Rainbow Six: Lockdown Diaries Part Eight
This is my ongoing exploration of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six series, played in release order, where I will chronicle my playthrough like a text-based Let’s Play. This time I finish Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown.
It had taken only four months, but we had finally tracked down the man responsible for stealing the Legion virus, the one in charge of the Global Liberation Front - Bastian Vanderwaal…
Operation: Mercenary Base began on the 26th of August 2009, and we were in Cala Brescana, Minorca. We deployed in a tower which opened out onto a parapet. Following the path around, I shot someone from about as far as I could, then prepared to throw a grenade. The odds that he was alone were low, and after throwing it and shooting a couple of others, I found that there had been at least five of them.
After going down a ladder, the rest of this section was pretty boring, probably because there were so many ways that I could have done it? Maybe just because it was plain hallways? In any case, I found my way to a control room full of tangos, after disabling a couple of cameras. We killed them all, then headed upstairs and around to a room with a security console - and two tangos - inside. After activating it, Team Bravo 2 - led by Eddie Price - began their assault.
We headed back down the stairs, killed a couple more tangos, and went into an alcove to load into the next area. Leading the way through the tunnels we were now in, I killed a few tangos before leading the way through a couple of doors to the right and into a warehouse. There were a bunch of tangos inside, including one who hid behind a pillar on the right.
Once the warehouse was clear, I went out through the door at the back, and through a corridor into another large area. I shot one man, then threw a grenade around the corner to try and kill the ones beneath a security camera. Unfortunately, that didn’t work, and I had to shoot them. There were two doors leading into small rooms. One had two tangos, the other had only one, and they all died as I slowly opened the doors bit-by-bit and shot them.
Unfortunately, my squad managed to get spotted by the camera - which I thought was too far away. I used the console beside the camera, and a large shutter opened up, allowing us entry. At the end of this next corridor, there were three tangos inside a room, one of whom landed a lucky shot on me before they all died. The next hallway led us to our target - or at least adjacent to our target. The bio lab.
An electronically-sealed door kept us out, so I had Lofquist hack it, and then shot the men inside. This led us to another electronic door, and more tangos, then a third electronic door. For terrorists, they were practicing safe laboratory conditions.
The final door let us into a large lab spread across two levels, and full to bursting with tangos. Luckily, these ones were awful shots and we were barely harmed at all before it was clear, and we headed upstairs to yet another electronic door, and loaded into the next area.
We found ourselves in another tower, with two tangos patrolling ahead. I thought they’d spotted us, but really one was just running to his friend. Nonetheless, they both died. A nearby door led into a hallway which had large, open windows into the courtyard below. We shot some tangos, then I realised that some incoming fire aimed at one of my squad was coming through the window - and missing. Chancing a look outside, I spotted a couple more tangos on the wall opposite us, on the far side of the courtyard.
Having dealt with them, and unfortunately wasted ammo, we moved onwards into the barracks. More tangos, of course, awaited us and a grenade helped deal with them. I attempted to deal with some more tangos in the next hallway the same, but missed them - but at least it made them move! And as such, I was able to go out and shoot them more easily.
At the end of the hallway was a ladder, and my motion detector showed a tango down there. Thankfully, I still had grenades and threw one down to kill him. After sliding down, there was another ladder, and that led me to our destination - the hangar.
Unfortunately, the hangar was full of gas mask-wearing terrorists, canisters of Legion, and a single helicopter. I shot whoever I could from the doorway, but I was running out of ammo. I had brought along a machine pistol, rather than the handgun, but its accuracy left much to be desired. Somehow, we managed to kill everyone. Vanderwaal had escaped into the castle - which apparently was an option for him? - but we had cut off his escape. At one point, Price had said that he required medivac for McAllen and Yacoby, but apart from that, 100% successful trip!
Mission success in 26:45, with 96 dead terrorists. However, we literally had no time to waste as Operation: Castle began right away! Loiselle, Murad, Price and I loaded into a stairwell and went up the spiral staircase, shooting some tangos along the way. At the top was a long hallway littered with tangos, so I kept an eye out and shot them whenever I spotted them.
After killing a group at the end, a door opened and I tossed in a grenade, killing one tango as a second ran out into our gunfire. The next hallway ended in another door, this one exiting into a dilapidated courtyard. It also happened to be full of terrorists - on the ground, on the walls surrounding the courtyard, in the towers… Dieter Weber sniped from the one abandoned tower, while I shot most of them myself from the doorway. Then, we legged it across the courtyard, and I threw a grenade up into the left-hand tower that we were going to have to go inside.
Leading the way upstairs, and getting annoyed at my team for not taking cover inside the doorway before I did so, I went for the tower now to the left. There was at least one body, but inside were two more tangos who were further inside than I had guessed. After shooting them, I took out someone in the windows of the tower opposite, then went for the doorway.
