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Rainbow Six 3 Package Art
††First-Person Shooter
††Ubisoft Montreal

Rainbow Six 3

Eight months laterÖ Thatís usually the start of a story focused on ports released for the GameCube. This story is no different. After all, we should be grateful that the game was released on Nintendoís console in the first place. Thankfully, Ubisoft is no slouch and theyíve released Tom Clancyís Rainbow Six 3 for the Nintendo GameCube, eight months after the game was released for the Xbox. While the title is vastly superior on Microsoftís current generation platform, that doesnít stop the game from reaching an even wider range of gamers as it becomes available for Nintendoís. Itís flawed, but the tactical first-person shooter is still an enjoyable experience that any Rainbow Six fan should check out. That is to presume, of course, that you havenít played the Xbox version yet.


Usually the visuals hold up fairly well when Ubisoft brings us a game from a different system. Splinter Cell, for example, looked almost identical to the Xbox version, except for some excusable differences. Such is not the case for Rainbow Six 3. Character models look stiff, wooden and animate very roughly. Gun models donít look nearly as detailed and the textures found within each environment range from great to exceedingly poor. Whatís more is that the frame rate takes dramatic drops once your team moves into open areas on the map. The difference doesnít affect gameplay all that much, but it is immediately noticeable. What saves this game is the sense of tension and atmosphere that is set into play with the near-genius lighting system. In most Tom Clancy titles atmosphere is everything and Ubisoft hasnít slacked off a bit in that department. Moving through each level is nail-biting and heart-pumping. Youíll turn a corner and shoot at what looks like a terrorist, but is actually the shadow of a well-placed chair. The system actually stops the game from looking extremely ugly.


Sound production is key for any title based in Tom Clancyís universe, especially the tactical based Rainbow Six series. Gunshots, explosions, and voice overs are crisp, clear and hold with the traditional greatness of Rainbow Six titles. However, sometimes the voice overs are not synched correctly with the lips of characters in CG cut scenes. This can be just a tad disconcerting and sometimes gauges a chuckle. The music is a real treat in Rainbow Six 3 and it continues the tradition of a powerful soundtrack in this series. The audio may have taken the most advantage out of the production value.


If you know anything about the Rainbow Six series, youíll know that it isnít your standard first-person shooter, but practically in a genre all its own. You canít just jump right out into the open, bullets flying, and expect to live at least for the next five paces. Through all 15 missions available, the sense of realism is left intact in this installment and is obviously the main aspects of the game. If it werenít for the sense of dramatic tension, this game would easily fail any test thatís thrown at it. That being said, Rainbow Six 3 is easily a great example of showcasing good gameplay even if the graphics are not that nice. Itís not enough to win the title in some gamersí hearts, but thatís how it is. The only thing that can kill the tension is the loading times. Theyíre forgivable at some points of the game, such as switching levels, but not in the middle of one. Checkpoints take a little too long to save, but with 17 blocks of memory to cover, itís understandable but nearly inexcusable.

In order to get into the flow of this type of tension, youíve got a squad following you around. A squad usually means a complex control scheme which could either be extremely frustrating and confusing or fluid and concise. Thankfully, this title features the latter and allows you to choose from multiple commands using the action button and d-pad. When you move your team to a door, you can give them several options from open/flash/clear, to open/frag/clear or just open and clear. Unfortunately, your squad seems to operate on a combined I.Q. of mayonnaise. How things ever get done in this game is beyond anyoneís guess, but itís certainly impressive. Your team members will randomly run around in circles trying to clear or take cover and generally leads to you watching Eddieís head nearly explode from a tangoís fire. It can be a little frustrating, but most of the time itís verging on hilarious. Still, your team will eventually carry out any order you throw at them.


Thereís two-player split-screen cooperative play, which always makes a game that much better. However, the key aspect of online multiplayer is lost in the GameCube version. It isnít that heartbreaking, since the single-player and co-op modes are both well-structured, but it still hurts the title in the long run.


Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 is certainly one of the best first-person shooters available on the Nintendo GameCube. If youíre looking for some tense, strategy-based action, youíll definitely want to at least check this game out. If youíre a big fan of Rainbow Six, thereís no reason you shouldnít buy this title. However, if you own an Xbox, youíll have to buy that version, if you havenít already. This game couldíve been brilliant if it werenít a damaged port from the Xbox, but itís still surprisingly better than the PS2 version. Check it out if you have the chance, but you may want to cross your Tís before making the final purchase. If you canít seem to agree with me, thatís great. However, I think we can all agree that itís better than Tom Clancyís Sum of All Fears. Yikes.

final score 7.9/10

Staff Avatar Austin Starr
Staff Profile | Email
"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"

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