“Happiness, is a warm gun…” Review

“Happiness, is a warm gun…”

If only our dear departed Mr. Lennon knew just how right he was. Just one

thing: shoot it very, very quietly. You don’t want to alert the others to their

imminent peril.


is a game that all of us, I suppose, have been waiting for. A game that

seems so idiomatic, so obvious, that it is almost puzzling that it took so long

to get here. A game of realistic, commando style combat.

You control the elite, ultra secret, multilateral, anti-terrorist unit, Rainbow

Six. It is a force composed of the best, most skilled anti-terrorist operatives

of all the nations who participate and receive its protection.

You are assigned a mission. You read all the intel. You assemble your strike

team out of the pool of operatives. You give them weapons, items and armor.

You break down your operatives into teams (max 8 operatives, up to 4 teams).

You assign each team objectives and waypoints on a map of your mission. Finally

you jump into one of the team leaders’ bodies and play the most intense first

person action strategy game ever created.

You see, much like real life, in this game one shot is very, very lethal. (Take

heed, Quake junkies!) Even if you are wearing the heaviest body armor, you wont

survive one shot to the head or more than 2 to any other area, especially if

your enemy is using a heavy machine gun like an M-16 or a CAR-16. To add to

the peril, if one of your operatives dies, they are gone for the duration of

the game and you may have to use inferior reserve operatives.

This makes you truly fear for your safety. Sweat beads and tension builds as

you turn each corner. Restrict your urge to constantly hold down the trigger

in the pathetic hope that by the time you see your opponent he will already

be dead. More likely you will jump like a startled rabbit when you fail to see,

aim at, or eliminate your terrorist enemy, and he puts a bullet through your

soft, fleshy, and mortally frail body.

The game plays much like other first-person action games. You control you operative

either with the keyboard or a combination of mouse and keyboard as in Quake

or Jedi Knight. The main difference is that while

you only occupy one operative at a time (you may switch between teams and team

members) you still have control over the other teams.

In the planning stage you can give the others a waypointed battle plan with

4 go points at which they will wait until you tell them to proceed. It is absolutely

essential that you plan your strategy well. Very often stealth is required.

If hostages are present, then the terrorists must be taken out quickly and quietly

so that the other guarding the hostages don’t get freaked and splatter their

hostages’ mental muttons.

The weapons and equipment in the game are all real world and quite authentic.

They include such powerhouses as the M-16 or CAR-15, lightweight silent killers

like the HK MP5SD5 and HK MP5-A2, side-arms like the old dependable 9MM Barrette

92F, and the usual assortment of flashbangs, frag grenades, lockpics, and other

tasty toys. Each operative is assigned a primary weapon, a secondary sidearm,

and then there are 2 equipment slots that may be filled with either tools, grenades,

flashbangs, or extra ammo.

Using D3D,

the graphics are also roughly equivalent to Quake 2

or Jedi Knight. The texture maps are good and lend a

feel of authenticity to the game, as does the modeling of the environments.

There are some nice colored lighting effects to make you go gaga over, although

they only effect the environment, not the characters. The units in the game

are molded well, if a little bit angular. However, the character animation present

in this game is second to none, the human commandos in the game move, shoot,

and breathe so convincingly that you’d swear they are moving, shooting, breathing,

and for the moment, living humans.

The multiplayer is incredible. Just try to imagine a LAN party in which you

break up into teams of 4, plan your strategy carefully, select your equipment,

meticulously plan out how you will provide cover for each other, and finally

get into the game and get your ass kicked by the team who thought a little smarter

than you. This game really shines over a network but, alas, as you can probably

guess, the netgames aren’t quite as spectacular when you are playing with blokes

10,000 miles away from you.

So, what could possibly be wrong with the game? It gives you intense, tense

action. It gives you incredible multiplayer. It gives you realistic weapons

and equipment. It gives you sweet graphics and environments. Sounds nice huh?

Well, it has two nagging flaws.

First, grenades do not do enough damage to the environments. That’s pretty


Second, the AI has some problems. Think of a corner: there are your boys and

girls running towards it about to make the turn, there is a terrorist around

the corner with an AK-47 who mows them down in succession as each one blindly

runs into his line of fire. It makes you wish that your AI squadmates would

have enough sense to deal with this problem intelligently after the first one

was whacked. Also, it forces you to go back to the planning phase and even more

closely tune the paths of your naive squadmates. While it is nice to have such

precise control over the others in your battle scarred team, it would certainty

add to the authenticity of this game if they weren’t so damn stupid.

This is simply one of the coolest games ever to grace a monitor screen. The

action is intense, the feel is authentic, and the multiplayer is great. Hell,

I’ve already told you this, so just get out there and strike a blow for god,

country, and the love of shooting human beings with hollow-point ammo.

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