Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
|Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear|
|Developer(s)||Red Storm Entertainment
|Publisher(s)||Red Storm Entertainment|
|Series||Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six|
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear is a tactical first-person shooter computer game developed and published by Red Storm Entertainment. It is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Rainbow Six game based on the Tom Clancy novel of the same name.
Rogue Spear is based on the same game engine and features gameplay and presentation similar to that of the original Rainbow Six. The game pits the counter-terrorist unit, RAINBOW, against global terrorist organizations that in some cases have taken hostages or have armed themselves with weapons of mass destruction. Rogue Spear focuses on realism, planning, strategy, and teamwork. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear was released for the PC on August 31, 1999, with versions for the Mac OS (2000), Dreamcast (2000), PlayStation (2001) and Game Boy Advance (2002) released later. A PlayStation 2 port was also announced at the time, but it was later canceled.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the economic situation in Russia and the former Eastern Europe falls into chaos. Terrorism in the region is commonplace as people fight a seemingly endless stream of battles for supplies and other necessities. In this power vacuum though a dangerous a situation arises: the Russian mafia has begun buying up surplus military equipment with the assistance of current members of the Russian Army. During one such arms deal Rainbow forces raid the meeting grounds and recover weapons grade plutonium, tracing the missile material to a nearby naval base.
A subsequent investigation reveals that the plutonium deals are part of a plan between a Russian organized crime boss named Maxim Kutkin and international arms dealer Samed Vezirzade. These two men intend to use the plutonium purchased from the military to create suitcase sized nuclear weapons through the use of abandoned Russian military facilities, then distribute these weapons to terrorists on the black market. To prevent any instance of nuclear terrorism, RAINBOW mobilizes against both parties, raiding the nuclear weapons production facility and intercepting two separate meetings between the mob and potential buyers with the aid of a dissident group of the Russian mob.
In the final two missions RAINBOW zeros in Vezirzade's base of operations, raiding his house and killing him after an attempt to bring him in alive fails. In the aftermath of Vezirzade's death, Kutkin realizes that the overall plan to manufacture and sell nuclear weapons has failed, and seeks vengeance for the collapse of the arms deals. With the assistance of a small number of men loyal to him, Kutkin seizes control of a commercial nuclear power plant and threatens to shut off the cooling system for the reactors, which would result in a nuclear meltdown. To prevent a potential repeat of the Chernobyl disaster, RAINBOW forces storm the plant and manage to recapture the facility intact.
In the final debriefing, Kutkin is confirmed to have been killed in the raid. His mansion in Russia is acquired by the "Russian Godfather", whose assistance had been vital during RAINBOW's operations. After arriving at the mansion, the Russian Godfather makes a short speech which is picked up by surveillance bugs planted during an earlier RAINBOW intelligence operation. The godfather then shoots the bug, preventing any further monitoring of the mafia from the mansion.
The term "Rogue Spear" was invented by Clancy and refers to the possession of nuclear weapons by a non-state entity, equivalent to the official terminology Pinnacle-Empty Quiver.
Rogue Spear's multiplayer mode consisted of three main playing fields: GameSpy Arcade, MSN Gaming Zone and MPlayer.com. MPlayer.com was later purchased by Gamespy. The multiplayer game achieved a certain degree of success boasting several thousand players playing at once. After the acquisition of MPlayer.com by GameSpy Arcade, MSN Games became the more popular of the two until Microsoft shut down the MSN Gaming Zone's CD-ROM match-making service on June 19, 2006. As well as pick up games, a higher level of play was reached by players who participated in ladder play. Several websites throughout the game's lifespan provided this service with the most notable being Close Quarters Combat League (CQC) hosted by Starlance.com, Clanladder (CL), Xtreme Gaming Network (XGN), and Rogue Spear Gaming Ladder which is currently still active.
