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In Rogue Spear, players once again assume command of an elite counter-terrorist group known as RAINBOW and guide them through a dynamic campaign filled with nerve-wracking missions, such as rescuing hostages from a museum and infiltrating a hijacked airliner. Like its predecessor, Rogue Spear uses an elaborate pre-mission planning screen to assign routes and duties to each team member. During the mission, the intensity level and graphical splendour rise exponentially. Rogue Spear eschews typical first-person shooter elements like health packs and armour power-ups; the real-world weapons ensure that one whizzing bullet could be the last thing you see. Tense, strategic missions, various multiplayer options, and a mission editor create one of the most engrossing game experiences around. --Doug Radcliffe
Game scenarios are huge, attention to detail is fantastic and strategy, suspense and action are all present in abundance. Whether you work alone, with computer-assisted teams or online with friends or foes, thrills are guaranteed! I was not aware of any possible connection difficulty for online gaming and with a 56K modem I can join in and even host a multi-player game online without a hitch. Possibly the best game I have ever owned.
Rainbow Six was the new kid in town when it hit the software shelves and stormed the first person shooter/tactical team strategy market in 1998. Rogue Spear continues the nice blend of intelligent tactics and quick and brutal action while adding intensity to this top-notch counter-terrorism team combat sim. As with the original game, you'll lead the RAINBOW team of "cream-of-the-crop" multi-national soldiers against two powerful terrorist organizations. Life or death missions will take you to real world settings across the globe, including hotspots like Kosovo, a Jumbo Jet airplane hijacking and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The game includes 18 single player missions. Of course all of the training missions have been kept and updated a bit as well. In single player mode you'll need to take down terrorists, or "tangos" while saving all of the hostages to continue successfully to the next mission. Expanded gameplay options include a terrific "lone wolf" mode where you enter the game as the sole operative and must make it safely to the extraction point while taking out any Tangos in your way. Terrorist hunt mode is for those who prefer to have a straight up fight with no hostages to worry about. Jut get in there and shoot anything that moves, except your teammates of course. These modes of play are available after successfully completing the standard single player mode missions.
Graphics have been improved to the point where I woke up in the middle of the night with a vision of "tangos down" on my block. This game will keep you up at night. The ambient sound and music are the best I've heard in a game of any kind. They fit perfectly and do not intrude. You'll notice things like footsteps getting louder as a tango approaches to investigate or patrol your area. The variation in rain volume and footsteps in the snow are simply stunning. The sound team should win some award for this aspect of the game. The same goes for the musical score which helps create the stunningly tense environment. The above mentioned rain and snow effects are visually impressive as well. New features include new weapons and even a sniper mode. You can even select your ammo--full metal jacket or hollow point. The tangos' artificial intelligence has been bumped up too. Play the game on the hardest difficulty setting, or elite level, and the tangos will come out to investigate any little sound. Tangos are very smart and accurate making for a more challenging game. Try playing without auto-targeting for an even greater challenge.
RS is a blast in multiplayer, too, if you've got a reliable connection. My first six or seven attempts were miserable failures due to technical difficulties and not my own ineptness. My PC locked up or the game itself lagged to the point where play was just not worth the trouble. Multiplayer gamers with 56K connections must be patient to work through these issues and they will be rewarded. There is nothing like random teams and random maps. My first few kills were very thrilling and because of the depth of multiplayer options this game will have great staying power. One negative, though...I found it pretty difficult to get a steady game going with my 56K modem but that should change soon when I jump to DSL. New multiplayer features include arm patches which help distinguish teams. Another new feature is the expanded weapon choices. All weapons seem to more closely mirror real-life performance. The new sniper mode is a standout. Sniper rifles have a longer range and you have the ability to remotely control a sniper's go codes in real time. Snipers have a much bigger role in Rogue Spear than in Red Storm's earlier releases of Rainbow Six and the mission pack. In fact, there were no dedicated snipers in either of the earlier Red Storm releases. Kit restrictions allow a host to limit the game to certain weapons, armor and tools giving the game a great deal of flexibility and adding plenty of replay value. More detailed statistics are also a welcome addition to the package.
One thing I must mention as a negative is the mission editor. There is no support or help function available and programming a mission is not very intuitive. Red Storm would do well to add an FAQ regarding the editor on their web site. This was most disappointing. On the plus side, I have already seen custom maps on the Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone from several gamers.
Overall, this is an exciting and tense game which will reward you with many, many hours of fun. It is very much like its older cousin but has quite a few new coats of paint to keep your interest. If you've had fun with Delta Force, Hidden and Dangerous or the original Rainbow Six, you're going to love this game. Go get it.
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