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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation 2
PUBLISHER:
Ubisoft
DEVELOPER:
Red Storm Entertainment
GENRE: First Person Shooter
PLAYERS:   1-8
RELEASE DATE:
March 16, 2004
ESRB RATING:
Teen
IN THE SERIES
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 Ryan Smotherman  on February 25, 2004

First Impressions: Sure, Rainbow Six sounds like a bunch of pansies. But unless you want to be pushing them up, I wouldn't say anything.


Ubisoft Montreal, who are responsible for recent critically acclaimed titles like Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, is quickly becoming one of the most respected developers in the gaming biz. To take this statement even more to heart, just consider their most recent smash hit, the Xbox's Rainbow Six 3. The team took the basic structure of it's PC brethren, Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield, and crafted a finely tuned tactical shooter that takes the genre to new heights on the console front. Continuing their theme of multi-console support, the game is readying its release on Sony's PlayStation 2. And with Ubi's Shanghai team at the helm (Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow), PS2 fans have much to be excited about come March.

The essence of the Rainbow Six titles is calculated, team-based missions that require you to strategically sneak your team members around while you take out the baddies with a quick trigger finger. Taking on the role of ?Ding? Chavez, you'll guide your highly trained, anti-terrorist group, known as Rainbow Six, with one of the most slickly designed squad interfaces around. The PS2's controller should take well to the first-person shooting gameplay, and with the ability to have your team members move, stay, breach through doors, and basically do most of the dirty work for you, the title should appeal more to casual gamers than say the Ghost Recon titles, which tend to be a bit more complicated.

As in all the Tom Clancy titles, the game takes place in the not to distant future (2007 in this case), and your team will be responsible for spoiling the plans of terrorist groups with missions that take place throughout the world. Of course, you'll also be equipped to the teeth with weaponry. An absolute slew of machine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles, with various abilities and zoom factors, will play the role as your primary firepower. While pistols, Uzi's, grenades (ranging from frag to flash to smoke), and the ever-popular grenade launcher will sit pretty as your second-hand arsenal. The standard night and thermal goggles will also be at your disposal, as well as the ability to crouch and peek around corners for the ultimate sneak around and murder everyone you see gameplay.

I can already vouch for the fact that RS3's 14 missions that make up its single player campaign are excellent in their own right. The objectives aren't anything too out of the ordinary ? rescuing hostages and disarming bombs seem to be the norm, but they're just long and intense enough to satisfy the most jaded of shooter fans. On top of the already excellent single player experience, online play and a new cooperative split-screen mode will be exclusive to this PS2 incarnation. Leaving for virtually endless amounts of replayability.

Not to be outdone by it's bigger Xbox brother, Rainbow Six 3 will also feature the unique voice-control option on the PS2. Just grab your favorite microphone, start barking out orders to your team, and just watch in awe as they do what you say? Well, ok, it's not really all that easy. In my time with the Xbox version I noticed that it's not exactly flawless, though some of the kinks could have been worked out since.

Just as Ubisoft's Montreal studio proved everyone wrong (at least for the most part) with Splinter Cell's PS2 visuals, Shanghai looks to have made similar strides with RS3. The game is simply stunning to say the least. Incredible environments, detailed character models, and some pretty impressive effects (night and heat vision for instance) work well in creating the various locales you'll visit. Naturally, a few corners had to be cut because of the lower amounts of memory and processing power, leaving for some less inspiring texture work and framerate. Though, it already appears as if Shanghai has created one of the better-looking PS2 titles out there.

Final Thoughts
No doubt about it, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 should prove to be a hot commodity when it's released late next month. You have an overall awesome package, complete with excellent squad-based gameplay, amazing visuals, and tons of multiplayer options. Look for our final impressions soon.


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