The faulty artificial intelligence doesn’t stop with your back-up; it’s blatant throughout the game in every single computer controlled character. The enemies are especially bad; rarely paying attention to what’s going on around them. You can shoot a guy right in front of two other enemies and they won’t bat an eye, it’s as if they didn’t notice their colleague hit the ground or hear the loud sound of my gun firing. Years ago I would have put up with this kind of shoddy programming, but in 2004 there’s just no excuse for poor artificial intelligence.
The levels themselves are good, if not a bit on the simple side. Many of the levels are straight forward corridor challenges, with you ordering your team to blow up doors and find the fastest way to your objective. While there are usually a couple of paths your team can take to complete each task, it’s pretty linear when compared to games like Hitman or Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.
Rainbow Six 3 actually suffers from a lot of the problems that plagued the original Splinter Cell, namely its trial and error game play. It’s common for you to have to play through a level a few times just to learn the location of the enemies. The game is nice enough to give players a check point after tough sections, but you’ll still need to play each part multiple times just to have enough life to complete the mission.
Some missions are gratifying, yet other missions, especially those that require you to sneak around unnoticed, will test every inch of your willingness to endure pain. Though there are a good 15 different missions, none of them really inspired much excitement, and a few are just downright boring.
Part of the problem can be attributed to a general lack of detail found in the indoor environments. Some levels, like the oil refinery or the office building, Crespo Foundation, are nothing more than one colorless background after another. With nothing to set each section apart, these levels combine everything you hate about mazes with the worst aspects of corridor games.
Other levels, like Alcatraz, sound cool, but end up being nothing more than one lifeless tile set after another. To make matters worse, there’s almost nothing to interact with, making the game feel even more unnatural. There is actually so little to see and touch that midway through the seventh level when I accidentally blew-up a vase I had to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. If you’re looking to wow your friends on the power of the PlayStation 2, Rainbow Six 3 may not be the game for you.
That’s not to say the graphics are bad. Yes, the interiors are completely barren, but there are a few moments when the game is really given a chance to shine. The Penthouse and Island Estate feature well defined landscapes with a lot of detail. The characters, everybody from your squad mates to the enemies, all manage to look pretty good. When it needs to, Rainbow Six 3 can be a really pretty game, one that you almost enjoy playing. But just as soon as you’ve been won over, you’re back to another dull corridor level.
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