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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
Red Storm Entertainment
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1-4
November 21, 2000
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas

More in this Series
 Written by Greg Wondra  on December 20, 2000

Review: Well, at least it came out faster than the original...

It is the year 2001 and sudden acts of violence and chaos are rising out of some of the most war-prone locations in the world. Planes are hi-jacked, innocent people are held hostage, and it is discovered that not one, but two terrorist organizations are connected to the crimes. Aware of the danger these groups present, an elite force of anti-terrorist specialists are called in to save the world. There name: Rainbow Six. It is here the journey begins and it's up to you to guide your super forces to prevent worldwide disaster.

Rogue Spear marks the second installment of the Rainbow Six series on the Sega Dreamcast. Ported over from the PC, this intriguing title from Red Storm Interactive combines elements of the strategy and first person shooter genres. There are numerous missions here for the player to coordinate. Everything from disarming bombs, to sniping enemies, to deactivating security systems play a part in your plan to foil the bad guys.

Most of the game focuses on the strategy aspect. Before you set out on your assignments you must decide on a plan of action. Pick a team of up to eight different members, outfit them with the latest in uniforms, weapons, tool kits, and gadgets, split them up into a possibility of four separate squads, and then mark your squad routes and action assignments on a series of maps. You can choose to accept headquarters' plan of action, or you can totally customize your own. The options here are enormous and it's absolutely critical to coordinate an efficient plan. Once you've completed the time consuming strategic aspects, it's on to the actual mission itself. Manually control one of your teams while giving commands to the others to ensure the plan goes off with out a hitch.

While the whole premise of this game sound extremely cool, unfortunately it just doesn't work. Often times you're forced to digest page upon page of pre-mission strategy only to have your whole mission blow up in 30 seconds because one of your bumbling AI teams can't follow simple instructions. All it takes is a single boneheaded move by your AI controlled counterparts to upset the jumpy terrorists enough to cap a hostage. Mission over; back to the drawing board to rethink your whole strategy. You shouldn't have to worry about baby-sitting your fellow teams. Unfortunately that's about the only way to effectively clear missions.

What's worse is the fact that console controls just can't adequately handle the complexity of the game. Rainbow Six was made for the PC and it certainly shows here. While infiltrating terrorist holdings, it's imperative you properly command your forces with the utmost of care. Here's where the control system really let's you down. Various commands, items, weapons, and maps are accessed through use of the D-pad. It might take two presses down and two presses to the right just to find the right map you want to use. Try doing this all while getting fired upon. Frustrating to say the least. This isn't really the fault of the Dreamcast controller, it's just reality when dealing with a game clearly made to utilize a PC keyboard.

Graphically you're not going to find anything special here and for much of the game music is pretty non-existent. Add in a very non-helpful tutorial/training section, a sub-par deathmatch mode, and some excruciatingly long load times and you'll begin to wonder if banging you head into a wall might be less painful than struggling through Rogue Spear.

Despite all the shortcomings there is some fun to be found here. Sniping an unsuspecting enemy is always a good time and hearing the phrase "Tango, down!" after you knock off a terrorist never gets old. There's a whole truckload of good ideas packed into this game but the execution just doesn't work. Perhaps the developers are just taking a completely wrong angle. Wouldn't it be much more practical to bring a title like this online where you could coordinate the actions of one team, your friend in Arizona another, and your cousin in Kansas another. Together you could jointly take down the terrorists without having to worry about any stupid AI team blowing the whole gig. Until then, this game is just way too much for one person to sanely handle. Play at your own risk.

Bottom Line
Certainly not for the casual gamer. Great ideas that just don't gel on the DC. Fans of the series might like it but it's doubtful newbies will have the patience to give this one a chance.

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