Video Game Analysis by Ben Noble

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February 28, 2012 by bnoble6

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3 is a first person tactical shooter that was released from Ubisoft studios on October 28, 2003 for the Xbox. The game was spawned from one of Tom Clancy’s novels under the same name, Rainbow Six. As one would expect, the game’s story shows heavy influences from Tom Clancy. In the campaign, you take control of Ding Chavez, field commander of Team Rainbow, an elite counter-terrorist group responding to a series of terrorist attacks against US interests in South America. However, in true Clancy fashion, it turns out the real mastermind behind the attacks is the newly elected president of Venezuela, Juan Crespo. Crespo is trying to cut off the United States’ supply of Venezuelan oil, creating a crisis, and driving up the price of oil he can then sell to the U.S. on the black market at very inflated prices.

As the cover of the game states, this game is a squad based first person shooter, and failure will come quickly to those who don’t utilize the tactical aspects of their entire squad. Just one wrong move in a split second decision can be the difference between life and death, as only a couple bullets are all the damage it takes to get killed. The 14 campaign missions are relatively straightforward, with linear gameplay requiring the player to go room to room killing any enemies along the way with objectives such as saving the hostages or disarming bombs, but they require a concerted effort among you and your squad mates. In addition to the campaign missions, there is a Terrorist Hunt mode, where the enemies spawn in different random locations every game, adding some fresh replay value to the game. In both of these game modes, you can organize and give orders to your team through a very simple in-game interface that uses the D-pad, or with the game’s voice recognition system that lets the player speak commands into the Xbox Live Communicator with the computer players respond accordingly.

The voice recognition system is something that works very well for this game, only experiencing minor problems with confusing words such as “frag” and “flash.” The voice command system works so well, and provides such an immersive experience with the game, that it is surprising that later games did not try to incorporate this. The in-game characters are communicating to each other via headsets, so why not allow the player themselves to use headsets to communicate with their AI teammates? I think recent first person shooter franchises such as Halo and Call of Duty really missed an opportunity to add this little something extra to the campaign aspect of their games that would have made them more engrossing for the player. This type of technology has seen a recent resurgence with Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move, but the dead period in between is something I find very surprising.

Where this game truly flexes its muscles is in its multiplayer components. The campaign, as well as the special Terrorist Hunt custom missions, can be played cooperatively with groups of four through system link or over Xbox Live. Additionally, you can play multiplayer matches against others up to 8 vs. 8. This online component of Rainbow Six 3 ignited one of the largest competitive gaming arenas console gaming had seen to this point. Casual players used the simple matchmaking system to find leisurely games and temporary enjoyment. However, the most dedicated and skilled players formed clans, where they battled in best of five matches against other clans for the coveted spot on the top of team deathmatch ladders. A single match could last upwards of six hours, as players cautiously peeked around corners, knowing that one bullet or strategically placed grenade could end month’s worth of work for their clan. At the end of every season, a playoff bracket would be generated based on the final ladder standings, with final prizes valued in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. Players in the best clans played together for hours a day, having specific tactics designed for every player on every map that would turn the real Team Rainbow green with envy. This game was so successful on Xbox Live, an Xbox exclusive sequel was released within a year.

Rainbow Six 3 is a game full of offerings that should please those from all along the gaming spectrum. Whether a seasoned veteran of the FPS genre looking for intense competitive action, or a newcomer just trying to save the world before dinner, one will not be disappointed with one of the best games to ever come out for the original Xbox, Rainbow Six 3.

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