The Nintendo 64 title 'Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six' is one of many video games associated with the late author.
Tom Clancy's legacy in books and film goes without question, but there's another medium where the author's reach can't be overlooked: video games.
Ask any video game player about Clancy, who died Tuesday in Baltimore at 66, and it's hard not to recall the intense interactive works bearing his name, specifically Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, and Rainbow Six.
Clancy's role in video games started in the late-'80s, with PC titles based on classics including The Hunt For Red October or Red Storm Rising. He would eventually open his own video game studio, Red Storm Entertainment, which publisher Ubisoft acquired in 2000.
"The teams at Ubisoft, especially at the Red Storm studio, are incredibly grateful to have collaborated with and learned from him, and we are humbled by the opportunity to carry on part of his legacy through our properties that bear his name," read a statement from Ubisoft's Facebook page.
For myself, it was the trio of Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and Splinter Cell that were most memorable. All three franchises boasted unique identities. Ghost Recon seemed to give players a broad command of the battlefield, not only barking orders to squadmates as a military leader but controlling equipment from UAVs to attack helicopters.
The tactical, squad-based shooter Rainbow Six followed a similar path, but focused more tightly on the player and his squad. Then there's Sam Fisher, the star of Splinter Cell, who covertly slipped past enemies with his signature night-vision goggles (how can you forget that sound effect?).
The themes in Clancy's video games were a lot like his books: war, espionage. As a player, serving as an elite soldier felt gratifying, whether quietly taking down an armed guard or pinpointing targets ahead of a full-scale assault.
To date, video games carrying the Tom Clancy name sold more than 76 million copies, and very likely helped recruit new video game players.
Many Clancy fans will remember the author for his literary works and the movies they spawned. But his name also holds great value in the video game world.
Readers, have memories of the Tom Clancy video games? Leave a comment.
- by Brett Molina, USA TODAY