" Two words…. KICK ASS! Why do you not already own this game? "
Title: Rouge Spear Series
Reviewing Monkey: Cornelius
The Hype: The much-anticipated sequel to Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Rouge Spear
What This Monkey Thought...Two words…. KICK ASS! Why do you not already own this game? With few bugs and many perks this game is unbelievable. So you’ve read Marcinko’s books and think you’re ready for specwar service? Then you have to play Rouge Spear. Even after you beat the game, you will pick out your favorite maps to play again and again. Besides it is fun to punish wuss boy terrorists by killing them over and over again in new and painful ways.
Graphics: Beautifully crisp, and hauntingly scary. The graphic quality in RS is what draws you into the game to stay. Red storm didn’t miss a beat here, it seems they thought of everything. When terrorists take a double-tap to the head, their limp, cold bodies actually conform to the terrain they fall on. What this means my little chimps is that video-game rigor mortis is finally cured. When the lead does start flying characters react to where they are hit and there are a plethora of death animations, which adds endless hours of amusement if you are a twisted little Monkey like myself, and I know you are. Bullet holes and bloodstains appear where you hit the tangos as well, and yes, you will see buckshot damage from the shotguns. The map textures and character skins are great, and really suck you in. When shots are fired and miss the characters will look around for the shooter, you can see your teammates breathing heavily under fire, and footprints in the snow and mud. The only feature missing, and this is a small gripe, is destructible environments. You can leave bullet holes in many things, but it will stay standing no matter what you do to it. Red Storm thought of it all, plan on many sleepless and lonely nights after you buy these, oh wait, none of you has a life anyway, so just plan on being grumpy for work the next morning. 5 out of 5
Sound: Red Storm did a fair job here. A player could definitely tell the difference from double-aught buck and an M-16, and that is cool. You may never see the guy who slaughtered your team, but you’ll know that he pumped 7.62x39 from an AK-47 into you. The most glaring flaw here is that A3D is not included. How this was overlooked I don’t know, but it was. RS is a game more than any other that needs A3D, but alas, it is nowhere to be found. For those who haven’t been paying attention this means that although you may hear footsteps of impending doom, you don’t know if the are to your left or right or behind you. Often this is the difference between a Monkey who lives to the extraction point to hurl bananas another day and a Monkey whose innards end up as warm pasty goo on the side of a building. Kinda frustrating but only detracts from the game a little. 4 out of 5
Game Play: : Quit your job, dump your girlfriend, say goodbye to family and friends (unless they come over to network game) and turn out the lights. You may never stop playing this game. This game absolutely invades your psyche. Hearty chuckles can usually be heard in the GM offices as we watch our editor actually leans his head to try and "peek" around the corner of his monitor because he "just knows" there is some one out of view. (Hey, I never claimed we were intelligent, just smart enough to hurt ourselves) There are so many times in this game when you panic-fire, and there is nothing cooler than playing on a LAN and hearing 10 twelve gauge round being pumped out furiously into some poor tango who walked around the wrong corner. And you will frequently hear your buddies, and probably yourself (although you won’t admit it), scream like little girls when a room that was clear seconds ago is suddenly filled with middle eastern men with uni-brows intent on remodeling your chest with hollow point rounds.
The game is based on the real life Seal Team Six and consists of a mission, usually rescuing hostages, planning the attack and/or extraction and taking your eight men to execute said plan. At its heart RS is a FPS, what sets it apart however is the realism. You would never call Quake 3 a simulation, and this is definitely the side that RS is on. Get used to the fact that often it only takes one round to kill (both you and the terrorists). No, you may not continually get shot in the face, live, and then go around a corner and pick up health and armor, and be as good as new. You’ve got one life, and sometimes it is rather short. That is why this game is fun. It flies in the face of conventional FPSs and beats them like a redheaded stepchild.
