Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
TEEN, Animated Blood, Animated Violence
ALSO AVAILABLE ON
TRAITS (member-attributed "LIKES")
THE SETTING #USES
PLAYING AS #USES
PLAYING AGAINST #USES
HOW IT'S PLAYED #USES
GENERAL TONE #USES
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Covert Ops Essentials continues the popular squad-based, first-person shooter series that began in 1998. The original spawned the Eagle Watch mission pack, which was followed by Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear in 1999 and another mission pack, Urban Ops. The stand-alone, two-CD Covert Ops Essentials offers nine new levels, solo and multiplayer missions, and lessons in terrorism, counter-terrorism, and covert operations.
The Training CD, while not mandatory to gameplay, presents expert advice and techniques in seven areas: CT Forces, Historical Operations, Gear, Tactics, Intel, Psych, and Future. Completing all training areas successfully earns you seven medals and the rank of Commander. After familiarization with the Core Navigation Interface, you enter Officer Candidate School where you explore topics; establish a dossier; view articles, images, and video interviews; access the database; and get tested with multiple choice and image-based questions.
The emphasis in Mission CD gameplay is on long planning phases followed by brief, short strikes to carry out the task at hand. Three full missions take the form of a hostage rescue in the Bolivian jungle, finding and bugging a satellite at an Arctic research base, and a no-holds-barred extermination quest of terrorists who have taken over a United States missile silo. Six smaller maps offer unrelated missions at domestic sites like a hospital and trailer park.
Single-player planning sessions require study of rosters and specialty skills (assault, demolitions, electronics, grenades, sniper, and stealth), profile traits (aggression, leadership, self-control, and stamina), and kit selections. Movement plotting, speed, rules of engagement, and special actions must be considered during the planning phase in preparation for the action phase.
Multiplayer action offers cooperative and competitive play with adversarial, survival, team survival, scattered teams, terrorist hunt, scatter hunt, assassination, scatter assassination, save your base, double bluff, stronghold, and double stronghold game types. Cooperative mode allows teams of up to eight players to work together with the computer assigning AI-controlled operatives when and where necessary.
As in previous Rainbow Six games, missions can be customized by difficulty level (recruit, veteran or elite) and number of terrorists (1-50). Game types include assault, lone wolf, terrorist hunt, hostage rescue, defend, and reconnaissance, though missions must be unlocked in the single-player campaign prior to practice in custom mode.
Considered by some as a hands-on tutorial in terrorism as much as an anti-terrorism tool by others, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Covert Ops Essentials may well disappoint veterans of the series with the relatively short campaigns and missions. Newcomers to the genre (and series in particular) will find the training CD a valuable source of learning in terms of techniques, covert operations language, and planning prior to field action. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide