Review by neothe0ne

"Counterterrorism should not have come to the GameCube"

Pros:
Realistic paramilitary shooter
GC-unique Terrorist Hunt
Good voice acting
Realistic sound effects
You're killing TERRORISTS!!

Cons:
Insanely long load times
Split-screen co-op is laggy and gameplay is awkward
No Xbox Live (which was influential to Game of the Year status)
It's a PS2 port, for crying out loud
Game runs sluggishly, especially on widescreens

I've read every book Tom Clancy has written about Jack Ryan or John Clark, but the main book of importance is Rainbow Six. In this book, after Jack Ryan becomes President, Clark sells Ryan on making a counterterrorism unit among the top NATO countries. The unit is made up of mostly American, English, German, and French cops/spooks. This unit was legendary, and is extremely fun to play as. But... the GameCube version of the game has been handed-down multiple times until the wear and tear is obvious.

The graphics of the game are decent. Since it was originally for PC and Xbox, it's obvious that the GameCube will suffer some, and it was ported from the PS2 to GameCube, and the PS2 was ported from Xbox... If you play on a normal fullscreen TV, you might think the graphics are good. If you play on a widescreen, you will experience bad lag and choppy graphics, and that lag can come back to haunt you even on good fullscreen TVs. The game takes longer to load (as in, over two minutes per stage section) and has more lag spikes than in the Xbox version (I don't know about the PS2 version). There are a few scores in the game, a few alternating startup themes that are excellent, the main menu theme (also excellent), a suspense theme used rarely in a few missions, and the victory theme during the debrief. More music during the campaigns would take away from the realism of the shooter, but the music that is in the game is excellent. The controls are good. I never tried to change the default controls because they're like the common shooter, but you can choose the sensitivity of the C stick and control stick, and you can set whether or not you want head motion inverted up and down. The only major difference is that Rainbow Six is a team-based shooter, so you have to tell your team what to do. You can tell them to hold position, follow you, open and clear a room, bomb and clear a room, ect.

The weapons in the game are very nice. You have a wide selection to choose from, all rated on range, accuracy, power, max number of rounds, scope power, and whether or not it's siloenced. The weapons are all realistic and have distinct gun chatter noises (like the Clancy books describe, and like reality). The sound effects for all the weapons are very nice. Out of all the levels I've been in, I can't remember ever being able to pick up an enemy's weapon (I use the 50-cal near-perfect gun in accuracy, range, and power) since the rounds are different. So, this game leaves the unrealism of most shooters and takes place in a realistic world.

The story is about an oil embargo on the US and how Venezuela is the only country that will supply the US with oil. Then the terrorists strike... The story campaign has three difficulty levels, recruit, veteran, and elite. At the start of each mission, you receive a briefing in voice and print by John Clark with excellent voice acting. In fact, let's just get it out: all the voice acting in the game fits exactly with the character the voice is for. You play as Ding Chavez, leader of Team 1. You will see how many team members you get (0 to 3), what equipment they're using, and what equipment you're using (you can change your gear, but not your teammates). Your gear has 4 parts: main gun, secondary gun/explosive gun, handheld 1, and handheld 2. Your main gun is a power weapon, big, bulky, powerful. Your secondary weapon can be a selection of pistols, some silenced, but all drastically rated less than your main gun. It can also be a four-round gun that fires an explosive. The two handhelds can be grenades, flashbangs, bombs, or the gas mask. You defaultly get night vision and thermal vision. You can also secure terrorists that surrender and have to secure hostages. I wouldn't call the stages fun, but they are satisfying. After all, thisi is the first counterterrorism game for GameCube, right? However, many of the missions are long and on the edge of impossibility. Each mission generally has 2 parts, so you have to wait a long time twice. In each part is a checkpoint each, so call it 3 checkpoints per level (not counting the insertion point). It's best to get to the checkpoints sustaining as little damage as possible, since some levels leave all the chaotic gun and grenade blasting to the end. I haven't beat the story campaign yet, but I am stuck on my current level.

The AI have nice voices, sounding distinctly British, French, and German, but also have some corny lines such as "Ding, you're taking hits!" Duh, you're controller and screen are vibrating. "Under fire!!!" when they're being hammered upon. Duh, the health bar is flashing red.. they also say "Grenade!!" when a grenade is on the ground and about to blow. They don't always get out of the way, though. It's extremely common for a dying terrorist to drop a grenade first and kill you and the nearest AI. This is not the only case where the AI is extremely stupid. If you have your team on the Regroup/Follow command, they won't fire at enemies sometimes. They may even run into you, get bumped in front of you, and take a head shot that you were aiming at a terrorist. Meanwhile, if you order your team to climb up a ladder or clear a room, the Regroup/Follow command is off and they're on Hold/Cover. If you forget to tell your team to regroup, you'll have big trouble when you get surrounded by a few tangoes. The enemy AI can also be stupid, but their advantage is that they only need to fire a few accurate shots to take your health down, and then leave the job to their other tangoes later on. When you get to low health, Ding will start making panting noises, and if you get to critical condition, you hear a repeating heart beat and the panting noise. This is nice, but the sound effects are way too loud.

The multiplayer in the GameCube version of Rainbow Six 3 is dissapointing. There's no online play on GameCube, so one of the main reasons the Xbox game got Game of the Year is gone. In split-screen, true to Tom Clancy game style, you don't get to see your gun and your controls are stunted from single-player. This style needs to change.. it's unrealistic to not see your gun in a first-person shooter. You can do practice missions just like the campaign, but it's much harder than in single-player. In multiplayer, you get no AI. So, in missions where there are 3 other automatic allies, you get your one friend. (My one friend usually doesn't play Rainbow Six 3, so you can imagine...) The only positive change from the XBOX version is the addition of the Terrorist Hunt mode. In Terrorist Mode, you choose any stage from the campaign and receive a simple objective: Kill all the terrorists. This is basically just a test of how well you can exploit your guns and explosives, but it can be more fun than going through a real mission, since just shooting bad guys is a welcome change.

Well, it was about time the GameCube got Rainbow Six. However, it's dissapointing that, after being released on PC, then XBOX, then PS2 a few months later, then GC a year later, that nothing important has been done. It's either the GameCube is too hard to make games for, or the companies are too lazy to make the games outside the Xbox/PC community. In any case, Rainbow Six 3 for GameCube does not deserve your money, though it can be enjoyable if you have the right taste.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/01/04, Updated 01/07/05


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