The Rainbow 6 organization – based on a Tom Clancey novel – isn’t dedicated to freeing Bungle, Zippy and co, it’s more like a modern-day International Rescue. If there is a hostage situation in the Taj Mahal – not the curry house – or a threat to hijack Russian nukes, Rainbow 6 is ready to go into action. The group is made up of special- service men and women from every corner of the globe, brought together to fight for truth, justice and global stability. Playing the game is complicated enough to be engaging, but not so that you want to give up. It takes time to master the controls and the strategies for storming embassies – taking control of oil rigs will take even longer. The game play is impressive. If you don’t want to micro-manage the whole operation, there are default plans to follow. Still, managing eight or more commandos is not simple. But, it is not all lead-from-behind stuff, you’re usually first into the line of fire. A helpful feature, especially for my early forays, was that when you get shot, you don’t have to start again, you just become another member of the force. Well, unless you lead them all into an ambush. The fact that this is such a great game inevitably means that it has some harsh hardware requirements. Open GL is required, so a blue-&-white G3 or a G4 would be best. However, older machines with third-party cards featuring Open GL support will do. What almost caught me out was the disk space required. Even though it resides on a single CD, the data is compressed. For a full install, I needed almost 1.5GB, and that didn’t include the soundtrack. However, if you use an HFS plus-formatted disk you’ll need a lot less disk space. The huge size is due to the 7,000 tiny files it installs. If your minimum file size is 272K – like mine – you’re going to need a big chunk of disk space.
Rainbow 6 is a great game. Many more scenarios are in the pipeline, and network gaming means almost endless gameplay. It is fun and deeply involving, so not one for people who need to eat and work, or have a partner. But, if you can afford to spend your weekends glued to your Mac – and Rainbow 6 will keep you stuck – this is a must have game.