Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 - PS2 - Review
After a successful campaign on the PC and most recently on the Xbox, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3 is hitting the PS2. The game does a fine job of offering up the same kind of team-based tactical shooting as its other incarnations, but unfortunately succumbs to a myriad of technical inadequacies, like muddy graphics, boggy framerates and long loading times. Also, the levels have been substantially watered-down and stripped bare from the Xbox version. While not a bad game, the PS2 version of Rainbow Six 3 is certainly the weakest of the bunch.
Rainbow Six 3 puts you in control of Domingo “Ding” Chavez, the leader of Team Rainbow, an elite counter-terrorist group. You guide your group through campaigns dealing with hostage recovery, bomb defusing, and other aspects of fighting against terrorism.
The Rainbow Six series has always been one to showcase realism in combat, and Rainbow Six 3 keeps with that theme nicely. The action is not constant but rather occurs in short bursts, not that that makes the game any less intense. It only takes about one or two shots to take an enemy down, although your character can only take a few shots themselves. The difficulty has been slightly skewed to be easier than the PC version, as Ding Chavez can take a few more bullets on the PS2. Another key difference from the PC version is the fact that you can only control Ding through the game, as in the PC you could swap between team members on the fly.
The controls have been nicely done on the PS2, working like any other FPS. The quick menu system is a simple way to give orders quickly to your team members, and queuing up orders via Zulu go codes is simple.
The gameplay does fall prey to some pretty noticeable problems, however. The most glaring is the fact the levels have been stripped down from the Xbox and PC versions. The levels are visibly smaller and more condensed, an unfortunate by-product of porting to the PS2. Another big issue is the spotty AI, which makes foolish and predictable mistakes all too often.
The online aspect of the PS2 version is pretty good, although it has also been scaled down from the Xbox version. The co-op modes from the Xbox are sadly missing, but there are some other modes, like Sharpshooter and Survival. Another blow to the multiplayer is the fact that only a maximum of six players can play at once, a step down from the other versions.
The graphics are yet another sore spot in this translation. The environments are drab and rife with muddy textures. The character models simplistic, yet fairly well animated. The weapons are nicely detailed, and the night and thermal vision modes are pretty cool looking. The framerates aren’t very high, falling well below the 30 frames per second mark when the action gets heavy.
The sound is pretty good, as not much has really changed from the XBox version in this department at least. The weapon sounds are clear and accurate and the voice acting is well done. There really isn’t much music to speak of other than the title screen theme, which works for the content of the game. Rainbow Six 3 also supports the USB headset online and off.
Pretty much on all systems, Rainbow Six 3 is a solid game offering up a compelling blend of action and tactical shooting. Unfortunately, when compared to its other incarnations, the PS2 version is too stripped down and stands as a shell of the game it could be. If the PS2 is your only means of playing Rainbow Six 3, then give it a rental. Otherwise, look into the more superior versions on either the PC or the Xbox.
|Rainbow Six 3 Review Scoring Details|
The core gameplay has been retained from the Xbox version, meaning that Rainbow Six 3 on the PS2 offers up the same blend of stealth, action and strategy. However, the game has some pretty noticeable shortcomings, like the watered down levels and spotty AI.
The graphics are a bit of a mixed bag. The environments are pretty murky, and the player models are simplistic, yet well animated. The weapon models and lighting effects look pretty good, but the framerates are far too choppy, dipping far below 30 FPS in parts.
The sound effects are pretty good, with accurate weapon sounds and good voice acting. There isn’t much music to speak of other than the title screen theme. The inclusion of USB headset support is indeed a bonus, though.
While still a port, Rainbow Six 3 does feature some added features and a new level not found in other versions of the game. However, the technical issues are far too overwhelming to make this version the recommended purchase.
The multiplayer features have been noticeably cropped for the PS2 version. The great co-op modes in on the Xbox are all but missing, and only six people can play in each game.
Rainbow Six 3 is a relatively solid shooter with some great features that gamers won’t be able to find else where on the PS2. However, when compared directly to the other versions of the game, the PS2 versions stands out as a shoddy port and only a shell of what it could be.