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Game Over Online ~ Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear

GameOver Game Reviews - Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear (c) Redstorm, Reviewed by - Wolf

Game & Publisher Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear (c) Redstorm
System Requirements Pentium 166, 32MB Ram
Overall Rating 78%
Date Published Monday, October 11th, 1999 at 08:09 PM


Divider Left By: Wolf Divider Right

Rogue Spear is the second game based on Tom Clancy’s book “Rainbow 6”. The original game was met with mixed responses, being one of the first to attempt to simulate properly and realistically, a small commando group. One fault of the original though, was the fact that your highly intelligent commando like elite warriors of the world could be foiled by all the cunning and intelligence of a desk, unable to get around it due to some small but basic flaws in the AI. Now they have had a while to polish up their engine and AI, and Rogue Spear arrives on the scene to attempt to make it all better.

The storyline: Games based around elite commando dudes kicking everybody’s butt usually don’t involve a very large amount of storyline to justify the killing frenzy. But Rogue Spear being a “realistic” simulation portrays a vain attempt by the Russian Mafia to cross over the borders and become an evil new menace threatening the world. The elite Rainbow 6 team was therefore formed to combat this new Mafia crisis.

The graphics for Rogue Spear are almost no different from Rainbow 6. Perhaps some slight polishing here and there, though it is barely noticeable. 3D support is paramount, as the Software mode runs horrifically even on a 350Mhz system. The models are nicely done, looking pretty convincing, though the pain skins are a tad tame. Shooting a person in the head twice with a Barret Sniper Rifle merely produces two red blobs, making your massive anti-equipment .50 caliber sniper rifle looking merely like an elaborate paintball gun. The animations played when actually shot do look rather convincing; in fact Redstorm decided their graphics engine was good enough to make the cut-scenes played out using the in-game engine.

Redstorm have really done their stuff on the weapon research. The weapons all have the appropriate noises when fired, and the bad guys have the following dying, sometimes screaming in agony noises. All of the briefings have the voices there for every single person, though you tend to start reading and then continuing on while the voice is still halfway through. The music in Rogue Spear serves to unwittingly raise the tension, a quiet eerie music you hear in the movies just as somebody is sneaking about the place and is about to get attacked/killed.

The interface is exactly the same in Rogue Spear as its predecessor, though there was no need to change it as it worked fine. There is still the essential “planning” phase where you have an overhead map of your combat zone and have to plan the routes of your teams. But if you don’t feel like wasting half an hour of your time making absolutely miserable plans, you can just choose to load the HQ’s plan, which are at least acceptable. You get to choose your team members, and then the best part, which is the gearing up. There have been a few new additions to the arsenal in Rogue Spear; most noticeably are the sniper rifles. The WA 2000, Barret and PSG-1 are the new sniper rifles in Rogue Spear, though there doesn’t seem to be a very noticeable difference between them (as barrets don’t tear peoples bodies and heads apart as their supposed to, instead you still get those paintballs). So now you can have some team member in a strategic position as a sniper, which can work very nicely sometimes. Although most of the time they are just meant to be used to take out one measly guy pointing a gun at a hostage’s head.

The Missions are still as hard, if not harder, than the original Rainbow 6. Although out of the 18 missions the difficulty can fluctuate rather a lot between them. The one new addition here is that you can now fight in snow area’s, along with your Eskimo clad commando pals. Now that I’ve listed some of the good new things, let’s get on to the rather poor things. The fact of the matter is that the AI is still crap. On Mission 2 the problems starting showing up already, time after time again, my Blue Team managed to completely kill itself at different spots on the route. The team I was controlling would do their job fine without a single loss, but never able to finish the mission as the other team got its butt kicked in minutes. Taking control of this Blue Team instead to try and get them to complete their route resulted in the Red Team getting their butts kicked. And then suddenly, it all works. Both teams make it to the end point with only one wounded, and why? No apparent reason. Perhaps its realistic that the team dies 6 times in a row and then suddenly snaps out of it and does the job properly, but it gets really frustrating. Then on Mission 15, you suddenly pass the whole mission first time off - it all suddenly works.

So the whole game is like that, the difficulty curve has been cast away, and “chance” is tossed in. As you play, more of this becomes apparent. Sometimes when you enter a room, a bad guy will instantly fire at you and shoot you. If your lucky and the game decides not to reincarnate you into the 2nd person a second before he is about to be shot, then you can try again, but sometimes a bad guy is just far to fast with lightning fast reflexes. At other times though, you will be mowing down bad guys piling out of a door, when you suddenly run out of ammo. The rest of your teammates are busy scratching their crotch, and are unable to fire, so you desperately hit reload. The bad guy approaches, and does nothing. Absolutely nothing. The complete idiot will just stand there and do nothing, until perhaps after 10 seconds of intense studying, he vainly lifts his gun and gets shot. A bad guy standing just around the corner can wipe out an entire team, as he shoots the team members one by one as they come round the corner, and every single team member fails to notice there is someone shooting the partner in front of him. These are just a few examples of the complete load of crap called the AI. Once you can get past this huge brick wall of a hurdle, you will find that the whole mission layouts are usually rather poor too. The maps are always original and very well designed, but the setup makes them all the same. The problem is the AI again. When hostages are in the area, it is imperative to kill any terrorists you see so they cannot sound the alarm (so the briefings says). And this is true in some cases, where if a terrorist near the hostages spots you, he will shoot the hostages, but If you say, shoot some terrorist in the arm who lets out an agonizing scream, nothing happens. You’d think that perhaps the other terrorists might hear something, but they don’t. So every hostage mission involves you reaching the hostage area, shooting all and sunder, and shooting all terrorists near the hostages, then shooting some new bad guys which appear out of nowhere as you walk back. There is no need to ever be silent as all the bad guys are completely deaf. Pity.

Then we get on to the worst aspect of the game, Multiplayer. Rogue Spear can happily boast it has about the worst multiplayer code ever conceived since Unreal. This complete load of toss happily see’s you being lagged out by more than a few minutes to a server which has a ping of perhaps 500. Attempting to run it across the LAN results in numerous crashes, with some computers even unable to get past the “multiplayer” screen without seizing up and dying. I have no doubt it could be a lot of fun once you get into the game, though its hard to decide when I am unable to even attempt to test it due to the numerous problems.

To sum it all up, I would call this game an overpriced Rainbow 6 expansion. It offers some new guns, snow terrain, and 18 new missions. The AI is absolutely shocking and destroys most of the game, the multiplayer code is absolutely worthless, and all the weapons come off looking like mere paintball guns. Through all this though, shines the charm of Rogue Spear. The well-researched guns and nice death animations make up for some, but not all flaws.

 

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Rating
78%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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