Games I Own: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear

Posted on 12th Jul 2010 at 10:14 by Matthew Lambert with 27 comments

Matthew Lambert
Let me start by saying that I've never completed this game, played the multiplayer or played the original Rainbow Six. None of this matters to me though. Rogue Spear is hands down one of the most enjoyable shooters I've ever played.

I know that there was a story weaved in between the missions, and I know at the time I probably followed it to some degree. However, I was only 10 when I first played it, so the significance of weapons of mass destruction and global terrorist threats were lost on my young mind. All I knew for certain was that you had to save hostages (the precious cargo!), and stop bombs going off, shooting any bad guys who crossed your path.

Shooting terrorists was just a small part of the gameplay though. The planning stages for each mission were incredibly detailed. You could customise up to four teams per mission, planning who was in them, what weapon loadouts they had, and exactly what route they would take. While each mission came with a pre-planned route, getting the most out of the game was about making your own from square one.

Games I Own: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
Fact: Special Forces men are constantly constipated

Part of the reason I never completed Rogue Spear is that I was obsessed with doing every level perfectly, without any men getting injured. Perfecting a plan was what I had most fun doing, and it was as much a strategy game for me as it was a shooter. The real feeling of satisfaction from being part of your plan as it comes to fruition was immense. And then you could ramp the difficulty up a level and try again, tweaking your scheme as appropriate.

Beyond the planning stages, small things like being able to switch between your various teams, and switching between 1st and 3rd person viewpoints emphasise the game's reliance on tactics, teamwork and co-ordination. No matter how many times I replayed the missions, it was these elements that constantly made the game fun. Unlike many modern shooters, there was no dependence on big, over the top, cinematic sequences.

The other reason that I didn't complete it is that even on lower difficulties the missions could be very punishing. One loud noise too many or one slow reaction was all it took for you to fall victim to the relentless enemy AI. Those crafty terrorists were insanely accurate and quick, and you could easily be disabled by a single bullet. Conversely, your team members were unfortunately quite useless - the AI was certainly imbalanced.

In fact, the abilities of your team mates was probably the most disappointing aspect. Though amusing at first, seeing the world's most elite soldiers struggling to fully understand the concept of a ladder and getting stuck quickly became annoying, especially if it ruined a smooth infiltration.

Though the other counter-terrorists could all too often be the Achilles' Heel of your plan, sometimes their blood was on your hands. You couldn't help but feel awful after giving the Go command to one of your teams, then hearing a vicious fight and seeing them flatline one by one. Their injuries and fatalities were permanent too, which only increased your guilt. Lose Chavez, and he won't be coming back to life for future missions.

Games I Own: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
I love it when a plan comes together

Once a mission is complete, you could replay each map in Terrorist Hunt, where you had to hunt down and kill 30 terrorists. Alternatively, you could forego the friendly AI altogether in Lone Wolf, where you were simply required to reach a designated point by yourself without dying. These modes and the pull of finding the perfect plan were what made the game so replayable for me, rather than any multiplayer mode. I simply found no attraction in playing against or with other real people, as I've always preferred single player games to multiplayer ones.

Crouching, peaking round corners, flashbangs, silencers, and travelling all over the world. That's exactly the cool life I imagined all Special Forces had, and it's exactly the experience Rogue Spear offered. The voice acting was awesome, and the graphics were great for the day too. The realism was occasionally shattered by the odd clipping glitch, but generally Rogue Spear was incredibly tense as you were never sure if you'd be looking down the barrel of a shotgun around the next corner.

Rogue Spear was a game that had me feeling genuinely scared, guilty and relieved at various points. Maybe it was because I was so young and hadn't had my heart turned cold by years of exposure to evil corporations' gory games, but there are few games that have given me such strong emotional reactions, which is why it will always remain a firm favourite of mine.

Number of times completed: None.

Random Trivia: The term "Rogue Spear" was invented by Clancy and refers to the possession of nuclear weapons by a non-state entity.


