Reviewed by T. S. Vartanoff
Rainbow Six is a shooting game for Nintendo 64, based on a Tom Clancy
novel. You command an anti-terrorist assault team that basically sneaks
around, killing terrorists, defusing bombs, rescuing hostages, uploading
computer information, and disabling security systems. This game was
very satisfying, very tense, and would be in my collection today if not
for the short gamespan and small glitches that dampen the fun.
The graphics in this game are regulation N64 when it comes to color
and polygons. Some things, like ferns in the opening jungle level, are
downright Cruising USA-quality, aka two-dimensional. Overall, the
graphics are simply okay, but not tremendous for a fan of first-person like me.
Music and Sound
Not much, but well done. The music is sparsely peppered in the actual
game, a rising wind instrument as you open a door is all I remember.
Then, after beating a level, a little theme plays. The music playing as
you plan your attack and perform other menu functions is intense and
dramatic. The sound is decent too, with your partners in crime yelling
"Tango down!" when killing a human. The music and sound is nothing
special but okay.
Gameplay and Controls
Your team has four people on it. You are one person. Therefore,
you are allowed to plan out where the other three agents will go
to and from via a planning screen. You can select weapons and
members of your squad from their various strengths and weaknesses
of weapons firing, computer hacking, picking locks, courage, leadership,
and so on. Picking a lock and hacking a computer take realistically long
times to do, depending on skill levels of your respective characters.
Your goose is cooked if you get shot once or twice. The problems arise
when your computer buddies somehow "catch" onto an object they pass: a
staircase, for instance. This happens every once in a while, and if you
take control of their bodies and free them, they stand there dumb as a
lemming until you take control again. You plan out routes, but once they
end your squad stands around dumbly. Also, the objectives of the stage
are not always explained clearly. For instance: One long, hard, frustrating
level had you sneak into a skyscraper, disable security systems, then
slaughter the guards without them spotting you AND upload computer
information. It didn't mention you had to trek back to the roof, which
doomed me to taking control of all four operatives one by one and leading
them up to the top. Also, the operatives travel ridiculously slow,
understandable in many situations but not for most others, especially
the long and winding finale. That's another thing: this game is so engrossing
and interesting, despite the flaws, that I got angry when I saw it was all
over after only 12 levels. Well, now I want the computer game, so the
rental succeeded on some level. The enemy AI is very good, of course
easier to kill when taken by surprise.
Well, I replayed it so I could beat all the levels without a single casualty.
Your operative team runs out of good options after too many deaths. The
game is interesting, but it takes a long time to plan out the mission
completely and crawl around to complete it. I don't think I'd replay
it except to test out more weapons and armors.
Tipper Gore Factor
Not much blood that I can think of. The game is positive, as you free
innocent hostages and knock out enemies of worldwide peace and the
United Nations, including Irishmen, Belgians, Aussies, Africans, and
Arabs, promoting racial diversity of slaughter. You do use many weapons,
but men are limited unless you want to play with poor characters,
punishing carelessness with handling human lives. Also, the game
rewards planning, a positive educational feature to help build a productive
member of society. No Littleton scapegoats here, Tipsy.
1. The computer characters I programmed sticking on to walls and beams.
2. The computer characters I programmed standing dumbly like a statue.
3. The short gamespan of merely 12 levels.
4. The turtle-like speed of the operatives.
Overall: 88 out of 100
If you own a computer, buy the computer game. If not, this game is definitely
not for a kid 10 or below, who would be bored by the long planning phases
and exasperated by the realism of one-shot-death. A solid title, only a
heartbeat or two from a classic.