I recently bought a copy of an old PS game. Rainbow Six. £4 and still sealed. You may think I’ve lost my mind, but the reason I bought this game is quite simple. Research. Now when I mentioned research in my last article, there were bits I didn’t mention. Research includes me buying games and trying them out, and giving myself as large a gaming experience as possible, in order to give me subjects to write about. It annoys the hell out of my missus when I tell her I’m going on my PS or Xbox for an hour or two in the name of “research”. The research I needed to do this time was to re-familiarize myself with a game I’d played years before, in order to test a theory of mine. I believe that when it comes to games, you get the choice between storyline or freedom.
With this theory in mind, I decided to play Rainbow Six and Rainbow Six Vegas 2. This might seem like an odd choice, as obviously one is a PS game, the other is a PS3 game, and neither are renowned for their freedom. In R6V2, you have a lot of tactical choices, whereas in R6 you control one operative at a time. But I think that R6 had more freedom in another respect. Before the action takes place, there is a planning phase. You select your team’s load-out and entry point into the stage. You can give your team specific roles for the coming mission, and lump them all together for entry, or split your three man team up to cover two or three different entry points. In R6V2, you can’t pick your team’s load-out, but thankfully, they carry a lot of equipment so they’re always ready. However, you can’t pick your entry point into an area, simply because you’re inserted into the mission area via helicopter. When you’re being transported by chopper, you’re filled in over radio link on what’s going to happen. So that’s you’re storyline sorted out, whereas R6 had a storyline, but only if you looked for it. The storyline was in in-game dossiers that were far from compulsory to read, and so were probably ignored by everyone playing the game. So while R6V2 has more of a storyline, and realistically had more tactical options, it didn’t have the planning choices that a PS One game had, and these choices were what made the game stand out for me. Taking out terrorists is a tricky business, which requires planning, starting with how the mission is approached. While the storyline wasn’t the best, adding the storyline to the Rainbow Six series meant something had to give, which I believe was the planning stage of the mission.