Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 PlayStation 2
by Ubi Soft Entertainment
Developed by Red Storm Entertainment
Released: Out Now
Late last year we reviewed Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 for Xbox and it was a great game both offline and online. Now finally the game has arrived on PlayStation 2 and I'm sure that PlayStation 2 gamers have been looking forward to the games release, especially as they had a long time to read the glowing reviews of the Xbox version. Of course the big question is how well has the game translated to the PlayStation 2? There is also a question as to how good the online element of the game is. After all when we looked at Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm it was disappointing to see the smaller amount of players that could take part in a game compared to the number that could participate in the Xbox version of Ghost Recon: Island Thunder.
Rainbow Six 3 puts you in the shoes of Ding Chavez, the top man at Rainbow. The game is set in the year 2007. America is caught in an embargo which has led to an oil crisis and to make matters worse American citizens have become a target for terrorist attacks. Venezuela, which has been providing the US with oil has also been targeted for terrorist attacks. It's a nightmare of a problem and it's up to Rainbow to sort out the mess whilst keeping civilian casualties to an absolute minimum. In all there are 15 single player missions (and a choice of 3 difficulty levels) and any mission that has been completed can be played again in the custom mission mode. You've probably noticed that that's one more single player mission than the Xbox version had and according to the official website it's a Tom Clancy approved mission set in Italy.
If you've played the Xbox version of Rainbow Six 3 the first thing you'll notice is the look of the game on the PlayStation 2. To be honest it's simply not as good as the Xbox version but it's not bad and is definitely good enough as to not spoil the game. The games' single player missions have been shortened but you'll only notice this difference if you've played Xbox version. Rather more detrimental to the game are the dips in frame rate that can occur. When using a flash grenade the frame rate can go into single figures for a few seconds, which can prove deadly if you happen to be caught in the firing line. The Xbox version also allowed you to make 3 temporary quicksaves during a mission and you could save at any point you liked, so if things did go pear shaped you could simply return to your last quicksave. That's not possible in the PlayStation 2 version and you get predetermined quicksave points, which trigger a pause lasting for a few seconds.
Aside from the Campaign there are Custom Missions, Online games, Split Screen and Training modes. The big difference here is the Split Screen mode which has replaced the System Link mode on the Xbox version. Split Screen mode allows two players to play through the campaign missions co-operatively. Whilst this is a nice touch it's obvious that corners have again had to be cut as you'll see no weapon models represented on screen, simply the cross-hair. If one player bites the dust then the other player must continue on his/her own until the end of the mission. While we're on the topic of cutting corners only six players can play in online games which again is poorer than the Xbox version which supported up to 16 players.
In terms of deaf gamer friendliness it's pretty much the same as the Xbox version. The cutscenes aren't subtitled but this isn't really a problem because the mission briefing is given in text and in truth it provides more detail than the cutscenes. Your onscreen map doesn't show the locations of your enemies, which is realistic but this makes it more difficult for deaf gamers. Your men will warn you if an enemy is behind you but there are no subtitles for these warnings and the first you'll know of it is when a bullet flies past you. As you can imagine this is going to increase the difficulty for deaf gamers. It isn't so much of a problem in the open spaces because you can switch to your thermal vision and use the scope on your weapon to spot enemies from a good distance away but when indoors this isn't such a viable precaution to take. The training mode is subtitled, which is most welcome. Although the game supports voice commands, you can still issue orders with the X button (zulu commands with the L1).
Once again we have a Tom Clancy game that's arrived on PlayStation 2 that has suffered a downgrade to meet the technical limitations of the PlayStation 2. Shorter levels, less gamers in the online games and poorer graphics (not to mention a problematic frame rate) are the tell tale signs that the console needed major alterations in order to be able to cope. That's not taking a swipe at the PlayStation 2 though because when you look at a game that has been designed with the PlayStation 2 in mind, such as SOCOM II, you can see that the console is capable of so much more. However if you haven't played a previous version of Rainbow Six 3 most of the above complaints won't mean anything and you'll be unaware of what an accomplished title the game was on Xbox or the fact that you're playing, by far, the poorest version of the game.
Game Rating: 6.5/10
Only worth considering if you can't get the game on PC or Xbox. The PlayStation 2 version, whilst still an above average game, is the poorest of the bunch.
There are some problems but it's still possible to play the game.