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TOM CLANCY'S RAINBOW SIX  by ... Maurice Fitzgerald 

Believe The Hype 

We’ve all heard the hype surrounding this game, (I know I’ve been one of the outspoken ones). If you haven’t - well, good morning, here’s your coffee, it’s about time you woke up!

Redstorm Entertainment has released a game that is most worthy of being placed under the heading of the Master of the military techno-thrillers Tom Clancy, titled "Rainbow Six."   


Having been a Clancy fan since the first pages of Hunt for Red October, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new novel that is centered on John Clark and Domingo Chavez (two of my favorite characters.) Once I found out that there was to a PC title to go along with the book, I was a bit skeptical it could be pulled off. We’ve all seen the first person shooters that are on the market today, and those of us who prefer realism over fantasy have been left high and dry.   

At the start of this year we were given another very good title, Spec Ops, which was an action game based on realism. Subordinating some aspects of reality (health for example) for the sake of playability, Zombie brought us a very entertaining game. It gave us our first look at the face of “ground pounder” simulations we will see coming our way and was a groundbreaker for a new era of first person shooters. 

Redstorm Leads The Way

Now Redstorm has done what I felt was impossible: they’ve made a realistic sim with very few concessions, and pulled it off quite successfully. Basing this game strictly around real world CT (counter terror) ops, unit compositions and tactics, you can now get a taste for what’s involved in these daring rescues. Be aware though, this is NOT your typical first person shooter but a first person tactical simulation, and as such there will be a much steeper learning curve than you’re used to. If Zombie's Spec Ops was a ground breaker, Rainbow Six is the foundation upon which other realistic first person shooters can build. 

At E3 I got my first taste of Rainbow Six, a simulation that has you leading a multi-national anti-terrorist unit as they navigate through 16 harrowing missions that follow as intricate a plotline as the Clancy novel. The press blurb on the Redstorm site says “play as if 5.7 billion lives depend on it” and as you uncover the dramatic story underlying the game you’ll understand that this is no understatement.  

The game has you running through as varied an assortment of missions as you would expect for a unit of this type. From straight up hostage rescue to covert surveillance, it’s all here, there are even missions where the use of deadly force is NOT authorized and you are forced to rely on stealth alone for entry and exit to the objective area.  

As I stated earlier when I first heard about this game I thought “another ‘counter terror team’ game, oh no..." I thought this would be another game that uses the premise of real world tactics, but quickly dissolves into a typical action shooter where success is attained only through quick fingers on the keyboard and the use of the circle strafe. My fears were quickly halted when I had a preview at E3, the best demo I saw there by far. The game caused my jaw to hit the floor rather abruptly (thank God it was in a carpeted area and my jaw was padded against its hasty discovery of Newton’s law.) 

Last week I got the Gold master and when I saw Redstorm Entertainment on the label I ripped the package open with reckless abandon, ran to my PC, and willed my computers boot process to end quickly. I then popped Rainbow Six into the CD tray and installed it while I perused the accompanying game manual. Once installed I was treated to a very cool intro video that was done completely from within the game engine itself. All the terrorist takeovers and Rainbow takedowns use no actors but real game character animations- further evidence of the care with which Redstorm has developed this game.  

Click to continue . . . 



Having already played through the demo I decided to jump right into the action and start a campaign, not heeding the warning in the manual regarding proper training. (I got humbled real quick and went on to the training missions afterwards.)

The first mission is the same embassy takedown in the demo, so I felt it would be no mystery to me and I tried it on Elite mode. The final version of this mission is much better than the demo version. As I mentioned above I gained some humility and headed back to the Rainbow training grounds at Hereford for some practice before continuing further.  

The training missions are broken down into four  “skill sets”; Fire and Movement, Room Clearing, Hostage Rescue and Open Training. Each of these skill sets is further broken down into 6 training missions where the outcome of each does not affect the campaign you’re in or will play through.

Examples of some of the training missions are an obstacle course to get you used to your movement controls, and how to open doors and climb ladders. There are shooting ranges where you can engage paper and steel targets at varying distances to fam fire your weapons and also hone your shooting skills. There is single and double room clearing, and single and two story hostage rescue culminating in Open Training where you will face a hodgepodge of different missions drawn from the other skill sets. Overall, the training is well done and an important part of running a successful team as well as increasing your skills for multiplay scenarios. 

In Depth Planning

Pre-mission planning for these types of operations is a very in depth and complex affair. Hats off to RSE for creating a pretty complex and very powerful planning interface for the gamer to use to choreograph the 'death dance' you will undertake when entering your missions. Your missions break down into several phases and you should pay strict attention to each if you wish to keep your team alive and accomplish your objectives with minimal loss of friendlies.  


Briefing: You are given a brief oral and text overview of your mission objectives along with some slides of your target. You need to pay attention here as to what your objectives are as you can easily overlook them in the desire to get on with the action, so the briefing is not just fluff.  You are then briefed by the principal character John Clark (Rainbow ‘Six’ – using the military acronym for commander) and he will give you some further background to flesh out the plot as well as explain your ROE. Some missions will have extra briefings from other major characters to the plotline that will give you more information to help you deal with new threats. 

Intel Phase: This gives you background information on individuals and organizations you will be facing or who have a direct input to the storyline. You can glean some extra info from these files that will assist you in knowing what you’re dealing with as well as also furthering the plotline. 

Roster Selection: Here’s where you pick and choose from a pool of Rainbow operatives who will go on the mission. Each person (there are both male and female operatives) has their own distinct and unique stats, bios and history. Study these carefully to make sure you choose the right man or woman for the job, as well as pay attention to their status as they can become fatigued as missions go by. A fatigued soldier is not going to be as sharp as a well rested one and can be a danger to both himself and the team he’s assigned to. 

Kit Selection: Where you get to pick and choose your toys to go romping and stomping with. Here you have access to anything you’ll need to accomplish the objectives. You’ll need to choose both a primary and secondary weapon as well as fill 2 more slots with further equipment or weapons. Primary weapons range from the H&K MP5 (in various versions both silenced and standard) to CAR-15, M-16A2, and Benelli Tactical 12-Guage.  

Secondary weapon choices range from H&K .45, Beretta 9mm and H&K .40 all in standard or silenced modes. Extra equipment for your other 2 slots range from lockpick kits, to demo kits and heartbeat sensors (a sweet gadget) to flashbangs and frag grenades. In Kit Selection you will also choose your uniform, and those choices range from woodland to standard HRT black coming in various forms of protection of either light, medium or heavy. You can easily set up one kit and select Outfit All to assign the same kit to each team member and save yourself time. 

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