Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six was a huge hit as it redefined the first-person shooter by incorporating a large amount of strategy with realistic action. Running around blowing things up is not going to work here; instead silence is key. This is what sets the series apart from other games. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear delievers a great experience and fans of the original will find everything they liked about the original and more.
Although most of your time will probably be spent online with friends, let me begin with the single-player mode. There are 18 missions to be won and most of them are highly challenging. Players begin a mission by receiving their objectives and then creating a plan. A plan is provided by the computer for each mission and it is a good idea to use their plan the first time a mission is played. Plans are not easy to devise, especially when you divide your men into four teams.
The computer's plan is sometimes more complicated than it needs to be though. Take the first mission for instance. Four teams are sent through a museum taking out every terrorist when the main objective is to get the hostages out. I put together a team of two men, went almost straight to the room where the hostages were being held, and rescued them in a matter of minutes. Of course, many missions will require the use of more than two men but that first mission really does not require as complex a plan as the computer supplies. As the first mission, a more basic plan would have been nice. Also, it would have been useful to have more than one plan to choose from for each mission.
The action phase is great because of the variety in the missions. While many require the rescue of hostages, the maps all feature their own distinctness. Maps cover all areas, you will go from stopping the blowing up of an oil tanker to searching the streets of Kosovo. Adding to the atmosphere are weather effects; sometimes it is raining or snowing. Realism is high and that is what will keep you coming back to the single-player mode.
Nothing is perfect of course, as there are a couple things that will frustrate. Mission outcomes will at times rely on luck because you can only control one operative at a time. The computer's intelligence is not bad for your men but they will do some stupid things. One time when the computer operative was supposed to frag a room, he hit the door frame resulting in the grenade bouncing back toward the team and killing all three good guys. This doesn't happen too often though and for the most part they move well and don't get in the way. One other problem with the other operatives is that they will get hostages killed. Rescuing hostages is tough even if all of your moves are perfect. All that needs to happen is for one of the computer controlled operatives to get spotted and bang: hostage dead, mission over.
On the other hand the terrorists are fairly intelligent. They have set paths to walk but if they hear a noise they will investigate. Don't expect to be able to use a grenade and not attract attention. Also, the terrorists are quite accurate, most notably their snipers. Move with caution and make good use of the heartbeat sensor or your life can be over in a split second as it only takes one bullet in the right place to be killed. Due to the terrorists' accuracy, most likely one or more of your operatives will be killed each mission. Operatives have skill levels in a variety of categories so replacing the highly skilled operatives is not easy. However, there is a large number of operatives available and if you run out they will be replaced with no name substitutes.
Moving on to multiplayer, this is certainly a great experience. All of the single-player maps are available as are some new ones. Groups of players can work together and play out the single-player missions or go on terrorist hunts. They can also play survival games in teams or in free for all competition. The variety found in the multiplayer games is huge and provides a higher level of replay value than most first-person shooters. To be successful team communication is important and typing takes too long. This presents a minor problem as Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear does not include any sort of voice communication; players will have to find their own.
All of the problems with the game are minor and the overall experience you will receive is certainly worth overlooking those problems for. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear provides a significantly challenging and engrossing single-player game as well as an incredibly addictive and enjoyable cooperative multiplayer game.
Graphics: All of the environments represent their geographic locations well. Characters look and move quite well too. A few clipping problems do exist though as it is possible to lean through some walls.
Sound: Sound effects are perhaps the best part of the game. Characters speak clearly and you will hear things like "Green sniper, sights are hot" and "Sound the alarm!" The best sound effects lie in the weapons though. Each weapon has its own distinct and realistic sound. Unfortunately, you rarely get to experience many of those sounds because you need to use weapons with silencers a majority of the time.
Enjoyment: A few minor problems are not enough to hinder gameplay. Overall players who prefer realism over a fantasy-based bloodbath will find a lot to like about this game.
Replay Value: The multiplayer modes of play will keep you coming back again and again.
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