A good game that really felt like it belonged on the PC
Rainbow Six 3 on the Xbox was the first time I ever played a 'tactical' shooter. I wasn't disappointed, but I can't say I was impressed either.
First things first, I thought the story sucked. The whole oil crisis in Venezuela thing just felt crappy, and probably ranks as one of the worst storyline ever. Just keep those for movies not for games.
Getting into the gameplay department, I liked the fact that I could choose a whole bunch of guns but what use is this if 2 or 3 of them dominate? I would I want to use the MAC10 instead of the M16? I guess that if you want to use lesser guns you can but if you just want to get through a stage there's few reasons why you wouldn't choose the best guns, thus greatly limiting your options. Also, the game really feels like it belongs on the PC only for the Mouse control. It requires so much precision that playing with a controller cannot feel anything but awkward.
They also give you the choice of giving orders to your team via the Xbox live headset which is a nice touch but unfortunately doesn't work well since your voice doesn't always register right which means your teammates won't react, which can be disastrous in an heated firefight. It works better to just use button commands instead.
Graphically this game probably looked beautiful 2 years ago but today it looks extremely bland. Only thing that's remotely cool are the shadows and you really don't see them much. I think I saw somewhere that it uses the splinter cell graphical engine..if it does it clearly doesn't use it to its best effect that's for sure.
The sound does the trick, although there's like only two music tracks in the whole game which kinda sucks. The voices are alright but they're not the focus of the game. Gunfire and grenade explosions sound dead on (not that I've ever heard a grenade explode mind you).
The single player portion of the game is rather long, almost entirely because of its trial and error gameplay. Now that's not a knock on the game, that's how it should be done, it's just not the kind of game where you can get through a whole level without dying. You need to memorize the location of your enemies before going through them which takes a while. There is three difficulty levels and the game is hard on the easiest one so imagine. For me it took a while to actually grasp the concept of the tactical shooter. I've played and finished many traditional FPS's in my video gaming life but I clearly had a hard time fitting the mold of RS3, but I eventually did almost halfway through the game.
The multiplayer mode is rather strange. I've played Counter-Strike for 2 years and I thought that was as realistic as I could deal with for me and RS3 goes over the edge, you die in seconds if someone sees you. It is multiplayer gaming at its cruelest, but if you like that that's your thing, I didn't play much of it :)
I got RS3 in the bargain bin and I clearly don't regret my choice, and it made me interested enough about the series that I would buy other games in the genre if I also find them in the bin. However, I would never pay full price for one of those, yet.