Rainbow Six: LockdownShawn Elliott
Developer: Ubi Montreal
Release Date: April 2005
Whether working within our own borders or abroad, successful bands of black operatives need both high-tech tools and serious training. Lockdown isn’t just another Black Arrow–style expansion pack masquerading as an original game: New guns and gadgets deepen the combat, and the ability to build persistent online personas lets players experiment with different duties on the battlefield. Here’s how the latest entry in the long-running Rainbow Six series of tactical shooters hopes to retain its recruits this spring.
These Special Forces soldiers wield heavy weapons and wear sturdier armor. Upgrades include the ability to minimize machine gun “climb” (the tooth-rattling recoil that sends sights skyward) and a bullet-blocking shield perfect for protecting the back of a bomb-prepping ally.
From practical (tiger stripe camo for tropical settings) to purely cosmetic (beetle brows and a bushy beard), the robust character creator mode lets you make over your freedom fighter’s costume and facial features. Settling on a signature style with a custom clan logo will help your squad identify you when things get hectic.
Life-taker and lifesaver alike, a medic can man field clinics to keep his fellows in the fight even after they’ve been perforated with gunfire. Plus, medics pack a nasty pray-and-spray nerve agent that screws with an opponent’s vision and retards his reaction time (it’s perfect for overcoming shield-bearing commandos).
As always, head shots are fatal, but body armor can buy you a split-second chance when bullets strike anywhere else. It also degrades as it absorbs damage, and you’ll want to set aside some of your earnings to replace it after the wear and tear of multiple matches.
Rainbows see across the spectrum with all-purpose goggles. Infrared and low-light vision return, but Lockdown immerses you further by framing your view with lenses that fog up in freezing cold, collect droplets under a downpour, and crack with damage.
Packing silenced submachine guns, these cutthroats shoot from shadows dark enough to disappear in, and slice through Kevlar with a combat knife. They can also use sensor scramblers and other cloak-and-dagger doohickeys to dupe enemies. Spec Ops add deadly precision to any well-coordinated unit.
These long-distance assassins provide invaluable support in a multiplayer match, and Lockdown expands the single-player sniping experience. In this arcadey Silent Scope–inspired mode, you’ll snipe your way through seven special missions, taking aim from rooftops and helicopters.
Like all of Lockdown’s specialists, engineers hold their own in firefights, but they’re just as lethal behind laptops. Masters of machinery, they can hack into computer-controlled cameras to monitor the enemy’s movement and relay his coordinates to squadmates; open and close remote doors to funnel tangos into traps; and set up automated sentry turrets to cover crucial areas.
What’s the difference: Lockdown on PS2
It’s possible to personalize your appearance on PS2’s Lockdown (also set to deploy this spring), but instead of the Xbox’s persistent promotion system and variety of specializations, this version offers 16-player Rainbow-versus-mercenary matches in unique maps and modes. Each online faction fights with its own weapons and widgets, including:
Motion detector and surveillance PDA
Counterterrorists can holster their weapons to spot enemies through walls with a motion detector (also available on Xbox), while mercs reveal the Rainbows’ whereabouts by accessing remote cameras.
Door hinge fuser and forced-entry hammer
When your foes repeatedly run the same route, fusing doors shut with a special device will slow or stop ’em. When you find yourself on the other side of a door that won’t budge, the SWAT-approved forced-entry hammer will batter it (and anyone behind it) down. P
Copyright © 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Electronic Gaming Monthly.