Its hard being at the top, everyone wants to criticize you and try to point out your minor flaws. It’s the price you pay for being one of the best, for years now Tom Clancy games have been at the top of all Xbox Live players’ lists. Whether you prefer the outdoor combat of Ghost Recon or the stealth of Splinter Cell, no one can deny that outside of Halo 2, Tom Clancy games rock on Xbox Live. The Rainbow series has been no different; in fact it is probably the most popular Clancy game on Live. With its massive array of modes, clan support, and vast choice of weaponry anyone can see why.
Rainbow Six Lockdown seems like it’s been coming for years, with numerous delays lots of fans were wondering why they just didn’t delay it a bit more and go for an Xbox 360 release. Well after spending some quality time with this game it probably would have been for the better. I am a huge Rainbow Six fan, in fact just a week before this game came out we were still playing the original on Live in between Ghost Recon 2 and Halo 2, so this title was highly anticipated for me as well. After I popped in my shiny new disc and had at it for a few hours though my excitement began to fade.
The first thing you will notice is that this doesn’t feel like a Rainbow game. The focus seems to be more action based as opposed to strategy. The AI seems to have taken some stupid pills on the lower difficulties and most of the mission objectives simply seem tacked on. The maps are also a bit disappointing considering past titles. Nothing ever seems to grab you like the previous game’s Alcatraz or Castle levels. The muddy washed out visuals don’t help either, I would almost go as far to say that both RS3 and Black Arrow still look better by comparison.
The game play has also changed dramatically; no longer will you take your time advancing into unknown territory. As I stated earlier the game seems more focused on action this time around. I literally ran into several rooms on default difficulty and the enemy didn’t see me until I was practically in their face. The aiming is also much more forgiving, no longer is precision required to take out a baddie. Simply point your gun in general direction and unload, truly disappointing.
Of course most of us don’t pick up a RS title for single player so all of this could be forgiven if the online rocks-.well friends unfortunately this is not the case. The first night I had the game I literally spent two hours just trying to get a match started. The game constantly locks up during the loading screen and forces you to reset your console to continue. Finally after tweaking a few options here and there I was able to get into some games, some truly laggy games that is. This game chugs more than Homer Simpson at a drinking contest. I can handle minor lag, but when every time I engage someone online they disappear all over the screen, it simply makes the game unplayable.
The one saving factor of the online mode is what is called PEC Mode. This is basically an online persona that you create and level up over time. You are able to choose one of four specialties including Commando, Medic, Engineer, and Spec-Op. As you play online you will earn points and level up your character enabling you to purchase skills, weapons, and new items such as body armor. This is a very cool idea, and could really extend the life of this game if the online play wasn’t such a chore. Even most of the co-op modes suffer from serious lag and simply being devoid of most entertainment value.
Needless to say I am extremely disappointed with Lockdown, I tried forever to like it and in the end I can find nothing to recommend spending $50 for this title. Ubi-Soft has so many other qualities online titles floating around it’s hard to believe this came from the same camp. Save your tokens for the upcoming Ghost Recon Advanced Warfare, as RS Lockdown should really don the title “Letdown”.