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Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Black Thorn – Armyrats

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six:  Black Thorn

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Black Thorn

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Tom Clancys Rainbow Six: Black ThornDespite being billed as an add-on pack, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Rogue Spear: Black Thorn does actually work as a stand-alone PC game in its own right. And that’s good news, for this is the latest in the so-called genre of “soldier sims”, where you lead a group of troops into various circumstances to save the day–and it’s a good one at that.

Despite initial appearances, covert operations are very much at the top of the agenda here, as the missions involve sneaking around, quietly taking out bad guys without disturbing the others and rescuing hostages intact. As with the previous Rainbow Six releases, the basic rule of one bullet can end your mission stands here too–you really will get no benefit from charging in all guns blazing, and that makes things satisfyingly challenging.

The ultimate effect is to make the game incredibly tense and quite difficult, especially for those new to the genre. The controls take a while to grasp, although once you’re in the swing of ordering fellow troops around while keeping yourself alive, you can’t help but be gripped. There’s plenty to do and frankly you need to do the lot if you’re going to succeed. Very often, a mission will be made or broken in the planning stages, even before your soldiers have set foot into hostile territory.

In truth, this pack doesn’t add an enormous amount to the original game, but the very fact that it does offer more of the same is sure to satiate the franchise’s growing genre of fans. And with sky-high production values and gripping gameplay still top of the agenda, we can only hope for plenty more in the series in years to come.–Simon Brew

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