These ladder systems provided both one on one deathmatch as well as team deathmatch where players banded together in clans and fought matches which ranged anywhere from two-on-two to eight-on-eight. However, eight-on-eight often posed lag problems due to the way game hosting worked. One player would act as the host of the game (rather than a designated third party server) and all others would connect to the host's one computer over a specified port. This format caused two problems. Firstly, it was prone to causing lag, a delay in the sending and receiving of packets, which caused for time and spatial distortion in game physics. Secondly, in the opinion of many players, the host had an advantage because of this. Many times a player would be shot and killed without ever seeing his enemy due to high latency times. It was noticed that the hosts of the game were much more prone to do this. This was referred to as "hosting" or "getting hosted." Often, teams would take turns, allowing a member from each team to host their team's map. Sometimes, especially during tournament matches, a neutral host would be called upon to host the entirety of the match. A neutral host would be a person hosting the game with a good connection and this person would not be a player in the match, when the round began the neutral host would kill his or her character with a grenade.
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear received a healthy positive reception, with critics applauding the game's level of detail and realism. The PC version of the game received an aggregate rating of 86% on Game Rankings, with the lowest review score being 74% and the highest score being a100% rating.
Michael Ryan, of GameSpot, credited the game for having superiour graphics, quoting "one graphic enhancement you definitely won't miss is the vastly improved character animation. Not only do the 3D models in Rogue Spear look more realistic, they also move in a more lifelike fashion". Despite this, he does go on to comment that "the game still suffers from polygonal clipping problems".
Dreamcast and Game Boy Advance versions of the game mixed reviews, whilst the PlayStation version received mixed to low reviews. Many critics cited the controller scheme and graphic limitations of the PlayStation for the version's low score. Trevor Rivers, of GameSpot commented that "the graphics are middle of the road, with nothing spectacular in terms of polygon count or color use".
Expansion packs of the PC version received lower scores than the original release.
Rogue Spear Mission Pack: Urban Operations, released on April 4, 2000, was the first expansion for Rogue Spear. It was developed and published by Red Storm Entertainment. It added eight new maps and five classic Rainbow Six maps from the original game, as well as three new weapons.
Urban Operations was re-released by KAMA Digital Entertainment in South Korea - this new edition included two exclusive missions and two new weapons.
With the release of Urban Operations, a built-in mod system was added to manage user-made "mods" or modifications. Previous releases of the Rainbow Six series did not have this system, and using a mod required overwriting existing game content. With the mod system, mods could be used without overwriting, as they were installed into a separate folder within the installation and could be turned on or off. When a mod was activated, its content would take priority over the default game content. This allowed the addition and/or customization of all game content, allowing new operatives, weapons, maps, missions, etc. to be added.
Red Storm also released "unsupported" plugins for 3D Studio MAX and Photoshop, to aid in the creation of new content. This enhanced the popularity and replay value of the series for some time, as hundreds of modding teams within a large modding community released new mods constantly. Police and military organizations also sought the customizable game engine for training purposes, due to the realism of planning and mission strategy.
Because of these effects, a mod management system was later added to Red Storm's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon series as well, although it was somewhat more restrictive.
Covert Ops Essentials
Rainbow Six: Covert Ops, is a stand-alone expansion pack of Rogue Spear. The training simulator was developed by Magic Lantern Playware, six of the levels were done by Zombie Studios and three of the levels were done by Red Storm Entertainment. It was published by Red Storm Entertainment. It was released on September 28, 2000. It included nine new missions, because the product was primarily developed as an educational program on real life counter-terrorism history and tactics.
The training simulator developed by Magic Lantern Playware was actually a Computer Based Training program. "Recruits" would create a profile, and then read educational materials such as actual military Field Manuals, view video interviews from anti-terrorist experts, take multiple-choice tests to progress in rank, and see live-fire demonstrations of the weapons included in the game. For the live-fire videos, Sergeant Anthony Levatino (now Deputy Chief) from the Santa Ana, California Police Department was contracted to provide content expertise for the educational material and for the on-camera demonstrations. Having access to all the weapons included in the game, and being a SWAT Team Leader/Sniper and SWAT Academy instructor, Sergeant Levatino provided brief weapon introductions and live-fire demonstrations.
Rogue Spear: Black Thorn was developed by Red Storm Entertainment, published by Ubisoft, and released as a stand-alone add-on on December 15, 2001. Black Thorn featured nine new single-player maps. Six new multiplayer maps, 10 new weapons, and a new multiplayer variation on the "Lone Wolf" game type in which one player takes on everyone else; the winner of the round then becomes the new "Lone Wolf".