Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six®: Shadow Vanguard Review

By , on March 16, 2011

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six®: Shadow Vanguard
  • Publisher: Gameloft
  • Genre: Action
  • Released: 17 Mar, 2011
  • Size: 545.8 MB
  • Price: $6.99
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5 out of 5


  • Varied campaign with decent storyline.
  • Easy to use tactical controls.
  • Equipment customization; tackle missions your own way.
  • Multiplayer co-op campaign.


  • AI a little weak; team-mates occasionally dive in to danger with no warning, enemies fail to intelligently defend themselves.
  • Deathmatch multiplayer lacks depth; basic run-and-gun variety.
  • Firing button can be twitchy; occasionally refuses to go full-automatic.


Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard may not be as polished and detailed in its gameplay compared to its console counterparts or even other recent releases by Gameloft, but it still stands up well as a portable version of a challenging tactical shooter.

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Having already shown their deft skills at producing great First Person Shooters on iOS devices, Gameloft have taken up the reins for the Rainbow Six franchise with the release of Shadow Vanguard. The focus on tactical awareness is much sharper than in previous titles like Modern Combat 2 and players will need to command a squad in order to carry out their missions with ghost-like silence.

Gone are the days of intense pre-mission setups requiring long tedious memorization of tactical maps, plans and multiple squads - though I'm not mourning the loss at all as players are given the opportunity to quickly assess situations and arrange their squad members optimally to take down enemies quickly and quietly. Being a semi-stealth title under the Ubisoft flag it's no surprise to see elements like the 'tag' system from Splinter Cell being implemented to give your team-mates priority targets when breaching doors and if you've played any other Gameloft FPS titles you can expect much the same setup for their general controls as they always use; that is to say, intuitive and well considered.

There are some chinks in this juggernaut's armor though and it's confusing to have to deal with poor detection for initiating cover when 'cover-based shooting' makes up the majority of game's situations. The graphical performance is also underwhelming at times with some levels dropping frames and making combat situations more difficult than usual, though this may be the price that's paid for the detailed visuals, effects and varied environments.

Also, it wouldn't be Rainbow Six without some multiplayer options and players can either jump in to a fairly vanilla Deathmatch style game with up to 9 other players or more pertinently, play the missions in a co-operative mode with two friends. It won't take long to complete the campaign with the AI or with friends, but the story is compelling enough to drag you along even if it is painted with broad strokes.

Shadow Vanguard is without a doubt an easy game to recommend to FPS fans and while the tactical style can be a bit more demanding than traditional shooters, casual gamers should find the controls easy to master as well.


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