Graphically, this is the best Rainbow Six 6 on the PS2, and one of the better looking Sony shooters, full stop. In itself, this isn’t really saying much. With a few notable exceptions – Time Splitters: Future Perfect, Medal of Honor: European Assault – the competition just isn’t that hot (Why, when we have God of War and Gran Turismo, we still have to put up with PS2 shooters resembling Half Life 1, I’ll never know). Still, this one genuinely does look pretty good. The character models are well-animated and reasonably detailed, and the environments have a nice, real-world grungy feel. The grinding rock soundtrack gets a little wearing, but it doesn’t intrude most of the time, and the radio-messages and sound effects are effective, even if you do feel like screaming after a few hours of “Tango, eliminated”.
Nonetheless, there are still some good reasons to be jealous of the Xbox version. With no Live! service to fall back on, the PS2 has to do without the Xbox’s Persistent Elite Creation mode, where you can create your own operative and build a reputation online. And while recompense comes in a handful of PS2 exclusive online modes, none of these seem a huge departure from the norm. All the same, you do get a comprehensive selection of cooperative and competitive options that go beyond just “kill or be killed”, and as the PS2 isn’t exactly swimming in online tactical shooters, they should be welcomed with open arms.
In fact, let’s embrace the positive all-round. This isn’t the best Rainbow Six on any console or the 3D shooter experience of a lifetime, but neither is it a half-baked, badly-finished version that leaves you yearning for a taste of the real thing. It looks good, it sounds good, it plays well, and if you haven’t already had your fill of this sort of thing, you’ll enjoy it. Now who can say fairer than that?
Nothing stunning, but a good fifteen hours of solid tactical-shooting fun, and more if you can use the online modes. As such things are fairly rare on PS2, you could do worse than give this one a look.