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May 4, 2004
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
18/3/2004UbiSoftUbiSoft Shanghai1-8 OnlineMHard
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
489KBPro Logic IIYesNoNoneNo

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In the city streets.
Squad based tactical shooting games are becoming more and more popular amongst the latest games which also offer online action. Games like the excellent Freedom Fighters offered so much with little or no hype surrounding the title. Tom Clancyís Rainbow Six 3 however had a lot to live up to as Ps2 owners had to wait in anticipation for the Xbox and PC hit to be ported across but did it deliver? Did Ubisoft Shanghai do an excellent job porting this title? Will we see a fourth Rainbow Six?

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Inside the prison.
I have to confess though that I havenít played the first two installments of Rainbow Six but that didnít stop me from getting right into the action. Tom Clancy has been known to produce games with terrific storylines and this is no exception. Itís 2007 and the world is in crisis as terrorists plot to restrict oil to the United States from Venezuela using any means possible. You are Ding Chavez, the leader of an elite, international anti-terrorist unit code-named Rainbow. As the leader of your squad of four, you command your team to neutralize terrorists, rescue hostages, disable bombs and attempt to save the world in the process. Some missions however, are individual stealth missions that are extremely hard while some others youíre restricted to working with only one other team member.

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Nice explosion.
The first thing I noticed about Rainbow Six 3 was that itís insanely difficult. Thereís no health or first aid in the entire game Ė so a couple of shots and your dead! If a team member is incapacitated in any way during a mission you canít revive them and you just had to continue on without them. When I first started, the enemy AI was too good and it looked as though they were cheating to be able to see you and shoot you accurately from such a long way away. For a stealthy type game I was shocked to see why the developers didnít use a light meter similar to that in Splinter Cell. Sometimes I would be hiding behind an object not knowing whether I could be seen or not by the enemy. However I began to kneel down and creep around and the enemy AI began not to notice me as much. It was astounding how dumb they became! For example you could peek around a corner and line up the enemy (who incidentally was looking straight at you and only ten meters away) Ė take your time, zoom in and he still wouldnít shoot you. Other times youíd get shot from over a hundred meters away because your arm is visible behind crates. I didnít like this inconsistency at all.

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Team Sonic working together.
One thing is for certain... Rainbow Six 3 is very short! Each mission takes about half an hour to complete but if I was to play it again I could probably zip through the 15 missions in less than 5 hours. Thank goodness it comes with online support and cooperative mode to give this game that much more value. Without it, it would be very poor indeed. Also available is the use of the USB headset (which I didnít test out) but was told it adds to the experience.

As this isnít a new game, the graphics werenít groundbreaking. To be totally honest I was expecting much more. Throughout Rainbow Six 3 there would be frame rate difficulties when more than five enemies were in the same room. Also the details on the faces and levels were pretty average. The cinematic cut scenes werenít that flash either so on the whole the graphics looked like they were from a game made a year ago Ė in which Rainbow Six 3 was! I suspect this game is similar in graphics quality to the Splinter Cell port from the Xbox. The variety of gadgets and weapons on offer is quite good. Before each mission you can select what weapons and gadgets you can use but out of the 30 you can only use four for each mission.

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Team Sonic working together.
In stealth types of games the sound plays a crucial element. Rainbow Six 3 offers Dolby Pro Logic II which does offer some decent surround sound but again I was expecting much more. It just seemed to lack atmosphere and suspense. The individual stealth missions were made that much harder because of this. I simply had no idea an enemy was close to me judging by the sound. I needed to use my visual aids, like the body heat sensitive goggles, to help as the radar map offered little help as well.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with Rainbow Six 3 as I was a huge fan of Freedom Fighters and was expecting this to be as good or even better. Sadly Rainbow Six 3 did not live up to the huge hype surrounding the game and the extra level that is featured on the Playstation 2 port isnít worth the fuss. Iím not saying I didnít enjoy playing Rainbow Six 3 because I did - but I did find the missions somewhat repetitive. Due to the extensive hype I was somewhat more critical in examining this title.

Review By: Allen Wager

GRAPHICSFairly good, occasional frame rate issues, quite weak cut scenes.
SOUNDDolby Pro Logic II offers some decent sound but lacks atmosphere.
GAMEPLAYChallenging. However the AI disappoints and the repetitive missions.
VALUE10 hours to complete in single player, online/co-op adds value.
OVERALLRainbow Six 3 is a solid game but doesnít offer anything new and innovative to gamers. The storyline is a shining light but thatís to be expected from a Tom Clancy game. Look around at other squad-based tactical shooters before buying this one.

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