Of course we hear at the GM office have come up with some flaws, and it just wouldn’t be right of me to keep them inside. Keep in mind these are minor issues compared to the overall gameplay, but hopefully a Red Storm designer will read this and add them in the next installment. First off, you cannot change your operative in game. So if I have a four-man team, and everyone has M-16s except for the last man who has the sniper rifle, and I find a spot to snipe in, I can’t take control of him. This is kind of frustrating because it limits the usefulness of equipping your squad differently. Second, there are no provisions for on-the-fly planning. When the plan goes fu-bar it would be nice to recall men and form into new teams or re-route them. Third, there is no quick evade. We would love some kind of roll button. It sucks to throw a grenade poorly and then have no quick way to get behind cover, or have someone shooting at you and be stuck in the middle of nowhere. Lastly we want more diversity in the gun selection. This game is all about ballistics and there just are not enough to choose from. True there are some fine mods out there but I always like to see an official release, you never know how buggy a mod is going to be, and it is all trial and error. We Monkeys are busy daily doing exhaustive research, delving deeply into games, and we don’t want to have to think dammit!
Know that investing in these games is more than just the hard-earned money though; it will also take a large chunk of your life as well, but what a way to go. 5 out of 5
Level and Environment Designs: There are so many ways these games pull you in, and level designs are a big one. Each of the three has incredible maps to kill and be killed on. The use of weather and fog are great. Where most games use a perpetual fog to limit sight, RS only uses it when appropriate, and to great effect. So many times I have thought tangos were lurking in the distance, and shot, only to find out that it was a statue or column. The environments are beautifully rendered, and are convincing replicas of real places. Each game adds its own maps to play on, and not only are they balanced, but each offers a unique challenge. Not something that most map designs can claim. The levels are a huge reason to keep playing these games.
P.S. Spend too much time gawking at how cool they are and someone will geek you from behind. Probably one of us Monkeys. 5 out of 5
Multiplayer: Far and away the best way to play these three. Allowing both co-op and adversarial, RS might be the most fun game to play on a LAN ever. Team work and strategy are the order of the day, and the GM offices are constantly filled with shouts of, "Cleared right!" or, "Cover the courtyard while I frag the shed" and the infamous "Oh crap! Where the hell did he come from?!" The only problem here is death matching. The problem being there is no respawn, once you’re dead, you’re really, really dead. Minor, but should have been included. 4.75 out of 5 (5 with respawn)
Replayability: We’ve had RS for over a year, Urban Ops for slightly less, are just getting used to the maps on Covert ops, and still play religiously. You will find your favorite maps and never get tired of playing on them in the various gameplay styles. And then again and again in multiplayer. I’m not sure if I’ll ever take these games off of my machine. ‘Nuff said. 5 out of 5
Story/Dramatics: Rescue hostages, kill some bad guys, rescue more hostages, loosely follow a plot involving stolen nukes (hey it is Clancy after all), rescue hostages. Not really much to the story, too bad too because it really would have been fun to have more of a substantial plot. Although I suppose as a real operative, they are all just missions that really don’t have relevance to one another; I still think it would be fun. 2.5 out of 5
Instructions and Learning Curve: You played Rainbow Six, so let it go. Easy to learn, but takes a while to truly master. Installation was a snap and adding mods is way easy. They actually have a screen where you can add and remove the mods in game. Too cool. 5 out of 5
Installation and Real System Requirements: No lower than a PII 266 with a good video card, but for the quality of the game that is pretty damn good. On a faster machine though, you get to see all the pretties. 5 out of 5
If you don’t have these games yet, you are a very bad Monkey. In fact you don’t even deserve to be called a Monkey, and we no longer like you. You probably don’t have friends anyway, which is all the more reason to own these games. Longevity, intense fun, and white-knuckle shoot-outs make this the best FPS on the market.
The Good: Awesome graphics, great game play, and killer multiplayer. Killing bad guys has never been this Monkey-spanking fun.
The Bad: No A3D some AI and minor game glitches, no active environment, and the fact that Red Storm charges money for games that is more addictive than crack.
The Overall Ugly: Even though you will no longer have a life, you’ll be happier this way.
What it's Worth: More than your life.