Review: Rainbow Six
Requirements: 200 MHz 604 or faster, 64 MB free RAM, 275 MB free hard disk space, OpenGL, and Rage Pro or better.
Most of you have probably heard about Rainbow Six. For those who haven’t, Rainbow Six is an anti-terrorist game by mastermind Tom Clancy. It is a mixture between action and strategy, with more emphasis on planning than blunt killing.
Immediately upon opening the box, Rainbow Six appeared to be an excellent game, especially considering that it had been postponed for so long. The manual seems very solid. There are three installation choices. For those of us with less room, there is a 65 MB version. For those who have gigs free, you can install the entire game at a decent 475 MB. Both installations run fine as long as your CD drive is 8x or higher, although the full install is smoother for online gaming than the small install.
Now for those of you who tried the demo and weren’t satisfied, I understand what you were feeling. Not only did it leave me feeling the game required some serious additions to make it good, but it totally neglected one of the most amazing facets of Rainbow Six: multiplayer capability. The full game is much better for the single player than the demo portrayed, and not only runs well, but has interesting storylines and levels with incredibly complex graphics, from the inner workings of Big Ben, to an amusement park area.
However, in my opinion, Rainbow Six’s true arena is the net. Whether on a LAN or the Internet, it is an intense and quick paced adventure. You can access any level of the game for a multiplayer scenario and even play against computerized terrorists. In both the multiplayer and single player versions, the weaponry and technical gadgetry one has to choose from are enough to satisfy any military aficionado, and they can be worked into any situation, whether it be in an assault or sniper job.
Another great thing about the game is its quickness on my modem: unfortunately, at home I only run a 56K modem, but I have been able to host games with minimal lag and join games hosted by cable or ISDN machines with no lag at all.
By itself, Rainbow Six is a very solid game with good graphics and decent AI for the computerized opponents, but the Mac version also has come packaged with the expansion pack Eagle Watch. This not only continues the original game with new levels and weaponry, but adds them to the multiplayer as well, allowing for hours on end of varied and intense missions.
Overall, I give Rainbow Six a rating of Very Nice. The only thing I found troubling was the manual’s lack of instructions for setting up a two or three computer LAN. I had to make up my own TCP settings with help from a friend in order to get it to run over my Ethernet. If you enjoy fast paced single player action with a large amount of control, or an intense multiplayer experience, Rainbow Six is the game for you.