to join the CVG community. Not a member yet? Join now!

Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow

You should see the guy's face. Properly shitting it. And no wonder - he's been grabbed by the throat by an Uzied-up terrorist.

That's not the worst of it, either. You're standing just a few feet away, pointing the muzzle of an M-4 carbine in his face. You don't WANT to blow his mush off - after all, you're a good guy and the bullet is meant for the bloke wearing the balaclava. But these MGs sure do kick, and unless you're aim's as accurate as a Zidane free kick, the guy you're supposed to be saving ends up with a face like a split watermelon.

That's one of Black Arrow's improvements over Rainbow Six 3, see - sharper enemy AI. These guys now use hostages as human shields, call for back-up and generally make your life a bit harder. And because Black Arrow favours gritty realism rather than gung-ho arcade glory, so you go home in a bodybag if you take a bullet up close, you'll find this a steep challenge even if you're seasoned Rainbow Six pro.


What Else Is New?
Good question. Play through the first couple of levels and it's hard to tell. Your squad is made up of the same four oddly-named guys (Ding Chavez still sounds like an adult entertainer whose formidable tallywackle can break women), the weapons and equipment on offer is virtually identical and the mission objectives are strangely familiar: eliminate terrorists and rescue hostages.

Obviously It's A Bit
more complicated than that, but it's fair to say that the basics remain the same.

All the missions and locations are new. The London Underground is the setting for the first level; someone has planted a bomb on the Tube and you've got to disarm it.

Next you've got a hostage situation in a hotel in Cannes. See, same objectives, different settings.

You do get a fat load of new stuff if you take Black Arrow on Xbox Live, though. For starters, you can talk tactics with team-mates in the voice lobby before the game's even begun. But it's the new Capture The Flag mode that gets us excited, because it's the perfect intro to Clan fighting on Live. And with Halo 2 just a few months away, it's a wicked taste of what's to come.

The verdict

Not much has changed since the original, but that's no bad thing. Fresh single-player missions and a handful of new weapons, but there's more on Live.

FPS, Action