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Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

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  • Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

    Rainbow Six: Lockdown Review


    Oh, how I remember the series well. I’ve been a fan of Tom Clancy’s work for a long time. It started with his excellent novels, for which I have read them all (and even have two of his classics on my iPod as audio books).

    Then came the movies, which were great, but never as good as the books, which seems to be a typical opinion about movies made from books anyway.

    Finally, there was the first Rainbow Six computer game.

    That was the game that truly got me into online cooperative play. I met members of my first gaming group, the “Military Gaming Group”, playing it, and to this day we still play a game from the series now and then, and always look forward to the next version in line. Now my time is more dedicated to my new gaming group, Tactical Gamer, but to be honest no one really plays the old Rainbow Six series here much. I was hoping for that to change with Lockdown.

    Tom Clancy has given up the total control he had over his name and on these games. Where he use to demand approval on any and all elements of a game, he no longer does so. Ubisoft has bought the rights to the game and the rights to his name. In this age of consoles, a number of us were very concerned about the direction the Rainbow Six series would take, especially since the console versions were selling like crazy.

    Then, I started reading news and interviews that the PC version was getting extra attention, and that Ubisoft thought it was time to take it back from the console direction, and put it on the right track for the PC release. My interest peaked and I was hopeful again.

    Then, about a month before retail, Ubisoft released a demo for Lockdown, and it meet with a lot a negative remarks and comments throughout the gaming communities, my interest fell flat again.
    Then, I heard rumors that Lockdown would be delayed till the end of the year. I assumed because the developers realized how terrible the demo was and that the game was not ready to be released. I was pleased again.

    Then, out of the blue, and a shock to me, I found that Lockdown had in fact been released to retail. Did Ubisoft shoot themselves in the foot by releasing a demo that was considered terrible, then the game a week or so later?

    What is to happen to one of the greatest computer game series in history?

    Direct2Drive vs. Package:

    You can go to your local computer store and purchase Rainbow Six: Lockdown in box form. In that box will be 5 CD ROM disks, a 20 page manual, and a key code. (Thanks Positive G for that information.)

    I elected to use a service I have purchased a couple of games that I wanted to try, but felt I wouldn’t be keeping for years to come, like GUN and F.E.A.R. This service is a sub-set of Fileplanet called Direct2Drive. I purchased my version of Lockdown as a digital download.

    This is really a great service if you have a broadband connection. I had to download a part one and a part two, each around 2 gigs each. (I had the game downloaded in about an hour.) You then simply extract both downloads into the same folder and double click the setup icon. I had no problems with the install procedure. And now I don’t need a disk, which is another bonus for digital downloads.

    I still do wonder why I have to pay 50 US dollars, compared to the 40 US dollars that is advertised in stores for the same game, when I’m not getting the extras like a case, CD’s, or a printed manual.

    Install and Setup:

    Like I said above, I bought and downloaded a digital version of Lockdown. I extracted the two downloads and double clicked the setup icon. It then installed without any problems. I exited the setup and re-booted my computer. (Now-a-days you don’t have to re-boot, but it is still a good idea after a new install of anything.)

    I started the game, and after watching the small introduction I was on the main menu. Which is nicely laid out and easy to understand and read. I should point out here that Lockdown is one of the many games using the Starforce protection scheme. I haven’t had any problems with Starforce in the past, and never had any during my playing, and testing, of Lockdown.
    You have your typical options menu which has tabs at the top to adjust your video, audio, game play, and controls. All are nicely laid out and easy to use and adjust. Click save, and then back to the main menu.

    On the main menu you have a choice of single player and multiplayer, clicking on each of these brings you to the respected menu. More will be covered in the individual sections. You also have the choice of activating mods, which will surely come out later, but none at this moment.

    Single Player:

    Well, the first thing you should always do, game play wise, with any new game is check out the tutorials. The only tutorial in Lockdown is one map with a nicely laid out gun range. You can then try any and all guns that are included.

