The first level we tried out has your Ghost squad tasked with taking out a bridge with demo charges. Taking the suggested weaponry (jump straight into the action or customize your arsenal as you see fit with two firearms and two other slots for other essential items such as grenades and explosives) you inch your way forward through an area with plenty of woodland cover, eventually to a bridge guarded by NK forces - right click on the stick sets you into a zoom mode as you expect, D-pad up and down cycles through your stance (upright, crouch, prone), while D-pad left/right sorts out the lean function.
If you fancy, you can bring up the command menu by holding down X, and order your team to stay back, flank left or right, or suppress fire in the direction you command them to. But even if you do nothing but run forward, your team follows intelligently, and reacts as you'd hope, spotting enemy patrols, taking up appropriate cover positions and nailing them. Elsewhere, the control system maps Y to the night vision toggle, and B to the fire rate change, which allows single shot, three bullet, or fully automatic. Anyone au fait with Rainbow Six 3 will slip straight into the system - anyone else will find it slick and intuitive, and, if you fancy it, just speak them instead - although, to be honest, that was one gimmick we simply gave up on in R6, on the basis that there really is no room for error in a game like this, and the voice recognition - as impressive as it is - isn't wholly capable of doing its job.
The first key aim is to take down the bridge, and, having planted some demo charges in the areas directed, the resulting explosion is ample proof of the kind of scripted events that add to the sense of immersion - and fruits of the Havok physics at work, which give the Red Storm team room to pull off some superb effects, not just in the reactions of downed enemies, but in terms of your surroundings. It may well be amusingly dubbed "this year's lens flare", but Havok physics often make the scenes much more realistic, and helps complement the visual improvements elsewhere. Having crept our way carefully through a building section and picked off numerous foes, it was evident that we'd need to be a lot more careful if we were planning to succeed when the game arrives in our laps in a few months' time. One shot in the wrong place and it's game over - with headshots deadly - although obviously you can get away with being shot a few times elsewhere.
I'm surrpised to hear that they're developing this specifically for the XBox and PS2 separately, and dissapointed to hear that the PC will basically be getting a XBox port. GR1 was a PC game first! Oh well, inevitable march of technology/market forces/etc