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R6: Critical Hour March 06


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Gameindustry.biz has some more info that definitely intrigues me:


# The end of an era: Rainbow Six Critical Hour's storyline bids on nostalgia as John Clark retires and passes the torch to Ding Chavez.


# Classic missions return: Chosen by fans, seven single-player missions from the original Rainbow Six® and Rogue SpearTM games return, revamped with today's technology.


# Return to tactical gameplay: Through slower pacing and an enhanced combat model, strategic planning is the central element of gameplay.


# Advanced combat model: Choose your steps wisely as your actions could mean the difference between life and death. Weapon accuracy is affected by in-game manoeuvres and events such as running, crouching, standing still or firing while injured.


# Superior multiplayer experience: Rainbow Six Critical Hour comes equipped with a superior multiplayer experience, including the revolutionary Persistent Elite CreationTM (P.E.C.) mode, as well as the new and innovative Assassin and Free-for-All modes.


# Close-quarter battles: Maps in narrow corridors with non-linear level design challenge even the most tactical of gamers, increasing the importance of the infamous one-shot kill.


# Weapons and equipment: Enter the battle with today's most advanced weaponry (23 weapons in all) and high-tech equipment.


# Span the globe: From Idaho to Venice, Mexico City to Siberia, team Rainbow travels the world to serve and protect the innocent from terrorist threats.




Is it sad that I'm more interested in the revamped classic missions?;) God I would love to see Sun Devil (The mission in the original game where you had to storm the drug dealers house) remade. It is easily my favorite Rainbow Six mission out of all of the ones I've played.:rock


Apparently Lockdown didn't go over that well either since they seem to be going back to more "strategic gameplay". Whatever that ends up meaning. I'm really rather burned out on Rainbow Six in general, so the actual new game itself doesn't interest me much at all. I will be giving it a rent to play through the classic missions though as mentioned.

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Well that and it was a buggy piece of shit.

I would have no idea whatsoever James since I never bothered with it. Everything I read about it left me completely uninterested. I played the game for a couple of missions when a buddy brought it over and it confirmed how strong with the poop the game was.;)

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God I would love to see Sun Devil (The mission in the original game where you had to storm the drug dealers house) remade. It is easily my favorite Rainbow Six mission out of all of the ones I've played


I remember that: early morning, still a bit misty...the Rainbow team comes up that small hill with the hedges on both sides and the small guest house in the front left. Sniping the guard up on the balcony was one of my favorite things to do first!

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  • 2 months later...

Well, the game comes out tommorrow and I'm considering it for 29.99 for the classic missions which is what I want the most. Here's some information on it for those even remotely interested after Lockdown. Thankfully, it does appear they are dispensing with the run and gun gameplay for this last Xbox outing and going back to classic Rainbow Six this one last time before the next gen iteration:




In Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Critical Hour, Ubisoft’s Quebec studio blends the finest elements of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six series to create the most complete chapter to date. This latest chapter marks the return to the franchise’s roots by reintroducing the deeply strategic and tactical gameplay synonymous with the Rainbow Six name, while incorporating classic in-game elements such as vintage maps and weapons, all rebuilt using today’s technology. Rainbow Six Critical Hour will bring an exciting new seven-mission single-player campaign and 18 multiplayer levels.


We talked with both Gaetan Richard, the game's producer and Yanick Piche, the game's designer, to see what they had to share about Ubisoft's latest addition to the highly successful Rainbow Six franchise.



We get the feeling that with Critical Hour you’re closing a phase in the Rainbow Six series. Perhaps it is because we are at the end of a generation and starting a new one with the Xbox 360…


Ubisoft: Critical Hour will mark John Clark’s retirement. We bring back the old squad team members of the original Rainbow Six: Weber, Price, Loiselle and Ding Chavez.


The game will be the ultimate Rainbow Six experience package on XBOX, bringing together the best elements from the classic Rainbow Six series both offline and online.



What sparked the idea to create Critical Hour?


Ubisoft: Before going to the next-gen consoles, we wanted to wrap up the Rainbow Six series in its actual form. To choose from the legacy missions and play with the classic squad, I think we really achieved this goal.


Also, it was important for us to actually go back to the roots and propose a truly tactical experience. Therefore, we put a lot of effort into refining the AI and tweaking the combat model to make the game as challenging as possible.


What can you tell us about the game’s storyline? Is this a prequel?


Ubisoft: John Clark is retiring as Rainbow Six’s commander. While emptying his office, he remembers the best missions in the Rainbow Six history. He wants to leave these missions as a training regimen and case study for future recruits of Team Rainbow.



Will Dieter Weber and the sniper mode return from Lockdown to be playable in Critical Hour?


Ubisoft: There will not be distinct sniper mission in Critical Hour. You will play Ding Chavez and on some occasions, you will have to use some sniping skills - but this task will be integrated in the campaign missions.



You are returning to a more tactical gameplay in Critical Hour by improving the combat model. Please elaborate on that.


Ubisoft: AI is greatly improved for both Rainbows and terrorists. Rainbows are wiser and more accurate in combat and they use better covers. Terrorists are better organized, they communicate more to alert other terrorists around them. They can also set an ambush to surprise you and your team.


All these improvements will favor the use of the squad by the player to succeed.


We also brought back the tactical map which allows the player to study the mission layout and spot enemies. It is the best tool to plan your very own approach and elaborate the most efficient tactics.


What other gameplay tweaks have you implemented for Critical Hour?


Ubisoft: The one or two bullet kills are back, so every mission can be a dangerous endeavor. In other words, no more “run and gun” game play. The player must use his squad mates or he will have a hard time getting through alive.