    This is a lot by the way. By rough estimates you have about 12 assault rifles, 10 sub machineguns, 4 heavy machine guns, and 6 shotguns. You also have pistols (about 6 of them) and machine pistols (about 4 of them), and 2 secondary shotguns. And to add to that you have a couple of weapons exclusive just for online play. You also have attachments for most of these weapons like scopes, high cap mags, and suppressors.

    To be honest with you, I like that there’s tons of weapons too choose from, but for the most part each one fires about the same for its class of weapon. Sure there’s a big difference between an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a machine gun. But within the same class of weapons there really isn’t that much difference that I could tell.

    Don’t forget you also get some nice toys to play with as a member of Team Rainbow. You get your typical flash bangs and grenades, along with some breaching C4, but your team also gets a hammer for smashing down doors, or a shotgun made for taking doors down by there hinges. Both cool to see in action, in game, (and in real life I might add.)

    After all that extensive training, you’re ready for the campaign. In game, you are Domingo “Ding” Chavez, one of the stars in Tom Clancy’s books, movies, and the computer game series. (Isn’t it way past due for Ding to retire already?). You are the leader of six; you have three others with you. Who they are is chosen for you at the start of each mission, but it’s not the same three all game long.

    This will come in handy; in most missions you can lose all your teammates and complete the mission, because you, Ding, know it all, and have all their skills too. Those damn terrorist are at it again, they stole some virus called “Legion”, and have made it into a weapon. You and your team are sent in to kill the terrorist and get that stuff back.

    The campaign is 16 missions long, once you complete a level, that map is opened up for you in other single player modes. Each mission has a number of sub-levels. You and your team have to complete a sub-level from start to finish making it to an exit point, where the next sub-level loads. Do this about 3 to 5 times per mission and you’ll finally complete a mission.

    The maps and levels are beautiful and well made, and vary in different locations, but the game is geared for you to follow a single path, a path of death and destruction, because within each level there appears to be hundreds (a figure of speech) of terrorists, and only very occasionally is there a civilian or two, besides the hostages you might have to rescue. There are so many bad guys in this game that I have had to force myself to go into single shot mode to conserver ammo, since my squad mates ain’t much of a help, (explained later.)

    The locations for the single player are plenty and different from one another. You’ll start in South Africa, inserted by helicopter on the parking garage rooftop; yes, this is the demo mission. You’ll go through the garage, and then through some buildings, a courtyard, then more buildings reaching a bank.

    Then you’ll visit other exotic locations, where you can kill more bad guys, like Algeria, a desert village, Amsterdam, Catacombs, caves, tunnels, buildings, towns, and a hospital. You’ll crash the NATO summit too. You get the picture: a lot of locations, a lot of maps, all different in there own rights, but unfortunate the paths are all one way. From point A to point B. You’ll have to clear rooms and buildings, you’ll have to clear tunnels and underground fortresses, and you’ll even get some fresh air with some more open desert town type maps.

    Red Storm/Ubisoft gets a plus for the choices of locations, the difference between those locations, and the overall look and feel of each location. You’ll continue through the campaign, what is lost from the series is the planning phases of the game, since it’s so one way, you don’t need to plan, you can’t pick how you would do it, you have to follow the gauntlet.

    You do get to equipment your team as you see fit. Select a character and a screen will bring up there stats, uniforms and equipment and even tell you a little about them. You can then change any or all that you want from that screen, another nice layout done by the developers.

    Once you’ve unlocked a map, you can decide to have some fun. You can do a terrorist hunt, where you move through a level and wipe out all the bad guys. Which is pretty much what you do 80% of the time in the campaign. You can do a reverse terrorist hunt, that is where they hunt you, or you can lone wolf each mission, which is what I’d prefer to do in the campaign, more on that later.

    As with past Rainbow Six games, with all the extra types of play in single player, all the maps and locations, after finishing the campaign you have plenty of replay value if you want it.


    Now, a nice campaign is great but where these types of games shine is usually the multiplayer type. I almost exclusively play multiplayer cooperative with all tactical shooters, but to give a fair review, I sucked it up and joined a couple of open multiplayer servers in the interest of this review.

