Ubisoft's released a PC demo of Rainbow Six Lockdown, allowing you to fight some terrorism before it all gets out of hand and in the shops. The PC version is out in early February, and this 497MB demo lets you play a South African single-player mission.
Ubisoft has confirmed that the PC version of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown will hit the shops early next year - long after the PS2, Xbox and GameCube versions, in other words.
Shooting terrorists, rescuing hostages, defusing bombs. It's a well-worn formula, and Red Storm's been peddling it with the Rainbow Six series for many years - with increasing success. Its transition to consoles, in particular, has managed to bring out the best in the series - particularly online, where it ranks as possibly the finest example of how to do team-based gaming. Even offline, it's always been resolutely satisfying; one of those atmospheric slow-burners that demands reserves of patience and no small amount of skill to outwit a foe.
But at the same time the campaign mode's always fallen short of true greatness, blighted by a slightly dog-eared approach to almost everything it does - thanks to dodgy AI path-finding, age-old game and graphics engines, and an inflexible command system. That said, they may be dim, dull to look at and hard to command, but it's always satisfying to point your men to the next corner, let them take out the hostiles, mop up after them, and have to worry about not getting yourself shot due to the lack of health packs (which they simply don't believe in). If you've played one level of Rainbow Six over recent years you've pretty much played them all, but it's a tenser and more credible experience than most even if it is stuck in its ways. We like it. It gets the pulse racing - and even though the formula has hardly moved on, it's one that for the most part just plain works.
A good enough formula then, so naturally it's one that Lockdown immediately goes and tinkers with for no obvious reason. And for everything good that's been added, there are an equal number of things that make it less appealing. It feels like change for the sake of change, and that's the worst kind.
Ubisoft will be providing a multiplayer Xbox demo for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Lockdown, exclusively via the September issue of Official Xbox Magazine.