10 years of Rainbow Six.

Found today at SimHQ. A great article summarizing the series. I miss my tactical planning map

http://www.simhq.com/_land3/land_105a.html

Every time I think about what has happened to the franchise, I cry a little inside. I cannot wait for the return of the tactical shooter.

With the power we have on PCs these days, a proper tactical shooter could be incredible. Accurate bullet penetration physics, AI that reacts appropriately to stress, deformable environments... I get giddy just thinking about what an updated Raven Shield could be like.

Stylez wrote:

With the power we have on PCs these days, a proper tactical shooter could be incredible. Accurate bullet penetration physics, AI that reacts appropriately to stress, deformable environments... I get giddy just thinking about what an updated Raven Shield could be like.

True dat! I left the Rainbow Six franchise back after Rouge Spear, but I always looked upon it with fond memories. The planning of routes, the unpredictable nature of certain terrorists. The one shot one kill damage modeling system. Everything about it was amazing.

I recently played through R6: Vegas. Only to weep for the loss of my beloved tactics. Instead of letting me pick my own route and split my team into several squads and set up a snipers nest, they hearded me down a corridor into a bunch of scripted events against an ungodly number of enemies and told me I was being tactical.

On top of that I heard a few months ago on a 1up Yours podcast that one of the hire-ups and Ubisoft in charge of the R6 franchise had said something to the effect of, "that tactical stuff is old, R6 is never going that direction again"

AmazingZoidberg wrote:

On top of that I heard a few months ago on a 1up Yours podcast that one of the hire-ups and Ubisoft in charge of the R6 franchise had said something to the effect of, "that tactical stuff is old, R6 is never going that direction again" :(

There was an announcement a while ago about a company that was making a new tactical shooter. And not an "action shooter posing as a tactical shooter". I've been trying to find a link to the announcement, but so far my googlefu has been a disappointment.

Tkyl I think this might be what you were thinking of: Ground Branch

The lead on this game is the same guy who brought us Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. So I'm expecting good things.

Stylez wrote:

Tkyl I think this might be what you were thinking of: Ground Branch

The lead on this game is the same guy who brought us Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. So I'm expecting good things.

Yep, that's it. Definitely excited about that one. Until then, I guess I can stick with TF2.

There are no words to decribe how far down the shi*ter this series has gone. The original R6 has so many awesome features that would really work well with the technology we have now. Pre-mission planning, tactical map, missions that were realistic and well thought out, the ability to control all members of each squad, and the fact that if one your teammates died during a mission then they were unavailable for the entire campaign. Then at some point the game became increasingly dumbed down with each installment to cater to the masses. It went from tactical shooter to run-and-gun FPS in a decade. I've always held out hope that Ubi would someday take this series back to it's roots but that hope gets slimmer with each crappy new installment.

Ground Branch sounds great in theory but it's a tall order to deliver. Hopefully they can come through.

I tried some Rainbow Six games on the PSX and the Dreamcast. Sometimes you can't go home again.

93_confirmed wrote:

There are no words to decribe how far down the shi*ter this series has gone. The original R6 has so many awesome features that would really work well with the technology we have now. Pre-mission planning, tactical map, missions that were realistic and well thought out, the ability to control all members of each squad, and the fact that if one your teammates died during a mission then they were unavailable for the entire campaign. Then at some point the game became increasingly dumbed down with each installment to cater to the masses. It went from tactical shooter to run-and-gun FPS in a decade. I've always held out hope that Ubi would someday take this series back to it's roots but that hope gets slimmer with each crappy new installment.

Ground Branch sounds great in theory but it's a tall order to deliver. Hopefully they can come through.

I've been refraining but I think the nostalgia factor is getting to people.

I liked what they tried to do with the original R6, but it just wasn't fun. It was frustrating. It failed to make me feel like a badass commando and it began the trend we still see in "realistic" shooters where these terrorists with minimal training and crappy weapons are incredible marksmen with the reflexes of a mongoose on crack.

Maybe some folks like the extreme level of planning, but I found it tedious. It reminds me of one of those F-16 simulators that had the manual the size of War and Peace. I'm looking for a game and was delivered something else entirely. If you can't balance "realism" with fun then it's not going to appeal to a level that it can be successful. Fortunately for the original game, the "Tom Clancy" stamp still meant something back then.

My other continued gripe is "realism". No game is "real". No one who has ever fired a fully automatic weapon is going to praise these games for their level of realism. There has to be a balance between how real it can be and how much you can tone it down so that the average joe who has not gone to badass school actually has a chance. I thought the original R6 did a horrible job on both fronts. I think it strived for as much realism as it could get at the time, but utterly left out any balancing. That just added to the tedium.

You can wax nostalgic all you want, but I simply do not see the market for the kind of game people are describing. I'm sure the audience exists, but are there sufficient numbers? You can complain all you want about interests and the usual tirades of people being dumb because they don't like what you do, but it doesn't change the reality that people want to play a game when they buy a game.