    There are many types of multiplayer games, one is the standard Free for All where you join in and shoot anyone and everyone. Then, you have the team adversarial mod which is one team against another, and then there’s Rivalry, which is another team based mode where you complete objectives to get points for your team. Then there’s the classic Retrieval which is pretty much like capture the flag and bring it back to your base. You also have cooperative terrorist hunt, which has been one of my favorites for years, you work with a team to hunt and kill bad guys. Then of course is the Rainbow Six trade mark, Cooperative play for the missions, this is where you and your online buddies take on the single campaign missions without the idiot AI teammates getting in your way.

    When playing multiplayer you get a few extra toys like flash bangs, flash mines, C4, a motion sensor, virus grenades, door fusers, claymore mines, laser trip mines, and a surveillance PDA. All cool to include, but way over the top for any realism.

    The one major negative to Lockdown’s multiplayer, which is for most Ubisoft games, is that you have to go through there Ubisoft server list to play, no direct connect, direct IP, etc. etc.

    When will these people learn? The Ubisoft servers are a joke, if you get disconnected or a lock up in game, then re-boot and re-start, you just may not be able to get back in because your CD key is already in use! Most of the time the server you were on has to be reset or wait till the next load up.

    Graphics and Sound:

    Like I said above, the graphics for this game are very nicely done. The characters, the equipment, and especially the environment are incredible. The gun fire and explosions are nicely done without be over dramatized. This is truly the prettiest Rainbow Six I’ve seen.

    The sounds of the environment and gun fire is nice, but mainly sounding the same within the weapons class. The voice acting is some of the worst I’ve experienced. The next time one of my operatives smack talks me for waiting to long to do something, I’m going to shoot them myself!Each character has there own voice set, but thier accents (they are international you know) seems fake. If that French guys says “wee” to me one more time, I’m going to cap his… too.

    Artificial Intelligence and Game Play:

    OH boy, any of you readers who follow the forums know what’s coming.

    Really though… I was kind of hard on the artificial intelligence, it’s really great, best of any Rainbow Six game, best of any tactical simulation, and Lockdown has the best artificial intelligence ever, NOT!

    Don’t you worry, I haven’t sold out. Lockdown has the worst friendly and enemy AI I have ever seen in a computer game, ever.

    Do you know what the F5 key does in Lockdown? It’s the quick save and you better use that key every single time you stack on a door. And let me tell you, no bull here, you will find that 5 out of 10 times after you give a order on a door, whether it’s to flash, bang, and clear, or just to open and wait, you will be re-loading your last save.

    First off, we will start with your teams AI. They kill themselves; they bounce grenades and bangs off door frames onto the team. They stand in an open door way, taking hit after hit, saying “I’m hit” over and over, till they go down. Your left thinking, “hey dude, one small step to the right and they won’t be able to get you.”

    You order your team, with the action key to a location overlooking the direction we are moving, they get there, the whole team, stops, kneels, and faces the way we just came from, meanwhile the enemy steps out behind them, in the direction we haven’t cleared, and waste them all, without them doing anything, well except for saying “I’m hit” over and over.

    You tell them to stack on a door; they go to the door and face away from it, looking at a blank wall. You tell them to enter and clear, if it’s a small room they may do it right, enter, then call all clear, or maybe they won’t see the guy behind the glass, they call all clear, then you walk in and the bad guy engages you. If you order them into a big room, you’ll see a team member moving through all this fire, and again yelling “I’m hit”, and/or “I need suppressive fire”, all the way to the other side without clearing anything before hand. They of course go down, and you’re yelling at your screen again, “Get back here you F’in moron!”

    By then, you know that your team is a bunch of morons, so you got to do the heavy stuff yourself, you order your team to go stand in the corner and count the cracks in the wall or something, while you go off to play the game, you hear those idiots telling you to hurry up or waiting for orders in a sarcastic tone. I tell them, really, right to the monitor, “If you weren’t such a moron I wouldn’t leave you over there, I’m doing you a favor, now shut up.”

    The AI has no tactics programming whatsoever. Once in a while you’ll see them do good only to screw up 10 seconds later. The artificial intelligence in this game is completely unacceptable, and both Ubisoft and Red Storm should have known about this because of the comments of the demo, and beta testers should have reported this also.

