Rainbow Six: Lockdown
Rainbow Six, the novel, has long been a book I tend to turn to when I’ve run out of books to read. One of the main reasons I keep rereading this book is that it’s extremely compelling. Unsurprisingly, I was the first to snatch Lockdown, the Rainbow Six series’ newest addition, from the fingers of our editor in chief.
Those of you who remember the old Rainbow Six games, might still remember the tactical map where you had to plan your actions carefully before you started playing. Unfortunately, Lockdown does not return to this formule and instead, focuses more on the action itself. Because of this, the game loses much of its unique atmosphere and its relation with the book. You take on the role of Rainbow Team Two’s teamleader, Domingo ‘Ding’ Chavez and will lead up to three people into battle. Sporadically you will also be able to count on the help of Rainbow Team 1.
You’re offered a wide variety of guns, but I would’ve liked a sniper rifle or two and some grenade launchers. However, these weapons can be used in multiplayer mode, so that kinda makes up for it. After a while you just skip the briefing and equipment phase and go straight for the ‘Start mission’ button.
Oh well, I set my nostalgia aside and try to find whether the game would still be fun to play. With a push on your mouse button you pop up a small menu with orders you can give your team. Without doubt a valiant attempt to increase the sense of teamplay, but unfortunately it never gets near the amazing order system Sierra developed for their S.W.A.T. 4 game. For instance, when you ask your team to breach a door and throw a grenade in the room. However, if the team comes in contact with enemies when they kick the door, they will open fire until everyone in the room is killed and then they will toss the grenade… To blow up a room full of recently killed people. Somewhat disturbing to say the least. Mostly it’s just a matter of running through each levels at such high speeds and storming each room yourself, so your team members will be as least of a hindrance as they can be.
The Artificial Intelligence of the terrorists again, leaves lots to be desired. I have but one pointer for the future terrorists among you; when you duck for cover, make sure you’re actually standing behind something. Fortunately, each terrorist seems to have an incredibly developed senses system, for it is almost impossible to sneak up to your enemy. Unless you’re staring straight in his eyes that is, in that case you can easily take some time to clean your scopes. Lockdown tends to compensate this lack of intelligence with genuine tidal wave of enemies. Each of the sixteen available missions has around sixty enemies. This makes me wonder who finances the terrorist industry lately. Al Qaeda had trouble putting ten people on a plane to America.
When we have a look at graphics we can only conclude that most of the work on this title went into this particular section. The beautiful and varied level design and neat-looking player models look extremely clean and the game uses a lot of the new DX9 features.
This newest addition to the Rainbow Six series could not win me over. Lockdown disappoints in too many areas. Once again Clancy offends the fans by associating his name with a game of lesser quality. If you’re looking for an arcade shooter with cleanly cut graphics, Rainbow Six: Lockdown may be the right game for you, but those of you looking for a realistic shooter where strategic insights are necessary to win, you might want to walk straight past this one if you see it laying in stores.