Rainbow Six Lockdown South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa May 2nd: The South African President Yared Mbelu and an aide were taken hostage and are being held inside the vault of a local bank by elements of a terrorist organization. The hostages must be rescued and escorted to an extraction zone.

The elite multinational counter-terrorism unit codenamed Rainbow Six is called into service against a worldwide terrorist threat from an organization known as the Global Liberation Front, a group that is comprised of various leftist, anarchists, and third-world organizations opposed to western civilization. Rainbow Six is tasked with tracking down GLF cells in various countries and either capturing or killing that cells leader.

Rainbow Six Lockdown is the fourth game in the Rainbow Six series and was released in February 2006 for Windows having been developed by Red Storm Entertainment. It is the first game in the series to feature advanced graphics effects and physics objects, and is the first game in the series where the planning phase was removed from the pre-mission setup.

This series of after-action reports is intended to be a higher level summary of the flow of each mission with some commentary offered under most of the screen shots provided. The game is presently available on Steam for $9.99.

Setup Phase

The Mission Setup panel indicates that the first action is to take place in Pretoria, South Africa.

The Briefing panel indicates that the South African President and an aide were taken hostage and are being held inside the vault of a local bank. The goal of the mission is straight forward: rescue the hostages and escort them to the extraction zone.

The Team Outfitting panel offers up a fair amount of weapons and equipment to choose from. I keep the default weapons for all team members, but modify each kit to include a Red Dot scope and a high capacity magazine for the pistol. With no planning phase represented in the game, there is no option (that I am aware of) where you can alter or rotate your team members, so Ding Chavez is the lead operator.

Action Phase

The team is inserted by Blackhawk helicopter onto the upper deck of a parking garage. This is a nice cut scene leading into the mission open where the new advanced graphics are shown with the contrast between light and dark (in my opinion this game is visually better looking than the next installment in the series, Vegas 1).

Pie-cutting the corner while the remainder of the team takes the edge would be the standard operating procedure.

This allowed for one opportunity to suppress one of the AI terrorists so I could flank them for a kill shot, which left me open to multiple firing angles from further on down the ramp to the right.

Thankfully I was able to get out of that mistake without injury and advanced further down into the bowels of the structure, setting edges with the AI team and pie-cutting the corners.

Some of the stairwells were dead ends, such as this blockage which led to some linear path progression.

Got propane? No, but I do have another edge set. If you mark the spot just right, the AI team members will stack on the corner and peak around, then provide an audible response to the situation such as “all clear” or “tango spotted”.

One of several level ending areas which loaded the next levels into the engine: once the next area loaded, it was not possible to go back to a previous area. This was a definite negative aspect of the game compared to earlier iterations of the storied franchise.

The next level was a nightmarish square that had multiple angles of attack and at least two marksmen in elevated positions in windows on the upper floors of the buildings.

We took some damage from this shooter until he was put down by a headshot.

The next level loads and I have to advance the team across a long street and into the bank. The approach is guarded by several tangos and some more elevated shooters.

Once inside the bank the approach becomes somewhat complicated as the entrance breaks left and right with teller stations and bad lighting ahead to hide multiple targets.

Gone is the Heartbeat Sensor from the previous games and in its place is a Motion Sensor visual overlay that can be toggled. It is battery operated and drains away after prolonged use. Here it allows me to spot two tangos behind the door in front of me.

During the operation I came across an alarm station which allowed me to disable the metal detector. This was not mentioned in the briefing (that I am aware of).

With the team in tow I enter the vault and clear out the tangos there to secure the hostages. There is a nice control scheme in which a simple hold/follow command can be issued to Rainbow, hostages, or all.

Additional terrorists are shown flooding the bank in a cut scene that plays once the hostages were secured.

Renee Raymond: officially hot now.

I had to take some extreme care in moving the team AI forward and holding back with the hostages as the mission ends in failure if one is killed.

After dealing with the tangos that reinforced the bank the team is almost to the extraction point outside.

This prompts a final stand style shootout with the remaining (spawned) tangos, including some new roof top shooters that had to be dealt with before advancing the hostages outside.

With the hostages safely brought forward to our position outside, the mission successfully ends.

After-action Report

When I first attempted this mission I selected Challenge mode from the outset, and it was utterly ridiculous as there seemed to be more than 100 terrorists throughout the map (and I ended up getting a hostage killed and losing the mission when trying to exit them from the bank to the extraction zone).

Hoping for a more reasonable enemy force I went with the Normal mode yet it was just about as silly, having a total of 84 tangos that had to be put down. While I certainly realize that this is a video game and artistic license is to be taken, some reasonableness should still be present. A real life counter-terrorist team of four soldiers would never attempt to go up against 84 enemy combatants.

Post Mortem

When Lockdown first came out, I was in a gaming group called Red Hour that had spent some time in Rainbow Six 3 Raven Shield. Although Lockdown was a definite improvement in graphics, the AI was widely panned and the multiplayer felt uninspired for them to continue with the series at this point.

1 comment:

  1. I think the golden age of shooters was early R6 and Ghost Recon. Great blog. Makes me want to dig up R6.


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