Botswana wrote:

Maybe some folks like the extreme level of planning, but I found it tedious.

Just because it is a game you don't like,

Botswana wrote:

I've been refraining but I think the nostalgia factor is getting to people.

doesn't mean other people liking it is nostalgia.

Maybe some folks like the extreme level of planning, but I found it tedious. It reminds me of one of those F-16 simulators that had the manual the size of War and Peace. I'm looking for a game and was delivered something else entirely. If you can't balance "realism" with fun then it's not going to appeal to a level that it can be successful. Fortunately for the original game, the "Tom Clancy" stamp still meant something back then.

I agree with 93, and coincidentally Falcon 4 Allied Force is in my top 3 flight sims

If you don't properly plan out your missions in ravenshield, damn right you'll end up with a team full of leaky holes. This is what I miss, the fact that there is no sense of accomplishment in Vegas, you move from corridor to corridor, popping terrorists as they hop out. It's a fine game, but it's definitely not a tactical shooter.

One thing you are right on though is that there isn't the numbers on the PC for this type of game to sell like a blockbuster. I consider the tac shooter to be a niche just like flight sims. The fact that they are far too complicated to be ported to the consoles adds to this limitation.

I'm with Stylez. As someone who was happy to put in the time to learn games like Jane's F/A-18 and Falcon 4.0, watching the Rainbow Six series turn into "HOLY SH*T FIGHT THE CHOPPER *REEOW GUITAR SOLO*" has been... disappointing. I understand that "fun" trumps over everything, and that it's entirely realistic to state that there just isn't the interest on PC to support such a title (the guys making ArmA seem to be getting by largely on the skin of their teeth).

But no, I don't think it's "nostalgia" that makes me pine for the original R6 games, in the same way I don't think nostalgia makes me wonder why X-COM was/is so entertaining and games like Silent Storm fall so far short of something created over a decade ago. Some people found the planning tedious and the diffuculty curve insanely high. That's great. But I was having a blast.

It seems, to me, that the only real "spiritual successor", so to speak, to the R6 series ended up being SWAT 4. It didn't have the meticulous pre-planning, but it was a lot slower and more tactical than the most recent R6 games, and as anyone who was involved in West Coast Game Night can attest, was still a buttload of fun.

Right now Operation Flashpoint 2 carries my hopes for a realistic shooter. Grounds Breach looks good on paper, but it's a huge X factor right now.

Ahhh, back when I didn't understand the power of PC gaming, and bought RS for the Nintendo 64(which I thought was the poop at the time). I think it was then I realized I was missing something when I couldn't use the tactical planning map to set flash bang commands for my non controlled teams.

Stylez wrote:

One thing you are right on though is that there isn't the numbers on the PC for this type of game to sell like a blockbuster. I consider the tac shooter to be a niche just like flight sims. The fact that they are far too complicated to be ported to the consoles adds to this limitation.

I don't think that the tactical shooter is necessarily too complicated for this console generation. They might have to simplify and streamline the planning maps a tad but that's all. I think a lot of the "on the fly" squad commands in modern shooters are far more complicated than the command structure that R6 had on tap. Couple a good, streamlined planning phase with good squad AI and I think you have the makings of a great game.

Botswana, I'm sorry you didn't like it. But that doesn't mean it was a bad game, just not for you.

Certis wrote:

Right now Operation Flashpoint 2 carries my hopes for a realistic shooter. Grounds Breach looks good on paper, but it's a huge X factor right now.

Seriously. My major gripe with ArmA is that the game is, essentially, not much fun without the mod community. I hate to put it like this, but I do wonder if Bohemia Interactive released the game knowing that there was such a dedicated mod community that they would happily tweak and fix whatever they didn't really want to. (Also, that game could desperately use a UI overhaul. Christ.)

I'm just going to rant here because I have a lot of built up anger about how Ubi f'd this series.

It has nothing to do with nostalgia. The fact of the matter is that R6 is one of the original tactical shooters. Sure, there were a lot of flaws with the game (as there also are with the latest versions) but it was truly tactical and forced players to use their brains instead of blind fury and a quick trigger finger. There were consequences for poor actions - it wasn't just run and gun, die, respawn, repeat, level complete. Vital team members died and stayed dead for good. There was no magical revival the next level. You had multiple squads and each soldier was an expert in their field. If you're best snipers died early on in the campaign, then you're stuck with a bunch of sniper school grads with no experience. You had to make do with what resources you had and that's part of what made the game great. Now, all we have is a lame ass three-man team and we're stuck with them no throughout.

