Rainbow Six is red hot sniper action

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I’ve always liked the suspense of sneaking through an installation, catching terrorist forces off-guard, sniping them without warning, rescuing hostages and disarming explosives. But still, even with all that Metal Gear has done, I’ve always wondered how it would be done in a first person perspective, borrowing elements from Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64, plus adding the ability to plan out my operation among fellow teammates before sending them out in combat.

Thanks to Red Storm Entertainment, my thoughts have become reality as their release, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, takes these elements and executes them in the right way.

Rainbow Six (R6) takes place in the year 1999, and with the end of the Cold War, there is a rise of terrorist activity. The activity has become so widespread that recognized organizations such as the Navy SEAL team or Britan’s SAS aren’t enough to avert these terrorist acts, so the world’s governments construct an organization of the best counter-terrorist operatives, train them in secrecy, and send them out to strike fast and complete their operations with minimal casualties. This organization is code named Rainbow.

Rainbow operatives are armed with state of the art equipment that no one else can obtain, and are equiped with the most powerful, and at times most silent, weapons available. Assault rifles, M-16 sniper rifles, 12-shot automatic pistols, frag grenades, flashbangs (stun grenades that blind the enemy without harming any other innocents in the same room), door charges, bomb diffusion kits, electronic lockpicks – you name it.

But before these items can be used in combat, the initial method of entry (MOE) must be planned out. Each mission offers a briefing, followed by commentary by your commanding officer and whatever intelligence agents are available for the operation, all accompanied by well-done voice acting. From there, it is time to select which operatives to take for each mission, designate which fire team and which weapons and armor they will posses. After that comes the main map, where the heart of the mission is plotted out. Select waypoints, designate "go codes" to signal when to move to the next waypoint, authorize when and where grenades or flashbangs are to be used, locate where the hostages (or terrorists) are supposedly located and return to the extraction point.

Once a plan is put into effect, combat goes into a first person perspective from the eyes of the fire team leader. Controlled in a scheme similar to Quake, Actions and go commands are executed from your view, and switching from one team to another is done with a simple keystroke. Weapon use can also be switched with a keystroke, but for some firearms, depending on the attributes of your op, the weapon can lock onto an enemy for easy sniping. Even better, some weapons, such as the MP5 or M-16, can be equipped with a Goldeneye-style sniper scope for easy pickoffs.

One thing I really enjoyed in this game is the same suspense factor I received when I played other espionage classics such as Metal Gear. It’s that feeling when you never know what could be on the other side of a door or wall. It could be a terrorist ready to pick off, or it could be a hostage that is accidentally picked off due to a hair trigger. This is one of those games that proves that you don’t need to have a horror theme to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Multiplayer capabilities are also good, and with quick access through Mplayer’s service, one can quickly find others to team up with, or compete against. Unlike Quake, however, R6’s multiplayer matches are pretty quick, since one well-placed shot can kill you instantly, and there are plenty of places to "camp" (hiding in a concealed area, now considered illegal and punishable by fragging in certain Quake servers) until your opponent is in view. I did notice some lag on a 56K modem at times, and hopefully it’s being worked on in future patches, but in the meantime, it provides some good realistic sniping action.

Overall, R6 is a welcome package. It’s the closest you can get to the suspense of MGS, with the well-executed first person perspective of Goldeneye. Red Storm has really come into the spotlight with this wonderful title, and I hope to see more of what this relatively new company has to offer.
I’ve always liked the suspense of sneaking through an installation, catching terrorist forces off-guard, sniping them without warning, rescuing hostages and disarming explosives. But still, even with all that Metal Gear has done, I’ve always wondered how it would be done in a first person perspective, borrowing elements from Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64, plus adding the ability to plan out my operation among fellow teammates before sending them out in combat.

Thanks to Red Storm Entertainment, my thoughts have become reality as their release, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, takes these elements and executes them in the right way.

Rainbow Six (R6) takes place in the year 1999, and with the end of the Cold War, there is a rise of terrorist activity. The activity has become so widespread that recognized organizations such as the Navy SEAL team or Britan’s SAS aren’t enough to avert these terrorist acts, so the world’s governments construct an organization of the best counter-terrorist operatives, train them in secrecy, and send them out to strike fast and complete their operations with minimal casualties. This organization is code named Rainbow.

Rainbow operatives are armed with state of the art equipment that no one else can obtain, and are equiped with the most powerful, and at times most silent, weapons available. Assault rifles, M-16 sniper rifles, 12-shot automatic pistols, frag grenades, flashbangs (stun grenades that blind the enemy without harming any other innocents in the same room), door charges, bomb diffusion kits, electronic lockpicks – you name it.

But before these items can be used in combat, the initial method of entry (MOE) must be planned out. Each mission offers a briefing, followed by commentary by your commanding officer and whatever intelligence agents are available for the operation, all accompanied by well-done voice acting. From there, it is time to select which operatives to take for each mission, designate which fire team and which weapons and armor they will posses. After that comes the main map, where the heart of the mission is plotted out. Select waypoints, designate "go codes" to signal when to move to the next waypoint, authorize when and where grenades or flashbangs are to be used, locate where the hostages (or terrorists) are supposedly located and return to the extraction point.

Once a plan is put into effect, combat goes into a first person perspective from the eyes of the fire team leader. Controlled in a scheme similar to Quake, Actions and go commands are executed from your view, and switching from one team to another is done with a simple keystroke. Weapon use can also be switched with a keystroke, but for some firearms, depending on the attributes of your op, the weapon can lock onto an enemy for easy sniping. Even better, some weapons, such as the MP5 or M-16, can be equipped with a Goldeneye-style sniper scope for easy pickoffs.

One thing I really enjoyed in this game is the same suspense factor I received when I played other espionage classics such as Metal Gear. It’s that feeling when you never know what could be on the other side of a door or wall. It could be a terrorist ready to pick off, or it could be a hostage that is accidentally picked off due to a hair trigger. This is one of those games that proves that you don’t need to have a horror theme to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Multiplayer capabilities are also good, and with quick access through Mplayer’s service, one can quickly find others to team up with, or compete against. Unlike Quake, however, R6’s multiplayer matches are pretty quick, since one well-placed shot can kill you instantly, and there are plenty of places to "camp" (hiding in a concealed area, now considered illegal and punishable by fragging in certain Quake servers) until your opponent is in view. I did notice some lag on a 56K modem at times, and hopefully it’s being worked on in future patches, but in the meantime, it provides some good realistic sniping action.

Overall, R6 is a welcome package. It’s the closest you can get to the suspense of MGS, with the well-executed first person perspective of Goldeneye. Red Storm has really come into the spotlight with this wonderful title, and I hope to see more of what this relatively new company has to offer.

R6 gets 4 1/2 stars, with a 1/2 star taken out for somewhat lag-ridden Internet play.
R6 gets 4 1/2 stars, with a 1/2 star taken out for somewhat lag-ridden Internet play.

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