    As for the Tangos, it’s like shooting little clay targets at a fair going from side to side. You turn a corner, and you can expect a number of tangos standing in the hallway to fire on you. If you go into an open area, you’ll see a beautiful environment with lots of stuff, and out of those stuff pops a tango for a second or two, then back down again, just wait and he’ll pop up again in the same spot.

    As my friend JediMaster said when we were discussing the game over team speak. “Someone needs to make a mod that changes the sound of a moan to a DING sound that you hear at the fair whenever a tango gets hit”

    Oh, don’t you worry my friends, they will flank you, not because there trained (or programmed to flank) but since you must go down the death trail, after you pass an area, even if you have cleared everything behind you, tangos will spawn behind you or at your flank to come in an kill your team. And if you left your team behind you, they will be dead, one right after the other. Time for a quick load.

    Oh, and you know how Team Rainbow has the best and most state of the art equipment like night vision, and what the manual calls “special vision”, well, it don’t say but I assume that the bad guys have this too, because I could be clearing a dark cave, I have night vision on so can see a small head in the far distance, too far to engage, and sure enough, “Here they come” and a volley of fire comes at you. “You crazy tango guys how did you know I was coming in from that tunnel, how can you see me in total darkness from such a far distance?” Why, I’ll tell you why because the AI programming in this game borders asinine.

    Oh, I get it now. I just checked the credits, because I wanted to call out the AI programmer by name, but there isn’t one listed. I’ll have to blame the producer “Stuart White”, and the Lead Developer “Clint Richards”. Might as well call out the 25 testers, “what, you guys didn’t see a problem with the AI in beta?”

    When looking at the screenshots, notice how the team stacks, what there facing and where there going. You will see what I mean. If you want more proof, stop by the “screenshots and videos” forum and check out the three video clips I posted there.


    My conclusion, maybe I should calm down first.

    See the first couple sections of this review were nice and calm, with a slow typing of the keyboard. But then when I got to the AI, my blood pressure went up, I was typing three times as fast, and kept thinking of more idiotic incidents with the AI.

    The guys and girls at Red Storm Entertainment did a great job on the graphics, sounds, and the UI menu system.

    They dropped the ball on the series with there lack of artificial intellengce programming. They have ruined what was a classic series, and quite frankly not only should any PC gamer not buy this game, you can pretty much forget about the greatness of this series past because it will never be again.

    The producer and programmer, especially if there was actually someone in charge of the AI, should never be allowed to work in the industry again. The beta testers might want to not mention they beta tested “Lockdown” in there next application.

    I’m finishing this game, then un-installing it. Never in my gaming experience have I had a game I wanted to love so much be so disappointing. The thing is you can’t fix these problems with a patch. What needs to be done, (minus a complete re-call, and re-assignment of the game to another development unit), is the AI, which is a serious game killer, needs to be reprogrammed, the maps need to be opened up, and weapons tweaked a little more. Then you will be forgiven and another classic in the Rainbow Six closet just may appear.

    Until then, go back to Raven Shield; better yet, the original Rainbow Six game.

    Or, go play SWAT 4, AI isn't perfect but it's do-able there. Far better then any AI you'll find in this piece of programming crap.

    Good night and farewell Rainbow Six series, you are now truly gone. Thanks for the memories.
    Last edited by Mateo; 03-05-2006, 10:29 AM. Reason: Grammar & pacing.
    Magnum |TG-18th|

    We stand between chaos and order, evil and good, despair and hope - we are the Thin Blue Line, and we will never be broken.

  • #2
    Re: Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

    i had excactly the same thing when i bought lockdown for the xbox. i hardly recognised any of the guns and the AI just sucked. they tried to open it out a bit too much with the sniper bits which, although fun were very, very frustrating at times to keep your team's health up. i returned the game after about a week and went back to rainbow six 3. i am still playing it now and will probably pick up black arrow for cheap when i next find it
    Everyone learns faster on fire


    • #3
      Re: Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

      The reason it costs as much to download the game as it does to buy it in a store is because publishers still haven't fully adapted to online content delivery. If they charged less online, the stores would get mad and not carry their game. Games like Darwinia, Red Orchestra, SiN Episodes, and Half-Life 2: Episode 1 are cheaper since you can buy them online through Steam.