Tell us why the multiplayer experience in Critical Hour is “superior” and what the Assassin and Free-for-All modes are like?


Ubisoft: We took the best of the Rainbow series and the game therefore supports every existing multiplayer features and more:


* 8 new maps

* The possibility to create up to four characters for the same Xbox Online profile.

* 4 new PEC Skills (1 per class)

* Characters can progress up to the 60th level (20 more than in Lockdown)


We also wanted to add modes where you can just run and shoot. So we have two free-for-all modes. One is a last man standing and the other mode is a typical deathmatch where the winner is the one who gets the most kills.


And we also came with for a new adversarial mode: the Assassin mode offers a brand new type of team play. Each team has one of his members designated as a leader. The team must protect his leader while trying to kill the other team’s leader.


The Assassin gameplay will promote the elaboration of original strategies based on the class strengths: for example, the Combat Medic could heal the Leader and the Commando protect him while the Spec-Op and Engineer hunt down the opposing Leader.


Can you give us any info on the new and classic maps?


Ubisoft: All new maps are based on previous “classic” games (mainly from Rainbow Six, Rogue Spear, and Urban Ops) that have been completely revamped and improved graphically.


You will be able to rediscover some of the greatest locations and relive some of the most dangerous Rainbow operations such as Razor Ice in England, Zero Gambit in Ukraine, Fire Walk in Idaho, Black Star in Brazil, etc.



What role do fans feedback played in the selection of missions from the original Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear?


Ubisoft: We do obviously listen at the community and know that some players are nostalgic of the old Rainbow operations.


But we also had to choose the maps considering if they could provide an interesting gameplay on a console. We also wanted to bring diversity in terms of ambiance and mission objectives. You will live intense gameplay in a rich office in San Francisco or a nuclear plant in Ukraine as well as help police operations in Mexico City or Venice, Italy.


Finally, do you plan to make the game playable on the Xbox 360?


Ubisoft: We expect to be playable on 360 but it is not yet confirmed since the game is still in production.


Some screenshots:







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The game sounds good (especially at $30)...I'll wait for reviews...or info from you guys. I liked the Lockdown MP class structure.....just didn't like the change in gameplay. Hopefully this one combines the p[ositives of Lockdown with the gameplay of RS:3 and Black Arrow. I always love Assasination MP modes. :)



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So I decided to throw down the 29.99 for Critical Hour last night. My hope here was that Ubisoft, having learned thier lesson from Lockdown, would treat this game right. Considering this is the final Rainbow Six game for the Xbox, it would make perfect sense that they would take care with this release and outgun thier previous efforts in Black Arrow and Rainbow Six 3 Raven Shield. Good christ was I wrong.


Initial impressions are favorable. The developers have set Critical Hour up as a tribute to the Rainbow Six series and that element is apparent in almost every aspect of the game. The campaign mode consists of the aformentioned classic missions from games like Rogue Spear, and the original R6 redone with "today's technology". Prior to each mission, a narrarator will give you a short history of the mission detailing the events surrounding Rainbow's involvement and finally asking you to relive this small part of Rainbow's storied past.


Pre-mission setup has been streamlined down to the basics. You're team is setup with the proper Rainbow members that were involved in the orginal mission according to the narrarator. You can change weapon sets and accessories as you would normally expect. Of course, the planning map has been completely done away with which isn't a suprise to anyone that's played Rainbow in the past few years.


Once you actually get in game is when things really start to come apart at the seams. Let's deal with the first problem: The visuals. The game retains Lockdown's immersive "goggle" view. This is one of the few additions to Lockdown that I actually liked. However, to quote the popular vernacular; "The goggles, they do nothing!" The game looks atrocious. Some might jump the gun and think that I'm judging this game by next generation standards, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I popped in Black Arrow yesterday for the hell of it and aside from some improved character models for the Rainbow team, Critical Hour looks woefully inept. The environments are full of simplistic geometry, repeating low resolution textures, and generally unattractive lighting. Enemies look about as simplistic as they can get as well. Thankfully, animation in Critical Hour fairs a bit better with your team moving very naturally, and enemy animation appearing smooth. Regardless, Black Arrow completely stomps this game from a purely visual perspective and that shouldn't be the case for a game released almost two years after it's predecessor.


All of this would be forgiveable if the game was remotely fun to play, but Ubi still hasn't learned its lessons. The game is still too fast paced/run and gun for it's own good. Aiming feels terrible as there is barely any type of recoil simulation. Zooming in and shooting causes the aiming reticule to unnaturally go off center for half a second and reset back. Not only does it look silly, but it also feels terrible to boot. This is unfortunate considering Black Arrow and Raven Shield's weapons had an excellent tactile feel to them. At least Ubisoft added the tactical map again.:(


Once you get past the aiming you get to deal with squad AI that works only some of the time. I've had Team Rainbow setup to do a breach and clear on a few doors, only to hit the go order and have them sit there. I literally had to just walk up to the door and open it myself to get the team to move on from thier breach position. Other times the squad AI works fine and follows orders well enough. Regardless, some of these problems are just utterly sloppy, and it doesn't build any confidence in your team being able to watch your back if you get into a hairy situation.


I played through about three of the eight campaign missions before finally giving up on it. I've not tried the multiplayer so I won't comment on that portion of the game. It may very well be Critical Hour's saving grace for those looking into buying the game, but if the gameplay is similiar to the single player I don't see myself being too interested in investing the time.


What's most disappointing about this game is that it would have been a fantastic tribute and a great send off for the series on the Xbox. Instead, Ubisoft would have been better served by calling the game Rainbow Six: Critical Condition because that's exactly the status of the series for me at the moment. I hope to god that Vegas is a massive improvement over this.

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