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REMF 12th July 2010, 11:09 Quote
I made the REMF_UWA map for the original Raven Shield game, map-pack3 works best on the 1.41 patch or before however.
devilxc 12th July 2010, 11:24 Quote
One of my favourite games. I spent as much time planning the missions as I did playing them. There were so many different ways of approaching each level. Getting a sniper in position and then giving the fire command as you storm a plane is brilliant. A million miles away from the linear gameplay of MW2.

One achievement that I was particularly proud of was planning a mission that the AI could complete with me just watching on the map and giving commands.

I also never played online mulitplayers (you had to dial up to get on the net ...wierd?!?) but it was a great LAN game.

Good times...
Jim 12th July 2010, 11:43 Quote
I remember playing Rainbow Six Lockdown, and being so completely and utterly disappointed, as my team engaged in a firefight across a crowded car park. And it only got worse with later sequels.

Rainbow Six was all about planning and speed - you get into a room, everybody has to be dead within the first few seconds. The first three were great games.
Kiytan 12th July 2010, 12:46 Quote
Raven shield has been my favourite R6 to date, shame they lost that in the newer games (played vegas 2, its good, but not as good as raven shield)
I can remember me and my friend playing some levels on raven shield until we had them timed perfectly, it looked damned professional. (especially the garage level, damn that took a while to master)

I love how in those early rainbow games, they shot the hostages at the slightest hint of danger, made it very tense.
barbary 12th July 2010, 13:39 Quote
I'm sorry you were how old??

I was probably 25, don't do that in your reviews it makes me feel old.

After about the 20th time my team failed to make it up the ladder my copy went into the bin.
JAMF 12th July 2010, 13:45 Quote
I only ever played Raven Shield and only online with a team. That was a lot of fun.
uz1_l0v3r 12th July 2010, 14:27 Quote
I still have Raven Shield. It's become quite a relic to have a game with that amount of strategy and realism in today's console oriented gaming world.
trig 12th July 2010, 14:52 Quote
i played this game longer than anything else in my entire life. fired it up less than a year ago just for farts and funnies. also played high heat baseball with sammy sosa for years lolz...multi player kept this game going for a long time....and the free hax those noobs could get...
alwayssts 12th July 2010, 15:06 Quote
I too played this game longer than most any other! The original R6, and R6 Rogue Spear are definitely classics. It harkens back to a simpler time:

*Remember the NATO mods?

*Remember when GAMESPY was a multiplayer hub?

This and Jedi Knight, DF2 consumed wayyy too many hours of my youth. I was just thinking about this game...They just don't make 'em like that anymore. Glad someone called it to attention!
bahgger 12th July 2010, 15:37 Quote
I loved this game. I couldn't have been more than 12 years old when I started playing them :)
Chombo 12th July 2010, 17:01 Quote
I loved Rogue Spear to death. It was the first game to really hook me on shooters. I really felt the single player campaign was really well done and the missions were tense, the music helped a lot.

Raven Shield was the swan song for the series in my mind. One last hurrah before it all changed. I loved Raven Shield as well however I didn't feel the campaign was as strong as it could have been, maybe its because the locales were generic.
julianmartin 12th July 2010, 18:13 Quote
Yes I remember the NATO mods! And the OTAN mods too! I even made a few mods actually, it was such an easy game to develop new weapons for and make badass reticles.

Rogue Spear has to be my favourite game of all time, I loved it. The Multiplayer was insanely good fun. Who remembers bunkers and the no crossing rule! Awesome!!
brandonvb 12th July 2010, 19:16 Quote
Wow, I used to be able to play bunkers all day long.
Redbeaver 12th July 2010, 19:23 Quote
one the best, if not THE best FPS multiplayer ive ever played... ever....

(and i play alotta them)

the SP is nice, but multi is where it is. no other games ever made me panicky and frustrated as i play a round.
Originally Posted by brandonvb
Wow, I used to be able to play bunkers all day long.


