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chris547

chris547

9/15/2005 3:35:34 AM
Rainbow Six fans, I have bad news for you. Red Storm and Ubisoft have sold their souls for a cheap buck on this sequel. (They've made some good games, but this is really not one of them.) Notice the subject says "Lockup" not "Lockdown." That's because this is one of the buggiest games I've ever played, especially on a console. Case in point: Southpaw thumbstick layout doesn't work at all. When you select it, the left thumbstick does literally nothing, and the right thumbstick does the wrong movements. Also contributing to my "lockup" nickname is that the game actually does lock up sometimes. I've heard reports of several people having trouble with the game crashing and lagging badly. In the few days I've had the game, I've experienced the same effects. While hosting and playing in multiplayer games, network lag is often noticable, and even worse, local machine "lag" is present. (i.e. the graphics engine is too weak to keep up with the overdone effects such as fog and heat blur, so the framerate drops to crappy levels and when this happens on the host machine, everyone else receives bonus network lag on top of their own local lag. Until recently, medic characters in PEC Mode were unable to repair their medpacks, so once they were damaged/used, they couldn't use them anymore. (They've fixed this bug thankfully. It was apparently a bug in their XBL Server code.) The "controller bug" is only one of many significant bugs in the game, but in my opinion it is by far the most important for several reasons. It illustrates one of two scenarios, neither of which is at all good. One scenario is that they did hardly any testing at all on the game, not caring about quality (or even making it work). The other scenario is that they did some testing, knew about the bugs, and shipped the game anyway. I honestly have a hard time deciding which one is more true, or which one is worse. If I can immediately find a showstopping, unavoidable bug while changing a single option in my preferences, someone didn't do their job in Quality Assurance. Now, I've ranted enough about the game's technical bugs. (Check out their official forum for more bug ranting and listing - the list is HUGE!) Let's move on to the gameplay. Fundamentally, Rainbow Six is supposed to revolve around the squad-based tactical counter-terrorism theme. Lockdown does not follow this pedigree faithfully. The whole feel is more arcade shooter, and run 'n gun in nature. That totally contradicts what the game is supposed to be about - slower paced, thought out tactics. Strategies are hardly needed in campaign/co-op mode. Just run in, gun down the bad guys, repeat. Multiplayer is much of the same. Spawn camping is horrifically bad in this game. Level designs aren't bad, but the mechanisms used to artificially block your path are contrived and very lame. I have witnessed many times a path blocked by something as trivial as a turned over chair in a hallway. If an elite counter terrorism squad can be diverted by knocking down a chair, this country is in deep trouble. There are key points in several missions that prevent you from proceeding by mysteriously rendering a door invulnerable and locked until you complete a trigger condition. The door then mysteriously opens itself. The AI in the game is aweful. On the default setting (which is now the only setting in co-op games for some reason), the bad guys will just stare at you for a moment and finally decide they should shoot at you. That doesn't do them much good though. As long as you stand completely still, they probably won't hit you. I've let a terrorist shoot at me from the end of a short hallway for minutes while I stand still, and they continually miss. They were only able to hit me when I strafed into their fire pattern. In Rainbow Six 3, the bad guys actually shot me and it hurt when they did it. [b]Overall, I give the game a 3 out of 5.[/b] It tries to appease several genres and styles without catering to any of them, making it entirely underwhelming and average. I say don't buy it now. Rent it perhaps, and maybe buy it later when the price drops (and after they release some needed patches). It's not worth $50. There's my rant. :)

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