What is it that draws us to be the hero? Is it the recognition, the glory, or the simple adrenaline rush when you realize you are the one saving the day. Squad based counter terror games are a dime a dozen these days and sometimes one can get lost in the sea of madness. The one notable thing is that whenever you see a game with the Tom Clancy logo on it, you are almost guaranteed a grand time. This brings me to the latest XBox counter terror squad based shooting killing game thingie, Rainbow Six 3. Quite possibly the best squad based game to date and certainly one of the best XBox Live games ever.
Rainbow Six started it’s lineage on the PC years ago, in fact it is sort of the grandfather of squad based gaming. With it’s uncanny attention to detail and realism the game gained instant franchise status and ushered in a whole slew of copycats and wannabes. The original RS3 happily titled Raven Shield actually appeared on the PC last year but this new XBox version is so different the only thing they seem to share are namesake. Ubi Soft has opted to turn the game into a smooth first person shooter with squad based game play. To top it all off they have decided to use the Splinter Cell technology for such things as lighting and cloth effects, the results are gorgeous.
If you have ever played a FPS on the XBox then you can come to expect the control scheme in Rainbow Six 3. What is different however is that it allows you to issue squad commands via the d-pad or the headset communicator similar to SOCOM for the PS2. Your team will recognize over 80 different voice commands such as “Breech and Clear” and “Move on Zulu” as well as a host of secret commands that no one has yet to uncover. This innovation takes the game into a whole new direction as well as freeing up your hands to concentrate on the task at hand, saving the day of course! Rainbow is also not a run and gun shooting fest like most FPS games. Blazing into any situation with guns firing will almost guarantee death, this is definitely a thinking man’s shooting game.
Not only is the game reworked from the control aspect the visuals have also had a massive overhaul. Using the now famous Splinter Cell technology RS3 boasts some of the best lighting in a FPS ever. Your character actually casts a real time shadow, beams of light flood through windows, and the heat vision is to die for. Chains and soft fabrics will flow as you move through them and the frame rate rarely ever misses a beat. Even with smoke from your tear fas grenade floods the room the action is still fast paced and intense, the power of X is certainly apparent in this game. The sound is also something to take note of. Brilliant use of Dolby Digital 5.1 lets you hear the bullets whiz by your ear and you can tell where enemies are simply by listening for their chatter or foot steps. The music plays a orchestral undertone and just rounds out the whole hero feel.
The meat of this game is the XBox Live components, RS3 does everything SOCOM does and so much more. You have team survival, regular survival, co-op missions, terrorist hunt, and of course the traditional death match. You and three friends can also take on any of the game’s 14 missions online. The game is utterly endless in it’s options and will have you playing for months on end. The rankings are divided up by game type and use the chess style where the better the person you kill the higher your ranking is, absolutely great stuff here.
Rainbow Six 3 is one of those games that comes along at a time where it’s hard to make your mark. There are tons of games like it out there and many that will outsell it because of sheer name recognition. To put it bluntly though Rainbow Six 3 is the king of squad based combat and makes games like SOCOM and Ghost Recon it’s bitch by comparison. Definitely a title worthy of praise all around. Whether you are going solo or online there is little not to love about Tom Clancy’s latest outing and you owe it to yourself to purchase a copy right now!