Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Covert Ops Essentials
|a game by||Red Storm Entertainment, Inc.|
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Never in the field of human conflict has one family of games given so many wannabe CTs as many clean head shots. Rainbow Six, and its sequel Rogue Spear, set a benchmark for single-player creep 'em-ups that has yet to be matched.
Covert Ops Essentials is a twin-bladed product: the Training Disc, a text-heavy multimedia frenzy, leads you through an in-depth Special Ops training program, examines you and then awards you. Admittedly, it was mildly interesting in a 'nothing on TV' kind of way, but then I liked Rainbow Six as an exciting game rather than a macho fantasy I wanted to live.
Of much greater interest was the Mission Disc. Diving straight into the campaign, the first mission in a Bolivian jungle proved a humdinger, especially on Elite level - easily one of the best R6 levels yet designed. Not so with the Arctic level, which I completed on the first go. The next level, set in a missile silo, had a tortuous level design with lots of corridors and control rooms. A quick trigger finger and assault rifles all round provided the solution, though there's a choke point where snipers in the stairwells give you grief.
As I lit my intermission fag, I was looking forward to the next six levels ('nine all new levels featuring never before seen missions' the ads proclaim), when I realised the other six are small training levels in Hereford. I completed a couple in a few minutes, but then gave up in disgust. This is why the Urban Ops add-on pissed me off: too few missions - and there are even fewer in Covert Ops.
To Red Storm's credit, this doesn't require either R6 or RS to play; and if the Training Disc is your cup of tea, then maybe you'll be ecstatic. But I play R6 for gaming, and only die-hards who have to have it all should pay $25 for three proper missions.