[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/raven/cover.jpg[/floatleft]Tactical games are not my really my specialty, hell I seem to want to run and gun more then anything. When the Rainbow 6 series came out at first I did not take to the game, but like all good PC games it really does grow on you. The latest addition to the series is Raven Shield, a culmination of the previous two game’s efforts, with some new options, and on the fly team commands. Like the previous games you are in charge of various missions, where you lead a team of utter badasses into hostile territory to complete particular objectives. Back is the briefing room where you gather the info you need for the upcoming missions, as well as your editing your team, their gear, and their plan. You can still edit your plan and save them, or just use default plans to go about completing your mission. Some missions require specialists to either defuse bombs or snipe, and each character has specific stats that group them in demolitions, assault, or sniper categories. Knowing how to use these specialists, and harder yet, keep them alive is where the challenge lies.
One of the first things I look for when a sequel comes out is whether or not they have improved the graphics and character models. By looking at screen shots early in development I was worried that we would not see any improvement in this area, not that the previous ones were very bad. When I loaded this game up however and saw my team I was very please with what I saw. The character models still look crisp and the FPS presentation is sharp. The details in this game are much improved as you can actually see how many grenades the other team members have or what kind of side arm they pack. Great details were given to the motions as well. When climbing up ladders the characters move their primary weapons to their back, it looks fantastic.
The environments are still top notch. Again you will see many factories and some good outside maps as well. You are able to blow out doors as well as shoot through some to take out some enemies that may be hiding behind them. The maps vary in size, some being massive, while some being very small, and better for multiplayer. Outside environments are done very well, and lighting looks good.
[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/raven/ss02_thumb.jpg[/floatright]Sound is where I am usually the pickiest. I always think every game could do better with their sounds but FPS games usually seem leave this area the least focused. Don’t get me wrong, the ambient sounds while outside are fine, however you will be forced to listen mostly to your footsteps and the sound of your gear clanking. Ricochet sounds will fill the air as well as the sound of your guns blazing. The muffled silencer sounds are done right; however nothing beats the sound of a PSG-1 .50 caliber sniper… KABOOOM.
The games controls are legit. Like any FPS the same rules apply, however it’s the team management that is simplified to the point of A