      • #4
        Re: Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

        It's funny. A friend of mine just got the game, and he asked if I wanted a copy. I've been sitting here running an Athlon 1.2TB for a coupel of years now, and the best I can manage is maybe Warcraft3, not a halflife-2 standard game. So for the last year and a half, iv'e just been collecting games, wainting till I can afford a new system. I think, thanks to this review, I'm just going to say no thank you to my buddy. AI to me is waht makes a game. Sure a grahpics card, and an audio card make the game look nice, but to PLAY a game it has to be as close to realism (yes, i like games with aliens too) as it can possibly be.
        I'm so dissapointed. I loved Rainbow Six. I really did. I used to plan teh missions, and then just spectate while my guys did EVERYTHING that i needed them to do. it was fantastic!
        Ambriento for comm! Vote today!


        • #5
          Re: Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

          I had this in my hands at Costco tonight and needless to say, I put it right back, next to the 5 pack of Parmasan cheese......
          "If the sword is always sheathed, it will become rusty, the blade will dull, and people will think as much of its owner." —Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

          I prefer a challenge and teamwork rather than a stat loading server without sound tactical ideals.


          • #6
            Re: Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

            Freezer section?

            I will say magnums reviews and pre-reviews of games are always dead on, i would trust his judgement over gamespy any day.
            that sounds like a good idea trooper.


            • #7
              Re: Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

              Thx Trooper...

              Really, reviews are just opinions... if you agree with me on reviews then it just means we have the same taste in games, gameplay, ect ect...

              If you disagree, well your... wrong... jk ;)
              Magnum |TG-18th|

              We stand between chaos and order, evil and good, despair and hope - we are the Thin Blue Line, and we will never be broken.


              • #8
                Re: Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

                As an avid RvS player I waited with baited breath. I am so disapointed. Needless to say I am done with the Rainbow six series and UBI too for that matter AA is a better game, at a better price with the same grafix that helped make RvS so enjoyable.


                • #9
                  Re: Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

                  In case anyone wants to see, I posted the two videos that Magnum took on the Ubi forums. Definitely worth a read.


                  • #10
                    Re: Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

                    I like how the one guy tries to explain how to clear a room. His explanation is incorrect as far as I'm concerned.

                    I've seen file fottage of Special Forces and footage of Marines in Iraq clearing rooms and they do take a corner of the room. Each squad mate is assigned a corner of the room. You breach the door, first guy in fires to the far right corner then moves to the right corner. Second guy fires to the far left corner then turns and moves into the left corner. And before any of them move to the other side of the room they always clear other doorways and rooms.

                    Thats my understanding of it ayway, and when I played paintball competitvely when we entered pill boxs or bunkers thats how we entered. We'd breach the door, toss our smoke or paint grenade then enter, each one of us would take a corner of the room before proceeding to the next room. We never created a "skirmish" line against the wall. That would get us killed. When I was younger our team was so good that we challeneged the Paramus Police Department (Paramus, NJ) to a paintball match. We cleaned their clocks. It was awesome. (Although that same game my paint grenade didn't go off when we entered a pill box.)

                    I'm cannon fodder.


                    • #11
                      Lock down server ???

                      yes new RvS I like it Lockdown rules good AI in this game. Need server time now whats up ??? If u found any problems with getting online ???


                      • #12
                        Re: Lock down server ???

                        Originally posted by Brooklyn
                        yes new RvS I like it Lockdown rules good AI in this game. Need server time now whats up ??? If u found any problems with getting online ???
                        What... the...

                        Did you even read the review? Watch the 2 videos I linked to? Play the game at all?!?


                        • #13
                          Re: Lock down server ???

                          Originally posted by Brooklyn
                          yes new RvS I like it Lockdown rules good AI in this game. Need server time now whats up ??? If u found any problems with getting online ???
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                          • #14
                            Re: Rainbow Six: Lockdown...

                            You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to CingularDuality again.




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