Peek from the opening SLOWLY so u dont give away your position!!

aah, the beauty of multiplayer on a 56k...
Farfalho 12th July 2010, 21:48 Quote
Completely agree with you since that was my first fps experience! I loved the whole game and had that same feelings when playing.
I remember perfectly, I was doing the Ukraine mission, one team dead and only 2 elements on the other, killed the one behind me after he killed my partner but when I turn to the stairs I see a shotgun then bam, dead, game wasn't saved and I got frustrated as hell!
pcrispim 12th July 2010, 21:50 Quote
Well, i'm going to feel old as hell for this but...

Those were the good days!!!

Love that game.
Still think it's probably the best gameplay ever. I still have the cd -- back when the cd doubled as game cd and soundtrack -- but i don't think i can get a pc old enough to run it...

oh well...
man, i'm old...
NiHiLiST 12th July 2010, 23:24 Quote
I remember doing 2-player co-op terrorist hunts on the toughest difficulty level, it was utterly fantastic. Possibly the only game I've ever played where you genuinely have to work together and cover each other to survive.
Dogbert666 13th July 2010, 01:03 Quote
Haha, I'm glad to see a lot of people agreeing about how awesome this game was. Even I'm starting to think of those days as the good old days and like I said I was only 10 at the time of playing...

I did actually play R63, but shamefully it was on my brother's Xbox, and didn't know that the PC version had the planning stages still! I'm tempted to hunt out some bargain bins for the PC version since everyone is saying it was really good too.
Neogumbercules 13th July 2010, 04:47 Quote
I loved this game. This was one of the games that got me into PC gaming. I loved being able to plan every single aspect of every mission. I also loved how important it was to make sure everyone gets out alive. I spent countless hours on this and the expansion pack, Urban Operations.

And to keep the nostalgia train rolling:

BentAnat 13th July 2010, 08:04 Quote
I played them all until Raven shield, gave Lockdown a wide pass and played both Vegas games.

One of the things I miss the most is the planning phase.
In a good plan, you could sit back and do nothing but observe and give go-codes. Careful planning and stacking of these go-codes was key (as well as playing as one of your teammates when it came to throwing a grenade of any type through a door - they had a habbit of standing in the doorway, get killed).
I also quickly learned that certain team members (Domingo Chavez, for one) were indispensible. The precision and speed at which they could clear a room if the path was right was beyond what I could ever hope to achieve.

I really do wish they'd make me another "good old" Rainbow Six
xaser04 13th July 2010, 09:45 Quote
Ah this brings back memories.

I havn't played Rougue spear that much but the original R6 I played to death (dying all too many times for my liking).

My favourite mission was the infiltration of a country house, unseen and without the ability to kill anyone. That mission was tough.
Pooeypants 13th July 2010, 10:53 Quote
Is it ironic that today's R6 games are far less complex and offer fewer strategic options than from a decade ago? Seems we've moved backwards in terms of gameplay thanks to marketeers thinking everyone's a 14 y/o with ADD...
Redbeaver 13th July 2010, 15:05 Quote
Originally Posted by Neogumbercules

And to keep the nostalgia train rolling:


ROFLMAO! you have good memory........... :D
Originally Posted by pcrispim
Well, i'm going to feel old as hell for this but...

Those were the good days!!!

Love that game.
Still think it's probably the best gameplay ever. I still have the cd -- back when the cd doubled as game cd and soundtrack -- but i don't think i can get a pc old enough to run it...

oh well...
man, i'm old...

no, no youre not!!! we're NOT OLD! :(
yakyb 13th July 2010, 16:32 Quote
really struggled to get past the level in the auditorium on this game and eventually went the way of many of my older CD based games in that my younger brother scratched it
DrTiCool 15th July 2010, 09:58 Quote
I remember playing this game on Dreamcast even the controls were horrible compared to PC, gameplay was still addictive.
MrZephyr 26th July 2010, 17:04 Quote
The original Rainbow Six is what got me into pc gaming requiring a dedicated graphics card. Rogue Spear was the first game I modded as well, so it brings back a lot of memories, especially lone wolf mode, great! =)
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