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ould you play DDR without a dance pad? How about Duck Hunt without the gun? So why would we want to play an offline GameCube game when the primary draw on other systems was a phenomenal online mode? I love chocolate. But I wouldn’t want chocolate on my sirloin steak. Similarly, I love my GameCube, but that’s not where I want my Rainbow Six 3.

With that said, I readily acknowledge that this version maintains the tense emulation of counter-terrorism that has been the hallmark of the series. A spectacular exhibition of weaponry is compelling, while the nervous waiting behind a closed door is still exciting. The split screen co-op is reasonably well implemented, but it lacks the save checkpoints present in the single player campaign, making restarts a genuine frustration. Plus, co-op missions are only available once you’ve gotten to that point in the single-player mode, so don’t expect to play through the first time with your buddy.

The enemy AI is sadly lacking, as foes often stare blankly without moving while you methodically fill them with lead. Your allies are similarly foolish, as they frequently wander about near a door, jostling for space and seeming to silently whisper "Oh, pardon me" to each other until you’re ready to grenade them all for their own ineptitude. This led to an oddly perverse joy when my computer-driven teammates were finally incapacitated as I thought to myself, "Serves you right."

The indistinct visual backgrounds are made worse by the generally dark shading of most of the game, which lacks the distinguishing hues of gray and black that are essential to create the illusion. Facial models are fairly detailed, though, as are the gun models in your hands.

While the GameCube has several genres it excels at, the tactical shooter field clearly isn’t one of them. I’m sure it was that rationale that prompted this foray. But with so many casualties to the game’s original features, this mission was doomed almost from the start.


KATO   5.5

I have no time for this futile tactical exercise. My teammates can’t even put on their underwear without stumbling, and I’m supposed to defeat terrorists with them and give them my trust? No way. Similarly, there is no way this game succeeds over the other versions (or at all) without online. The one thing that saves this title from total ineptitude is the tight control scheme, which imbues RS 3 with a modicum of FPS proficiency, but nothing more. Don’t get tricked by this. Instead, keep walking down the store aisle and spend your money on a talking cookie jar. Everyone needs one.

Make a great Xbox game. Port a mediocre version to PS2. Strip that version of its online features and pass it off as the same title on GameCube
Low framerate and poor shadow effects significantly detract from the experience
Decent music is often overridden by the repetitive sound effects of your own labored breathing
The controller layout works surprisingly well even with its fewer buttons
While maintaining the taut realism of the original, so much else has been lost that it’s almost a different game entirely
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