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Product: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six : Rogue Spear
Company: Red Storm Entertainment
Website: Http://www.redstorm.com/rogue_spear
Estimated Street Price: 35/$55
Review By: Alex Harris

The Features

The next in the series by Tom Clancy's company, Red Storm Entertainment is a lot like its predecessor, but has some important and useful changes in it that players from the original Rainbow 6 asked for, but more of that later on. In the year 2001 the Russians have taken control of a lot of their neighbouring countries and is a power to be reckoned with. Terrorism has gone through the roof and there is a crack team of elitist from around the world that are there to deal with these terrorists. This select company is called Rainbow 6.  Here are some of the new features:

  • Replay feature allowing players to record a mission and then watch the action from the perspective of any member on the team.
  • Full new sniper support: sniper team member specialists, sniper weapons and special planning & action phase controls for snipers
  • Improved team AI will assist with preventing stuck or crowded team members in tight spaces
  • New weapons and special items
  • Multi-player arm patch to help distinguish team members
  • Greater and more varied responses from terrorists and hostages
  • Fantastic new wound effects with characters and damage effects with objects
  • Improved special effects with grenades, weapons, and flashbangs
  • Weather effects including snow & rain
  • Move while crouched and peek around corners
  • Joystick support

Installation & Settings

When you start the game up you are asked if you would like to install the game, and as with most games these days you can install it without any glitches. Once installed it is a good idea to head through the Start Menu to where the icons are in the Programs section to Configure Rogue Spear. In the Configuration setting you can decide what Graphics Card and What Sound card to use. After configuring the game you can start the game properly and after the normal video introductions to get you in the mood of the game you are given a list of selections. These selections are as follows:

  • Single Player - Single Person game taking you through all 36 missions

  • Multiplayer - Lets you play on the internet

  • Training - Several training missions to help you become familiar to the game

  • Options - Lets you change settings, for example the resolution, controls, sound etc.

  • Replays - You can view previous missions you have done as a spectator and through the eyes of any of your team.

  • Quit - Lets you leave the game

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Gameplay

In the game you can play the head of one of the up to 8 that you can send in to deal with these different factions that appear in the game. This game is similar to Hidden and Dangerous, but has some significant differences in it to the aforementioned game. Those being that you can take up to 8 people into "battle" rather than the up to 4 that can be used in each mission in H&D. In Rainbow 6 you also use the planning stage a lot more extensively than you did in Hidden and Dangerous. In Rainbow 6 you have the option to use the HQ plan, or design one yourself. Unless you know the level very well I have found it a good option to go with the HQ plan to start off with, just to see where the pitfalls may lie, for example hidden snipers and terrorists hiding around the corner. It may take you a few goes to get each level complete without to much or no loss of life, but instead of being frustrated by the game, it urges you on to try that little bit harder to complete the level. Another good feature in the game that seemed to be overlooked in H&D (I refer to Hidden and Dangerous a lot because it is one of the few good games out there that is similar to Rogue Spear) is the fact that you can play an observer and watch to see how the plan goes and where it can be tweaked for optimum impact. 

As I mentioned previously, there have been a lot of features that the players have asked for. One of the main benefits is the make the hallways that little bit wider, so you didn't have the "bottleneck" problems that occurred in the first game. The AI for the enemies and your soldiers have been improved as well in the sense that they will move out of the way if you try and get past them.  One improvement that could be added is to have the AI soldiers look about a bit when they go past things like doorways. There has been a lot of times when I have had a team of 4 soldiers walk past a doorway and then to have them shot down, or have a team walk down the street and not look up to see a sniper behind them sniping them off one by one. Besides that little annoyance the in game AI is great. 

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Graphics, Sound & Music

Even though the graphics in Rogue Spear in no way match those in games like Unreal Tournament or Quake III, the graphics are good. It is one of those things that you overlook because you are so immersed in the game wondering where the next terrorist will pop out from and start shooting you. While playing the game the effects of rain have been put to great use and add a lot of atmosphere to the game, one example being the 4th mission that takes place in Kosovo. The sounds in this game have been put to good use as well letting you hear the gunshots in the distance and also the listening to guards or terrorists talking from around the corner, it gives you a feel for how many people you might be up against. Since there is no music in the actual game itself, the music used during the briefing section is very good. It does remind you a bit of the music that is in Armageddon the movie, well at least I think it is. 

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Multiplayer

There is the ability to play Rogue Spear via an Intranet/Network with only a properly configured TCP/IP connection at 28.8 Kbps or faster needed, but at the time of review this hadn't been tested. 

Final Comments

How It Grades
Originality: 85%
Gameplay: 92%
Story: 89%
Graphics: 85%
Cutscenes: 50%
Sound: 82%
Music: 85%
Interface: 90%
Multiplayer: N/A
Overall: 88%

This game has many improvements over the original and if you are a fan of the Hidden and Dangerous genre then this game is right up your street. This game is fun, difficult in places, but not impossible, but has the right combination of difficulty and fun included in the game. At the time of this review the American patch had been released to take the version up to 2.04. For us in Europe the European version is due out around November 25th. Both of these patches can be found at the Rogue Spear Official Homepage.

 

Overall Score 88%
Version Reviewed Version 1.00
Release Date Out Now (Worldwide)
In The Box? 1 CD
1 Set of instructions
1 Reference Card
The Good Points Good Story
Improved Interface
Good Music & Sound Effects
The Bad Points Graphics are not as good as they could be
The Ai could be improved slightly
Reviewers PC Setup Pentium III 450
Windows 98 Second Edition
240 Meg SD-Ram
Matrox G400 32MB AGP Graphics Card
Voodoo 2 - 8mb
DirectX 7
SoundBlaster Live! Platinum
19" LG Daytek Monitor
Microsoft Force Feedback Pro
Microsoft Game Pad Pro (USB)
Microsoft Digital Sound System 80
Microsoft Intellimouse
Memorex CD-RW 6x2x2

DVD Setup: Hitachi DVD-ROM - 32x

PC Required Pentium 233
32-MB RAM
150 MB HD Space (non compressed)
4x CD-ROM
4 MB PCI Video Card (16-bit color, Direct X compatible)
16-bit DirectX compatible soundcard
Win-compatible Mouse
Windows 95/98/NT 4.0

 

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