Quick Review: Rainbow Six: Lockdown
Right. Promise me you won’t retreat back to this dark era in the Rainbow Six series. You probably won’t, but for the sake of a much-needed history lesson for Ubisoft, let’s give this a try.
I mention the videos because, much like the average player’s experience, the beginning is depressing and bland. Making these videos, especially the first two episodes, was just so bleh. Despite not even finishing the game yet (part 9 of 16 or so) I can already conclude that this is just a bad game.
What made this more depressing was how great the Rainbow Six series was before Lockdown. Rainbow Six was a prized tactical shooter regarded in the way ARMA is today. There hadn’t been an entry known to lag as significantly as Lockdown was.
Why is this? First of all: the story. The main issue here is that there is one. At the time, I don’t think anyone desired a real personal story from the Rainbow Six franchise. Lockdown tries this anyway by generally keeping the same rotation of squadmates every few missions. With this, the tactical planning overlays that forever had been a staple of the series is now gone. A somewhat intuitive first-person squad command system has been put in place of both the pre-planning stages and complex in-game squad orders. Some would say this is a step forward in efforts to streamline, modernize, and broaden the scope of the game. While that’s a completely different and controversial topic, we all know that no one went to a Rainbow Six game for a streamlined experience.
Okay, whatever. So does it work well? Not really. Most of the time, yes. But even then, why would you want to tactically use your team when you could just run in guns blazing and complete each mission in 15 minutes? Seriously. No elements of realism prevented me from slaughtering my useless team and ramboing through waves of putrid enemies to the end of the mission in 15 minutes. I surely encountered more deaths than someone who would’ve been playing “tactically”, but that would have instituted a much longer experience, something that Lockdown thankfully doesn’t force you to do.
There’s also a certain number of little issues that amount to big headaches when encountered frequently. It seems like every time you do an action that has anything to do with a door, you are prevented from firing for a split second. That second is long enough for an enemy directly in front of that door to shoot your face clean off your little Rainbow head. Another headache is the constant witnessing of just how dumb the AI is. They often take up positions in corners with their back to you, waiting to die. And that’s after staring you down while you kill the rest of his buddies in the room. In addition, the AI has also been given the special ability of binocular vision and can end your terrorist killing career with a single shot to the forehead from across the environment.
As for the core gameplay: it’s standard. The guns shoot and make bang bang sounds. Bullets hit objects and people and they go boom or scream. There’s not much to describe as it is par for the course for first-person shooters, even more today than it was back in 2005.
So just don’t buy it, if you can even still find it these days. The console version is much better I hear. But if you’re looking to get Rainbow Six: Lockdown for the consoles it came out on, maybe you have a bigger issue than whether or not to purchase this game.