Tom Clancy is an author who needs no introduction. Known for his political thriller novels, filled with action and suspense, as well as a solid dose of conspiracy, he wrote himself into mass imagination.

Thanks to the popularity of his books, Clancy managed to move beyond the written word and enter the world of mass media. His works were adapted into successful movies, such as popular series starring the character of Jack Ryan. Another field where Clancy’s name managed to become a house brand are video games.

The series’ such as Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and most recently The Division, gained favorable reviews from critics and became highly popular amongst the fans, not only of the authors writing. In this article, we will take a look at the history of the games firmed by Tom Clancy’s name to understand the secret behind their worldwide success.

The Hunt of Red Storm Entertainment

tom clancys splinter cell blacklist shoot terrorist

The history of the video games marketed under the name of Tom Clancy began in 1996. The author, together with Doug Littlejohns and Steve Reid, founded a development studio – Red Storm Entertainment. The name of the studio is a callback to Clancy’s second book, “Red Storm Rising”. The first games made by the studio were strategy games. Tom Clancy’s Politika, released in 1997, was a Risk-like strategy game for PCs. It was based on Clancy’s novel of the same name. The second game of the studio was Dominant Species. Released in 1998, it was one of the first games to transition into the 3D graphics. Both games were successful and well received by the critics, putting Clancy and Red Storm Entertainment on the gaming industry map. However, the true revolution came with the release of Rainbow Six.

The first installment of the legendary Rainbow Six series saw the light in 1998. Released for PC, PlayStation, and N64, it introduced new quality to the FPS genre. Unlike other shooters, Rainbow Six emphasized tactical approach and careful planning. Both features became a staple of other Tom Clancy games. Rainbow Six received overwhelmingly positive reviews and the success of the series that spawned from it allowed Red Storm Entertainment to produce other titles under the name of Tom Clancy.

Below we present some of the best video games that are part of the Tom Clancy’s franchise split into different series focusing on slightly different aspects of being a secret operative. The article would be too long if we would describe Tom Clancy’s video games as there are over 40 titles associated with the political thriller author’s name.

Tom Clancy’s series of video games

The Rainbow Six series


Rainbow Six

PC
PlayStation
Nintendo N64
Release year: 1998
Genre: Tactical First-person shooter

The first game in the Rainbow Six series introduced many of the mechanics of modern-day tactical shooters. Unlike other FPS’s at that time, Rainbow Six emphasized stealth and careful planning of action.

rainbow six 1998

The game featured the “one shot, one kill” system, where both enemies and the player could be killed with one or two hits. Before each mission the player was given a briefing after which they would choose the operatives and weapons for the task, adding another level of planning and tactical gameplay. The game mostly included efforts of the Rainbow team to retrieve nuclear weapons from Russian arms dealers. Rainbow Six included a system of mods, allowing the player to alter the elements of gameplay.

Rainbow Six: Vegas series

PC
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release year: 2006, 2008
Genre: Tactical First-person shooter

Both installments of the Rainbow Six: Vegas introduced the most changes in gameplay mechanics. The games introduced a new health system, where health regenerated as long as the player stayed out of the fight.

tom clancy vegas

Certain weapons, such as grenades and heavy weapons, could negate the regen effect, killing the player instantly. Vegas introduced a TPP camera angle while the player was behind the cover, providing suppressing fire.

Rainbow Six: Siege

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year: 2015
Genre: Online tactical First-person shooter

Rainbow Six: Siege is the first game in the history of the series to focus solely on online multiplayer. If introduced many new gameplay mechanics, such as the asymmetrical structure, making the teams of player unbalance in terms of skill and strength.

rainbow six siege

Instead of playing as a member of the Rainbow team, the player can choose to be one of the world’s counter-terrorism agencies, such as FBI, SAS, etc. The game features several modes which can be played on 11 maps. These modes are Hostage, Bomb, Secure Area, Tactical Realism, Terrorist Hunt and Outbreak. Rainbow Six: Siege is often cited as the best game in the series.


