Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown Xbox
Published by Ubisoft
Developed by Ubisoft
Release Date: Out Now
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown, an introduction.
The Xbox has been well blessed with Tom Clancy inspired games. Of course the Tom Clancy series that has got most of the attention is the superb Splinter Cell series. However the Rainbow Six games on the Xbox have been just as impressive and it's no surprise that the games are still firm favourites on Xbox Live. Whilst the PlayStation 2 and GameCube versions were somewhat simplified, the Xbox versions of the game retained a lot of the realism that made the Rainbow Six series well loved on the PC. Here we have the latest Rainbow Six title, Rainbow Six Lockdown.
What's the game about?
In South Africa terrorists have stolen an illegally engineered bio-weapon called Legion. When it's unleashed, Legion becomes a fast acting plague that kills its victims with little effort. Once again the counter-terrorist group Rainbow have been called in to find the terrorists, find out exactly what their motives are and put a stop to them before a disaster occurs. Once again you step into the shoes of Ding Chavez and with your small team you'll be doing your level best to stop the terrorists. To throw in a bit of variation you'll also play as Dieter Weber, a sniper.
What's good about the game?
This is a Rainbow Six title that delivers a quality campaign with well thought out missions. With the exception of the new sniper segments most of the console Rainbow Six formula has been retained although the missions don't feel as challenging as in previous versions. As per usual as well as playing the campaign you can also redo missions you've previously completed in the campaign mode by selecting custom mission. On the multiplayer side of things you can play split-screen, system link or Xbox Live games. Co-operative, Team Survival, Total Conquest, Retrieval and Team Sharpshooter games make up the modes on offer. The best aspect of the Xbox Live experience has to be the new P.E.C. (Persistent Elite Creation) Mode. You'll create your own character and pick a class (from Commando, Engineer, Medic, Spec-Ops) for him. Playing games will earn you experience points and credits. The experience points can be used to increase the ability of your character whilst the credits can be used to purchase and maintain your gear. You can even earn medals for your performance. The P.E.C. Mode is a great addition and gives added incentive to experience the Xbox Live mode.
What's not so good about the game?
If you enjoyed the PC Rainbow Six games and the previous titles that have appeared on the Xbox, you may find the difficulty level has been toned down somewhat in Lockdown. Of course this is not necessarily a bad thing and it makes the game more accessible but there is a definite feeling that the series is moving away from its fairly realistic roots and that might upset those who've been playing since the original PC games. You now have 8 permanent save slots and you can save anywhere you wish. This is in stark contrast to Rainbow Six 3 that only allowed you 3 temporary save slots that were lost if you quit the mission. The PlayStation 2 version of the game feels really simplified and isn't much like a Rainbow Six game at all. The sniper segments where you play as Dieter Weber definitely have an arcade feel to them and they seem out of place with the rest of the game.
How does it look?
The previous Rainbow Six games have looked impressive and Lockdown is no exception. The different vision modes (night and thermal) once again look excellent. Should your goggles become damaged or cracked you'll have a slightly distorted view of things and the effects for this are excellent. Comparing the Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions, it's fair to say that the PlayStation 2 version is much poorer. The levels on the PlayStation 2 version appear to have been simplified and feel quite a bit smaller in places. However the presentation on both platforms, like the other Rainbow Six titles, is first rate.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
The mission briefings are shown in text (there is no text briefing for the PlayStation 2 version though) and tutorial messages are shown in text too. Sometimes you're given additional objectives during a mission and these are shown in text. There are no subtitles and there is no option to enable subtitles. Any communication between you and your fellow squad members is speech only and deaf gamers will have no idea of what's being said. Enemy dialogue is not subtitled either which means that deaf gamers will not be forewarned of enemies that are out of sight, although the thermal vision mode will enable you to spot nearby enemies that normally can't be seen. You also have limited use of a heart beat detector that can spot enemies through walls. Interestingly the PlayStation 2 version puts rectangular outlines around enemies making them really easy to pick out. Whilst playing the sniper segments of the game you'll have to keep a sharp eye on the rest of your squad, as there's no text to notify you that all the enemies in the immediate location have been killed. This is especially important when you have to move about yourself and are not automatically moved in a helicopter for instance. Hearing gamers will benefit from being able to issue voice commands to their squad whilst deaf gamers will have to make do with pushing buttons to do the same thing. The online side of the game is also a lesser experience for deaf gamers as the current Xbox Live system doesn't support text communication.
There can be no doubt that Rainbow Six Lockdown is another quality title in the Rainbow Six series. It's definitely the most forgiving Rainbow Six title we've seen on the Xbox. However, the Xbox version is a lot more challenging than the PlayStation 2 version which seems really simplified. It's a pity that Rainbow Six Lockdown isn't fully subtitled. It's not impossible for deaf gamers by any mean but it will be more difficult. The Xbox Live P.E.C. Mode is a great inclusion. All we need now is a Xbox Live system that supports text chat but I guess we'll have to wait for the Xbox 360 before that happens.
Overall Game Rating: 8.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Although Rainbow Six Lockdown is more forgiving than any other Rainbow Six title on the Xbox to date, it's still an enjoyable experience that fans of the series should play. It could have been a lot more deaf gamer friendly though.