Game: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six (1998)
Platform Played: N64 console and PC
Publisher: Red Storm Entertainment
Developer: Red Storm Entertainment
Based on the book by Tom Clancy
Price: $9.99 on GOG.com for the PC version
Author’s Note: No Images Are My Own. Courtesey of multiple sources including IGN and Moby Games
Rainbow Six (1998) is more than just a game. This game was what got me into paintball, reading Tom Clancy, and furthermore my best friend and I played the N64 version constantly. We adored this game and most people who have played this game have as well.
This game is a historical development as it could be deemed the original first person tactical shooter. In this game you command a counter terror unit of eight men and women who are deployed to exotic locations: the Australian outback, the African rainforest, and locations not so exotic: Idaho.
The player will fight Baader Meinhof inspired terrorists, Irish separatists (N64 verision only), eco terrorists, and a private military company. The player will command an eight person squad compromised of special operations capable soldiers and law enforcement officers in a multinational effort to combat a series of dangerous threats. Their missions are high risk, and this unit: Team RAINBOW is clandestine.
A Counter Terror Tale before 09/11/2001: The terrorists in the second half of the 20th century were quite different than the radical Islamic Fundamentalists that we typically hear of on nightly television trying to undermine western civilization and the free world. No, these terrorists were oftentimes foreign backed, and or controlled by foreign intelligence services. The Baader Meinhof Group and its later reincarnation, the Red Army Faction were two groups that were synonymous with terrorism in the 1970s. Team RAINBOW engages forces similar to these groups in the game, whereas nowadays they’d be chasing the remnants of these groups and ISIS if this unit was in fact real. But that’s neither here nor there. It probably would not exist anyways considering what the UN has turned into. But enough about politics. In a historical sense the game features a level that involves the first printing of the European currency in Brussels, Belgium.
The game’s levels range from the industrial: the mint mentioned above, an embassy, an oil rig, the houses of parliament (N64 version only), a stretch of road along the Australian outback, a freighter in UK waters off of Southhampton. and lastly the Horizon Rainforest 2000 dome, a science fiction atmosphere compared to the other levels in the game. Some levels will have the players donning haz mat suits, heavy body armor, or light armor to take control of the situation and bring order to chaos a la Swat 3 (1999.)
An Immersive Experience: You’ll plan, you’ll read dossiers, you’ll select the loadout for your counter terror team, and you’ll be briefed by John Clark, a few subject matter experts, and you’ll be controlling the characters from the book inside the game: Ding Chavez, Roger McAllen, Eddie Price, and Ayana Jacoby. The only one who is MIA is Oso Vega, the machine gunner. All in all, you’ll be enjoying this excellent masterpiece which is now nineteen years old.
Conclusion: This game is old, but it is a masterpiece. Get yourself a copy at GOG.com and see what made Rainbow Six a fabulous franchise. And it was not a multiplayer function although the N64’s cooperative play was excellent.