E3 2005: Level Up
UbiSoft Locks Down Another Six
Product: Rainbow Six: Lockdown
Company: No Company
Date: 05/30/2005
Avaliable On:

There?s no denying the success of the Rainbow Six series. Not only did it single-handedly start the entire squad-based shooter genre, but has consistently been one of the top FPSs on the market. So, it should come as no surprise that UbiSoft is readying a fourth installment of the franchise entitled Rainbow Six: Lockdown.

The developer?s aim with Lockdown is to create a game in which you, the player, actually care about the characters around you. These aren?t merely digital models composed of polygon and textures, these are real living entities that you?ll protect and fight alongside of. In order to reach this level of attachment with players, the developers are introducing a few elements to really make players care.

The first push for attachment is with the game?s storyline, which finds the Rainbow Six team in an uncomfortable position. To use the overly used clich?, the hunters have become the hunted. The team has been targeted by a terrorist organization that is seeking a nanovirus it intends to use on Rainbow Six. This leads the team into unfamiliar territory, as they?ll have to protect themselves while at the same time trying to stop the terrorists. During the game, you?ll take the role of one of the two team members, Dieter Weber or Ding Chavez.

Each member will have a specific role in the group, which will lead to different experiences. For example, as the team?s sniper, Dieter?s missions will include taking down unsuspecting enemies from a distance.

Lockdown?s cast will also feature ten other personalities who will replace the otherwise generic soldiers that made up your team in past games. The aim is to give each of these characters, which include females, their own personalities that will come out in the form of radio-chatter during mission. The hope is that by putting a ?face? on your teammates, you?ll gain an attachment to them.

Missions will take place in locales around the world, including South Africa, Scotland and the Netherlands. The game is being built on the same general engine as the last version of the game, and will contain many of the same features as the last game. Lockdown will also introduce new items, such as a brand new A.I., that should give even the most hardcore Rainbow Six vets a challenge.

Multiplayer will let you choose between being a Rainbow Six operative or mercenary. The game will also feature an extensive player-creation mode that will let you choose from a variety of elements, such as sex, hairstyle and skin color. Character creation will differ between the Xbox and PS2 versions. The PS2 version will feature the standard player-creation system while Xbox Live gamers will be able to use a Persistent Elite Creation, or PEC, mode.

In PEC mode, player data will be saved on the Xbox Live servers and will allow players to evolve over time. Players can choose from the game?s class types, each with their own defining skill sets. As your player ages, so will your skills. Players can also assign points to specific skills to enhance the mode?s personalization. Players will be able to further enhance their characters by spending in-game credits on upgrades like camo, armor and weapons.

Online match types will include the usual Deathmatch modes, as well as a well as a Transport mode where your team is awarded points for delivering (and protecting) certain items in the map.

Rainbow Six has been successful from the start and looks like the success will keep on going. Rainbow Six: Lockdown should be out this Fall.

Starscream aka Ricky Tucker

GameVortex PSIllustrated TeamPS2