iPhone review of the day: Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard sneaks in for the kill, ends up as a killer shooter

On iPhone
Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard
Price: $6.99 / £3.99
Size: 479 MB
Get it now at the iTunes store:US (opens in new tab)/UK (opens in new tab)

Given the amount of games it cranks out, the consistent top-notch-itude of publisher Gameloft’s iOS titles is astounding. Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard proves yet again that the company’s developers are capable of creating a console-quality shooter – albeit a scaled back, simplified proxy of an existing one – for your phone. Its mix of first- and third-person pew-pew action is a reminder that Rainbow Six still rocks…and that we need another one on consoles, too.

Cribbing from Rainbow Six Vegas’ formula, most of Shadow Vanguard plays like any other FPS – when dudes appear at the end of your machine-gun, you fill ‘em with holes and move onto the next room. However, true to tradition, stealth and squad tactics are also important. We failed more than once because we burst through a door without slipping a camera underneath ahead of time; another mission ended with our rescue target eating a bullet because a bad squad order blew our cover. Shadow Vanguard is by no means riveting in its complexity, nor is its A.I. anything special, but missions are laid out in such a way that the illusion’s convincing.

Slapping a silencer onto your pistol, tucking into cover, and pointing your teammates toward tactical points are critical actions in Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard. Snuggling up against a wall pulls the camera out from your eyeballs and gives you a wider, third-person view of your surroundings. This is particularly handy for cracking doors open and popping dudes in the face from around corners. Better yet, you’re able to protect your flank from sneaky jerks in the online multiplayer mode.

Rainbow Six has always been about leading a team, and Shadow Vanguard manages to pull this off quite well. Tapping contextual icons sends your squad to cover, to breach a door or flashbang a room, and take out enemies. You’ll also have to be smart about where you point them, too, or else you’ll end up playing medic as you revive ‘em before their death puts you in front of a game over screen. Strategy, even in its simplest form, is the name of the game, and it’s surprisingly effective in Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard.

The story and missions are straightforward in their typical TOP SECRET ELITE TEAM fashion, so go into Rainbow Six with sneaky terrorist murder in mind and you’ll get a lot out of it.

Mar 24, 2011

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