Rainbow Six Lockdown Parliament

Amsterdam, Netherlands June 10th: After almost an entire month out of action Team Rainbow is pressed back into service when elements of the New Freedom Army detonate a bomb on a charter bus during the World Bank Conference. The terrorist then stormed a police station, raiding the armory and taking several hostages. Rainbow must secure the police armory, rescue the hostages and escort them to the 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 action is to take place in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 27th in what appears to be a mostly indoor mission.

The Briefing Overview panel provides the backstory for the mission as provided by the onsite coordinator Alistair Stanley whose niece is one of the hostages being held. The preview indicates that there is a bomb located in the middle of a room that the team must disarm.

Given that there are hostages to be rescued I decide to equip the team with a high accuracy A2 Para with a noise suppressor, and if things get up close and personal a PP-2K submachine gun. All fragmentation grenades are exchanged for flashbangs and the entry kits are a split between the hammer and the generic breaching charge.

The Briefing Intel panel indicates that the first map load is a moderate length open area (1) approach to a single entry choke point (2) followed by some significant room clearing.

The second map load features a single massive area that has two approaches on either side. The maintenance room (2) is where the bomb is suspected to be and the parliamentary chamber (5) is where the hostages should still be located.

Action Phase

The team deploys outside in the rain as the first objective is added to use the surveillance system to locate the bomb. This is one of the nice aspects of the game in that what had appeared as a long linear passage to a front door is in actuality a multileveled approach that is peppered with tangos just out of sight from my spot.

After clearing the approach the team is stacked on the door and given an order to flash and clear. Although we are all assigned the default olive drab BDU, each team member has a somewhat different tactical gear arrangement.

With the high number of rooms to be cleared, I used the motion sensor and fluid door movement combination to ease the door open just enough to allow a few rounds to flyby on their way to center mass.

Eventually the team would make its way to this office which contained a terminal we needed to operate in order to deactivate the metal detector just outside the window (this was not covered in the mission briefing, but we did receive a voiceover command during the actual mission).

Motion sensor for the win.

After interacting with another terminal the first objective is cleared and the second objective to disarm the bomb is added.

The bomb is located in the maintenance room and disarmed to complete the second objective. This was kind of a weak point in that I felt it should have been somewhat hidden and better protected (there was no one in the room hanging back to assault us when we entered). Completing this task adds the next objective to rescue the hostages in the debating chamber.

The motion sensor reveals a significant amount of enemy soldiers just on the other side of the door (there are actually several more that are out of the devices range but have visual line of sight to the entrance). This is another nice part of the game in that the device (although fully a part of the Clancyverse) is effectively a cheat, yet neutered to a form of realistic employment (that and the damn battery drains).

The stun grenades were actually quite effective in temporarily dazing the tangos to allow for efficient room clearing.

As the team continued to advance a cut scene would trigger revealing two hostages in the debate chamber (this was very reminiscent of a mission from the original Rainbow Six game expansion pack Eagle Watch).

After clearing the initial wave on tangos the team is ordered to hold off a second wave. Note the virus canister that is glowing green: in a previous mission we were warned not to go near these things, however in this mission there is no reference to them whatsoever (briefing or voiceover). It is like the level designer just placed them in the chamber as eye candy without any thought to their place in the overarching storyline.

What transpired was a very predictable whack-a-mole where a tango or two would show up in one corner, then the opposite, rinse and repeat until the “counter-attack” was put down.

Once that final wave was suppressed a rather peculiar thing occurred. Instead of being told to escort the hostages to an extraction zone, a cut scene played out performing this task and ending the mission.

After-action Report

69 terrorists killed…wow.

Post Mortem

There were three new team members assigned (McAllen, Pak, and Murad) but these are hardcoded into the game and the results from a previous mission do not matter as it is becoming painfully apparent that the AI teammates simply do not perish in the game, but are rendered incapacitated (the player however can die resulting in an immediate mission failure). I could not discern any reason as to why these new teammates were included as there is nothing to distinguish them from the crowd of other operators.

The addition of a bomb to disarm and the personal nature of the mission should have allowed for a more tense experience, however both aspects were flatly delivered during the action and added no sense of urgency. The bomb was located in the middle of a room and there was zero challenge to be had in either locating or disarming it. The niece of the onsite coordinator also was blandly implemented in that her radio chatter was neither compelling nor necessary, and actually annoying at times.

There was a missed opportunity here in that the mission could have been designed to be a failure: Rainbow could have fought just to watch the bomb explode taking out the debate chamber and the niece, and being ordered to pull back to the insertion zone while a cut scene plays out showing the carnage (predictable yes, but this entire mission is already).

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