Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six is a media franchise created by American author Tom Clancy about a fictional international counter-terrorist unit called "Rainbow". The franchise began with Clancy's novel Rainbow Six, which was adapted into a series of tactical first-person shooter video games.
|Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six|
Red Storm Entertainment
|Platform of origin||Microsoft Windows|
|First release||Rainbow Six
August 21, 1998
|Latest release||Rainbow Six Siege
December 1, 2015
The base of operations for Rainbow is located in Hereford, England (at the time, home to the SAS), due to the United Kingdom being one of the most accessible countries in the world and having one of the world's foremost special forces units. Most of the characters in Rainbow Six are American or British, though the NATO countries of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, and the NATO ally of Israel have at least one representative each.
Clancy describes the structure of Rainbow as having one Director, who oversees the entire operation, and one Deputy Director, who is second in command. Rainbow is portrayed as the "blacker than black" operations, and it works off its very own intelligence service which has intelligence contacts all over the world. In the book, when Rainbow is called upon for help from another country's government to deal with a terrorist situation, usually only one of the two teams will be sent, but in some situations both will be sent. Both teams have an officer (O-4 or equivalent) as team leader and a senior NCO (E-9 or equivalent) as second in command. Not including the team leader, each team is made up of ten men. Rainbow also has a standard-issue weapons kit. Each team has two snipers.
In the video games, Rainbow is portrayed differently. John Clark is still the leader for most of the series, but is supported by a set of other key staff and advisers who vary from game to game. As of Rogue Spear, the unit has 30 operatives, including members from NATO countries and from non-NATO countries. For each mission, a maximum eight operatives can be deployed and can be split into a maximum of four teams. Weapons, uniforms, and equipment are less standardized, and are instead chosen to suit the operative and the mission.
The first game was developed by Red Storm Entertainment, while the novel was being written. The game later spawned a number of sequels and expansion packs. Red Storm was later acquired by Ubisoft, who currently develops and publishes the games. Mobile phone versions of the game are developed and published by Gameloft.
Rainbow Six and its sequels defined the tactical shooter genre, forcing players to focus more time and effort on stealth, teamwork, and tactics rather than on sheer firepower. With some of the more recent releases however, the game has taken on more of a "mainstream" first-person shooter approach in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience.
The cancelled game Rainbow 6: Patriots changed the word Six to 6. The latest game, Siege, has changed the series title back to Rainbow Six.
|Rainbow Six||1998||N64, PS1 (1999); DC (2000)||GBC (2000)|
|Rainbow Six Mission Pack: Eagle Watch||1999||DC (2000)||N/A||expansion pack|
|Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear||1999||DC (2000); PS1 (2001)||GBA (2002)|
|Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear Mission Pack Urban Operations||2000||DC (2000)||N/A||expansion pack|
|Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear Covert Ops Essentials||2000||N/A||N/A||expansion pack (stand-alone)|
|Rainbow Six: Take-Down – Missions in Korea||2001||N/A||N/A||Not released outside of South Korea (stand-alone)|
|Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear Black Thorn||2001||N/A||N/A||expansion pack (stand-alone)|
|Rainbow Six: Lone Wolf||N/A||PS1 (2002)||N/A|
|Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield||2003||Xbox (2003); PS2, GameCube (2004)||Mobile game (2004)|
|Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword||2004||N/A||N/A||expansion pack|
|Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow||N/A||Xbox (2004)||N/A|
|Rainbow Six 3: Iron Wrath||2005||N/A||N/A||expansion pack (DLC)|
|Rainbow Six: Lockdown||2005||PS2, Xbox, GameCube (2005)||N/A|
|Rainbow Six: Critical Hour||N/A||Xbox (2006)||N/A|
|Rainbow Six: Vegas||2006||X360 (2006); PS3 (2007)||PSP (2007), Mobile game|
|Rainbow Six: Vegas 2||2008||PS3, X360(2008)||N/A|
|Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard||N/A||N/A||iOS, Android (2011)||Based on the original|
|Rainbow 6: Patriots||N/A||PS4, XONE||N/A||Cancelled|
|Rainbow Six Siege||2015||PS4, XONE||N/A|
A Korean-only PC game called Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Take-Down – Missions in Korea was created for the South Korean market by KAMA Digital Entertainment. The game boasted South Korean Rainbow operatives and weapons with a different story and interface. As of 2015, it is not available for purchase outside South Korea.