Before I could enter, however, someone charged down the staircase towards me. I shot him, then quickly shot the man above him - then checked the motion detector. After I shot the third tango, I went upstairs to shoot the final one. From there, we loaded into the next area.
Going down the hallway and shooting some tangos, we came across what might have been another bio-lab, if it had any doors on it. It seemed to be a temporary structure built inside the castle ruins, in either case. There were a bunch more tangos inside, and it turned out that what I assumed were holes in the roof were windows, and did not allow grenades to go inside to kill people I didn’t want to shoot…
Exiting the now-empty lab, we continued our way into the actual castle, going up another spiral staircase with a couple of tangos. At the top was a huge room littered with tangos, and it took quite some doing to kill them all. To save ammo, I had switched to the machine pistol, and again accuracy was not it’s strong suit.
Eventually, we moved on and killed a few more people before hitting another spiral staircase. At the top, Vanderwaal seemingly realised that we were closing in, and ran off. We were now in a large dining room full of tangos, but I managed to shoot most of them without issue. This included one terrorist who was three meters away with a clear line of sight, who unloaded an entire clip at me without hitting once.
Once the room and balcony were clear, we headed upstairs and around, loading into the next area. Deciding to ignore the path to the left, I opened the door in front of me and shot the two men inside. Entering what happened to be a windmill, I opened the next door and tossed a grenade as the third door opened ahead of me, killing two men.
Exiting into the next room, I followed the corridor to where two men waited on the other side of a door, according to my motion detector. Opening it a crack, I shot one, then the other, and led the way into the final room. Through a broken wall, I could see a helicopter pad and some terrorists, and I carefully shot whoever I could see. This included some snipers on the wall to the right.
Working our way around the pad, I shot some more men until we reached the ramp onto the pad. A helicopter flew in, though I didn’t know whose it was as it fired at an empty spot. Vanderwaal shouted something about how he was going to kill us, so assuming he was aboard the helicopter I shot it a couple of times before it flew away. But then I spotted someone on the wall where the other men had been, and shot him.
Mission success in 22:21, with 95 dead terrorists. Apparently, that was Vanderwaal, and I had shot him. And that was it, the credits rolled.
On the whole, Rainbow Six: Lockdown was a fun time. It had really good graphics with some great touches like the reflections, and when I shot an armchair fluff came out! Also, when I shot some casks they sprung leaks, and the windows shattered very nicely.
Unfortunately, it had a lot of issues. The story meandered, and I honestly kept forgetting about the Legion plot. I played this over the course of six weeks, and almost every time I spotted a canister of Legion I had a moment of “oh, yeah…”.
One thing that really stood out was Operation: University. It was right after Operation: Parliament (don’t get me started on what that “Parliament building” even was…), where the terrorists escaped to the nearby Scotland University. The Scottish Parliament building is in Edinburgh. Edinburgh University is literally one mile away from it. I get that they didn’t want to pay to use the name or something, but they could have just said “a nearby university” rather than name it the crazy sounding Scotland University… They also called the Paris Metro “the subway”, but that’s just weird instead of silly.
I also have a couple of gameplay complaints, mainly the squad AI which kept making them run in front of me while I stood firing at tangos. I say again, I was stood up, not crouched, and they wandered in front of me, also not crouched! They were also useless, sometimes killing single digits worth of enemies between them. Looking at a mission outcome screenshot at random, McAllen killed three, Yacoby killed zero and Murad killed seven. I killed 58. They killed 13 total in the final mission, out of 95!
The second thing are the flashbangs - I used them often through the first half of the game. In the last handful of missions, I just swapped to carrying two lots of normal grenades, as the flashbangs never worked. This was incredibly frustrating, because at least twice I was gunned down moments after my flashbang went off.
Next, I want to mention the console versions. Curious about the game engine used, I hoped to get some hints from watching footage of the console versions. The levels are similar enough, though as mentioned in Part One they take place at different times. However, there are things that don’t happen in the PC version. The opening level, for instance, has a van fall through the roof! The PC version just shakes a bit, and in the second section a wall falls off of a building - seeing a van almost crush me in the opening minute would have made such an impression!
Finally, the cutscenes. The PC version has very few, and when you look at the console versions (and ignoring the extra sniper sections) the difference is startling. You’ve somehow been split up from the people you’re helping, you managed to get into this locked room, oh look there’s Deiter inexplicably aiding us! So much context was lost, and I’ve no idea why.
All that said, Rainbow Six: Lockdown is well worth a playthrough. I enjoyed it more than any of the Rainbow Six 3 titles, and was surprised at how much I liked it. I thought that I’d complain about the lack of planning, but I can’t say I hated it. The motion detector was absolutely fantastic, and helped me plan in the moment, rather than setting up a doomed plan ahead of time.
Next time, I’ll be moving on to Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas. Six out.