have the online options available to our system.
Rainbow Six 3 on GameCube is a good game that deserves the attention of GameCube owners. The good graphics, great gameplay, excellent sound effects and music add up to a solid, enjoyable title. However the questionable AI, lack of multiplayer options and repetitive difficulty might have some gamers looking for their own escape route. The Rainbow Six series is an excellent series that is lacking the extra punch on GameCube that makes it so popular on the PC. Hopefully GameCube owners can over look what was taken out and enjoy everything that was left in to this game.