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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Tactical Action

 

Publisher

UbiSoft

 

Developer

UbiSoft

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

June 2004

 

 

- Quick gameplay

- Good control scheme

- Good AI for computer controlled teammates

 

 

- Simplified gameplay for series

- Enemy movements are predictable

- Long loading times

- No online play

 

 

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Review: Conflict Desert Storm (GC)

 

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Rainbow Six 3

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

Having played through Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield on the PC, the Gamecube version was about what I had expected, however, it was interesting to see how such a complex game was transferred over to the console. Iíd been aware that Rainbow Six 3 was very popular in the console market and was interested to see how the game manifested itself without the flexibility of the mouse/keyboard control setup as well as all the planning stages of the game.

 

rainbow six 3 review          rainbow six 3 review

 

Initially, when playing Raven Shield on the PC, I really found the game to be overwhelming. Eventually, I grew accustomed to the intricacies of the game, however I did find that it really lacked a good pick up and play element. The incorporated quick start option still did not integrate well into the rest of how the game was designed. The console version is what an excellent pick up and play version of Raven Shield would have been and as such makes Rainbow Six 3 on the GameCube a very competent tactical shooter.

 

To be perfectly clear, the game is definitely a tactical shooter. The focus is an attempt at realistic tactics and Special Forces procedures. However, what the game does well is to incorporate this into a tense setting with its fair share of action. You will play as Domingo (Ding) Chavez, one of the main characters in the Rainbow Six novels by Tom Clancy. Under Dingís command, you will have three other members of Rainbow. Through the campaign, you will be led through a series of missions, each with specific objections including defusing bombs, hostage rescue and neutralizing terrorists. Generally each campaign isnít that different in execution, however each environment is unique enough that the missions never become stale.

 

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Cinematic camera angles can often times be a pain in the ass.  RE manages to avoid awkward camera work for the most part, although there are still a few instances of being given a poor view of an area allowing zombies to get the drop on you even though they should be in plain sight.  But not once did I get turned around or lost because I couldnít get a bearing on where I was.  The graphics and animation are so good itís like playing a super-extended cutscene.  The play of shadows and light makes for some incredibly 

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Before each mission, you will receive a detailed briefing of your objectives. Also, you will have the opportunity to outfit your team with different weapons and equipment. Standard issue equipment includes night vision goggles, as well as thermal goggles. Gun lovers will be happy to find that weapons are the real deal and that each does perform differently. The level of weapon customization is absent in R6III compared to Raven Shield, as weapons come standard with various accessories including silencers and scopes.

 

The game play itself consists of a first person view, of course, and has you leading your team through hostile environments with plenty of terrorists to complete your mission objectives. You can order your team to open doors and clear the next room, breach a door and clear the room, stay and cover a location, as well as many other actions. In realistic fashion, you can use the scope on your weapon should it be equipped with one, or you can aim down the sights of your rifle should it be without a scope. Also, you are able to lean to peek into rooms, move in a crouched stance, and toss grenades and other explosives into rooms. Generally, your team AI will be quite good and they will save your hide more often than not.

 

The control scheme is very well thought out and with how complicated the game was originally designed, I am impressed with how the developers were able to map the GameCube controller so well. The control scheme allows you to issue commands with the touch of the A button. By pressing the A button while on a door, your team will simply open the door. However, by holding A, you will be presented with a  pressing the A button while on a door, your tmenu from which you will be able to issue other orders such as Open Door/Flash Bang/Clear Room. Also, you are able to issue the order and delay the execution of that order until you give the Go Code Zulu. This will allow you to enter rooms from two different locations to better execute your objectives. The strategic possibility that this affords the gamer is truly satisfying. Busting into a room from two different entry points and taking down a room full of bad guys in a matter of seconds is extremely rewarding especially when the preparation of such an attack is painstaking.

 

rainbow six 3 review          rainbow six 3 review

 

Through its attempt at being as realistic as is possible within the context of creating a fun game, it does run into a few problems. The enemy AI is for the most part scripted to a set pattern. In Raven Shield, each time you die or reload the game, enemies can appear in a different place. While you cannot save during an ongoing mission, throughout each level, there are various checkpoints where the game saves automatically. In R6III, when loading up a game or restarting from a checkpoint, enemies will be in the same spot as they were the first time around. As such, through trial and error, you can in most cases past some of the more difficult parts. The problem here is that this undermines the gameís intention to make the gamer play through the mission using tactics and planned skill rather than trying again to find out where the enemies are hiding and blasting them the next time around.

 

A large part of Raven Shield and the previous games was the planning stage of the game. For those of you who have never played a Rainbow 6 game on the PC, it may be surprising to know that players can choose to plan a whole mission and then just watch the computer AI execute your plan. This aspect of the RS3 I is completely absent in the console version. However, given the complexity of this aspect of the original, it was likely a wise move to not include this portion of the game into the console iteration. Also, a very quick and easy tutorial is available and is invaluable in teaching the control scheme. These two design decisions help to speed up the learning curve of the game and to draw gamers into the experience that much quicker.

 

Some other minor issues with the game include the long loading times, average graphics and lack of online play. Generally speaking the loading times are far above the average waiting time, but the payoff isnít any display of great graphics either. The environments can be bland looking and the other people in the world look plain and flat. There is a split screen mode where you and a friend can play through the campaigns together, however the lack of online play is a serious detractor for a game such as this.

 

While the rewarding fun factor of this game is no doubt present, and the fact that it remains the only premier choice for a tactical shooter on the GameCube, the game is still not likely to find its way into the Gamecube hall of fame for timeless titles. While certainly a good game, the fact that it is overshadowed by its other iterations leaves a feeling of expectance. Rainbow Six 3 does deliver but those with more than one system at home will like want to pick up a different version of the game.

 

- Mark Leung

(September 14, 2004)

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