By WES PLATT
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 5, 1998
ainbow Six, the CD-ROM game based on Tom Clancy's same-titled novel (or is the novel based on the game?) certainly looks impressive.
The concept: Several world governments work together to create an international anti-terrorist squad.
Players assume the role of a strike team leader, charging through a series of increasingly difficult missions to make the world safer from terrorism.
But the game requires more than scrambling room-to-room, tossing flashbang grenades and dropping Tangoes with a silenced assault rifle.
Like Clancy's novel, the game is heavy on technical details.
Players are responsible for studying intelligence reports, picking skilled assault-team members, properly equipping them and meticulously plotting invasive strikes to terminate terrorists with extreme prejudice, rescue hostages or disarm bombs.
Then, before even having much of a chance to take a deep breath, it is time to play assault force commander.
Players are immersed in one of the most complex first-person shoot-'em-ups to date, leading as many as four squads into hostile situations. Remaining in radio contact with other teams, the commander issues go-codes to proceed to predetermined waypoints for the each mission.
Clever strategic planning can mean the difference between glorious success and humiliating failure for the fledgling anti-terrorist squad.
No pressure there.
And once you have stomped the computer opponents, you can match wits with humans via the Internet in multiplayer mode.
The intricacies, painstaking details and increasingly challenging missions of Rainbow Six -- as well as the replayability that comes from the multiplayer option -- certainly make it worth having.
However, the game is not without its weak points.
The mouse/keyboard combination interface can be confusing, and the graphics are not quite up to par with other first-person 3-D games. Bushes, trees, buildings and people look more like cardboard cutouts, and 3-D graphics cards only serve to highlight that shortcoming.
Company: Red Storm Entertainment
Suggested Retail Price: $59
System Requirements: Windows 95, 200 MHz Pentium processor, 16 MB RAM (32 MB recommended), Microsoft compatible mouse, VGA graphics card, Soundblaster sound card, 4-speed CD-ROM