Tom Clancy's international terrorist drama continues with another plot of power hungry radicals trying to take over the world. In 'Rainbow Six: Lockdown,' Team Rainbow has to stop the (GLF) 'Global Liberation Front' from infecting the world with a deadly nanotech virus. Ding is suited up and ready and this time he has a new friend, times are changing and so is our Rainbow. We'll take a look to see if Ubisoft brought us a gaming pot of gold.
'Rainbow Six: Lockdown' is the third 'Rainbow Six' game to grace the consoles this generation. 'Rainbow Six' has a great track record and has even pulled off a few awards on Extreme Gamer. This time 'Los Angels' native 'Ding Chavez' and the team try to make another classic, but they fall a little short. I guess it was too good to be true because we finally have hit a road block with a 'Rainbow Six' experience. Not that 'Lockdown' is bad, it's just a little too light on the realism, and too heavy on the arcade side.
Keeping the lines between having a fun online experience and an entertaining single player game has been a focus in 'Rainbow Six' and this time it's no different. We have some chances to both aspects which is great if you like your Rainbow online. The first change is a minor role-playing aspect to online gaming. Now the characters will gain points from solid online shooting that can used to upgrade your player. This system is called the P.E.C. "Persistent Elite Creation". Players will keep their experience and progress will be kept permanently on Xbox Live. When creating a character you can choose from four classes being Commando, Combat Medic, Special Ops, and Engineer. The points can be distributed to better gear up your character or alter your appearance. The P.E.C. will defiantly help players get more into the online experience and it's a nice new innovation to the Rainbow Six games, and if you think this new fangled system are the birds you can always play a normal game without the P.E.C. turned on.
Chavez vs. Weber
For the single player mission we also have a new twist which juggles the gameplay from squad leader 'Ding Chavez' to sniper 'Dexter Weber.' Of course if you know the Rainbow games you know Ding, but the new guy on the block is Dexter. Dexter is team Rainbow's resident sniper and much like 'Silent Scope' you get to be perched high above the action snipping terrorists like hitting ducks at the carnival. Dexter's missions are usually split between a few missions, and are just one part of the mission. Through the storytelling his role is important for helping infiltrate buildings and enemy locals. When we get to Chavez it's more of the same terrorist action like in previous games, rescue attempts, illegal shipping zones, and hostage situations from locations all around the world. Rather then just snipping ducks, infiltration and strategy is the real reason to play any 'Rainbow Six' game.
Wish I was Fisher
Running through the game has never been as easy for Ding's team because Lockdown has added some extra controls to the palette. Your team can now follow, or hold a position, or perform a recon scout ahead. Scouting is a neat feature, but it's easy enough just do everything yourself and it's really up to you. If you wanted you could leave those team mates back at the starting point and go in Rambo style. Well, maybe more Sam Fisher style. Speaking of Sam Fisher, while playing Lockdown I wanted to use some of his gadgets during the game, it would be great if Ding could get the number of Sam's outfitter. I believe the optical cable would do wonders in Rainbow Six rather then blindly entering a room.
Ding does have one new trick in his arsenal in the way of a motion tracker sensor that can read heartbeats through almost any material. With this new trick its way easy to run through levels when you pretty much see through walls. I'm glad it didn't seem to work on heavy concrete and some other materials so my cheating finger was denied by hitting the button. The sensor has a limited running time, but mostly you'll have it off and on within seconds. If you feel this senor is running the gameplay you simply don't have to use it.
So everything sounds good so far with the review, we have an innovative new multiplayer aspect and two new main characters to use in the single player. That is the good, so like any good journalist we have to examine the bad. One of the main reasons why Lockdown pushes over the arcade realm of things is in the gameplay. It's never been so easy just to run and gun your way through a mission or with a heavy machine gun online. People are getting slaughtered on 'Xbox Live' so we have to think, does this add to the games tactics or is it just an attempt to push the game into a more mainstream market. It's not such an imbalance in the single player mission, only because the AI smartens up when you hit the half way mark. I started to notice a bigger change around level 6 and 7. Before those levels it's a walk in the park and you can be latterly standing right in front of someone and they will miss shots, and that includes your teammates too. Horrible A.I., and targeting, but again it does jump up later. I'm assuming it's to ease new players into the game, but damn. make it hard, that's why we loved the first Rainbow.
Graphics & Sound
The Red Storm graphic engine is back to work in Lockdown providing a more dynamic look then before. I know the team has changed there look, but the real story is in the use of shadows and light in Lockdown. More so then in the past Lockdown focuses on different lighting situations in each environment which really showcases the level design and capabilities of their graphics engine. Those aspects of the graphics and the cut scenes are top notch, but where the game drops a bit is in the textures and character animations. I felt they lagged behind the progress made in other areas of the graphics and could have been more crisp and polished.
The sound in Lockdown is impressive, like always the praises are given out in a Rainbow Six game. This team does a great job with the audio and tries a little harder to make the environment come to life with sound. Although the inclusion of humor in bored team mates can get on your nerves, they make it up for their passable cut senses. Lockdown is another success for Red storm which makes me egger to see their hopefully upcoming Rainbow work on the 360.
The mojo is still precedent in Lockdown, but because of the little issues we have cloud in our visors. You can still get that little tingle of anxiety right before you simultaneously breach a room, or exploring an obvious ambush, Rainbow moments are there. just a little spaced. The Dingman is still a pretty cool guy, and I guess I'll learn to live with Weber. Actually the new sniping sequences give Rainbow a little boost of fresh mojo, although it makes it fell more like a shooter. Mojo also sneaks out in the P.E.C system and it's a new killer aspect of multiplayer, but stop the press. Let's not put it in single player mode! What! Uh, Rainbow it's turning to that love hate side of our relationship.
'Rainbow Six' has the tactical shooter formula d`own pat. Even though 'Lockdown' plays with the formula a little more, it is still an entertaining game, but you have to wonder, is 'Rainbow' stepping forward while moving back? I just hope next time, Ding and the boys are fighting a team as good as 'Rainbow,' and not kids in hoodies.
Gameplay: 8, Graphics/Sound: 9, Innovation: 6, Mojo: 8. Final: 7.5 /10
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy |
Sept. 19th 2005