The Ghost Recon series


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon

PC
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Release year: 2001
Genre: TPP tactical shooter

Ghost Recon was for its time a very innovative game. Combining the Rainbow Six’s tactical shooting mechanics with TPP perspective was a very bold move on the Red Storm Entertainment’s side, and as it would turn out a very profitable one.

ghost recon

In the game, the player took control of one of the Ghosts team, members of Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. Each Ghost belongs to a different character class which includes rifleman, support, demolition, and sniper. After a successful mission, the player is rewarded with combat points, which can be spent on upgrading the soldiers’ attributes.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter series

PC
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Release year: 2006. 2007
Genre: TPP tactical shooter

Advanced Warfighter series takes the Ghost Recon Series into the future, presenting a futuristic tactical combat experience. Both games feature weapon models based directly on the existing ones or hypothetical prototypes.

tom clancy warfighter

In Advanced Warfighter, the player takes control of the leader of the Ghosts team, while other members of the unit are controlled by the A.I. The player can give them commands and, through the innovative Cross-comm system, give orders to other friendly units on the battlefield (helicopters, drones, etc.).

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands

PC
PlayStation 3
Xbox One
Release year: 2017
Genre: TPP tactical shooter

Wildlands returns the Ghost Recon series to the modern times, setting the action in an open-world environment. The game’s world consists of nine different types of terrain, including mountains, forests, deserts, and salt flats.

tom clancys ghost recon wildlands land assault

Wildlands features a day-and-night system, which influences the difficulty of missions (enemies are easier spotted during the day, the night provides more chances of stealth). The player can man various types of vehicles as well as use parachutes to drop into the mission area. Wildlands features both cooperative and competitive multiplayer, allowing players to take on missions with friends, or face off against them online.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year: 2019
Genre: TPP tactical shooter

Breakpoint is the newest entry in the Ghost Recon series of games from Tom Clancy’s video game franchise. An online tactical shooter, it will be released on October 4, 2019.

tom clancy ghost recon breakpoint


The Splinter Cell series


Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell

PC
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Release year: 2002
Genre: TPP stealth

Splinter Cell introduces one of the most recognizable characters in video game history. Sam Fisher, a covert-ops operative, with his gruff voice and cold demeanor, has become one of the most beloved protagonists of all times, often copied in other games.

splinter cell

The game itself was also innovative. Splinter Cell is a quintessential stealth game, featuring a light meter, which showed how visible the player character was to the enemies, night and thermal vision goggles, facilitating traversal in darkness. Fisher’s agility allows him to climb ledges and squeeze into narrows spaces, performing quiet takedowns of unsuspecting enemies.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

PC
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Release year: 2005
Genre: TPP stealth

Chaos Theory introduced several changes to the gameplay mechanics of Splinter Cell. In addition to the light meter, the game featured aural monitor, displaying the noise made by the main character, as well as the ambient sounds of the surroundings.

splinter cell chaos theory

Using the ambiance to the player’s advantage is one of the main features of Chaos Theory. Other changes include improved A.I. The enemies become alerted to Fisher’s presence only if they find a body left in a well-lit area. Alerted enemies will sound an alarm and begin combat preparations (start wearing helmets and tactical vests, etc.). Fisher can now use a knife, both to dispatch enemies and to interrogate them.

The Division games

the-division 2 washington d.c shootout

The Division game series is the newest branch of Tom Clancy’s games. It shares the political themes of other games from the franchise as well as some tactical and stealth elements of gameplay that were visible in the previous games, but it shifts more into a co-operative approach and its world is more of a post-apocalyptic setting rather than normal present-day world full of secret agents and terrorists. Till this moment (September 2019) there are two games in The Division game series.



Immortal franchise of Tom Clancy’s games

Over two decades ago, an author decided to put his work into the medium of video games. Now, Tom Clancy’s name is recognized as a signature of quality gaming, with top-notch stealth and tactical mechanics. As the new title in the Ghost Recon series is right around the corner, Tom Clancy’s legacy carries on through millions of sold copies and satisfied gamers.