Also, R6 is a shooter and now you can't even f'ing choose your loadout before a mission! What's that all about? I'm an elite commando going to find an army of terrorists and I'm stuck with an MP5 and default equipment. And, I'm stuck playing as one person with no option to switch. Maybe I don't want to be Ding, which by the way is one of the most gay names for a commando in FPS history. Instead of a series of great individual scenarios in a global climate, we're stuck with one ridiculously impossible scenario in Vegas with a paper thin backstory to boot. Awesome. Way to push the f'ing envelope Ubi. I'll stop the rant now but I've still got some gas in the tank.

Tkyl wrote:
Botswana wrote:

Maybe some folks like the extreme level of planning, but I found it tedious.

Just because it is a game you don't like,

Botswana wrote:

I've been refraining but I think the nostalgia factor is getting to people.

doesn't mean other people liking it is nostalgia.

I agree, I think your being to hard on the game Botswana

The Original Rainbow Six did have a huge learning curve but it's an amazing game even to this day, I would be interested if they were making another one with the preplanning and everything but I don't know how it would do.

Certis wrote:

Right now Operation Flashpoint 2 carries my hopes for a realistic shooter. Grounds Breach looks good on paper, but it's a huge X factor right now.

The X factor dwarves pretty much any other game I can think of. Codemasters has a lot of work to do if it wants to gain my trust using a new team on a timeless IP. I think Arma 2 is going to be a much more competent game, but only if the UI is updated and CQB receives some major TLC. I love ARMA, not quite as much as I loved Flashpoint, but an infantry level combat game is still not going to scratch the same itch as a proper tactical shooter.

The more I think about it the more frustrated I get with the direction the franchise has gone. I hate how the Tom Clancy brand has changed from tactical realism to showy futuristic jingoism.

Also "Ding" is short for "Domingo", I believe the nick coined by Julio Vega in the Rainbow Six novel. Not quite as rediculous in context, however I'd rather Ding be leading one my squads rather than "being" him again and again.

Yeah, I figured I was slaughtering a sacred cow. That's kind of mine thing.

If the marketplace was supporting that kind of game I don't think they would have gone so far away from the formula.

I think it's a copout to claim that the console market wouldn't support it. In fact, that smacks of elitism.

I'm not saying R6V2 is some kind of masterpiece of tactical excellence, I think they simply made a game they thought would sell to the current market. It is a decent shooter with some realistic trappings, and that is about the extent of it.

I get why you guys like the game, no need to justify. I'm simply offering a different perspective and I would guess not an uncommon one considering the direction the series as taken.

I'll happily eat crow if Ground Branch is a huge success. Diversification of the market is a good thing.

I was a big fan of the original R6, but I'm not sure that I'd have the patience for it anymore. It does make me kind of sad that the market can't seem to support that kind of diversity, though.

93_confirmed wrote:

You had multiple squads and each soldier was an expert in their field. If you're best snipers died early on in the campaign, then you're stuck with a bunch of sniper school grads with no experience. You had to make do with what resources you had and that's part of what made the game great.

Personally, I'm not very big on the sort of mechanics that punish poor or inexperienced players for doing poorly by making it harder to succeed. It just seems to be a really exclusive approach to design, kind of like the way certain hardcore Japanese games mock you for playing on easy modes. I'm not saying that it would have to be easy to exist now, but there must be a way to make something realistic tactically, without making it unbearably frustrating for 90% of the potential audience. It's certainly an interesting problem to consider.

I don't think that the market wouldn't support a good tactical shooter. I've already said I think this generation of consoles could totally handle it. On top of that, the real guts of a good tactical shooter is the AI, both of enemies and squadmates. So a shiny new graphics engine shouldn't need to tie up all the development budget.

I think with the right marketing this could be a good mid-level title for shooter fans who are looking for something different. It might not be a multi-million seller, but I'm sure there's a profitable little spot in the market.

Yellow5 wrote:
93_confirmed wrote:

You had multiple squads and each soldier was an expert in their field. If you're best snipers died early on in the campaign, then you're stuck with a bunch of sniper school grads with no experience. You had to make do with what resources you had and that's part of what made the game great.

Personally, I'm not very big on the sort of mechanics that punish poor or inexperienced players for doing poorly by making it harder to succeed. It just seems to be a really exclusive approach to design, kind of like the way certain hardcore Japanese games mock you for playing on easy modes. I'm not saying that it would have to be easy to exist now, but there must be a way to make something realistic tactically, without making it unbearably frustrating for 90% of the potential audience. It's certainly an interesting problem to consider.

It's tough, because like 93, I liked that if I went in Quake-style and got half of my best guys blown away, they weren't coming back, and my operational capability was decreased. Getting someone killed meant something, it made it important. I agree that there's got to be some middle ground between "he's dead now and you're never getting him back" and "Whoop, he's down for the 8th time. Guess i'd better run over within the next oh, say, 60 seconds and give him this lifesaving shot of whatever."

Largely, it does seem like a taste thing. I like consequences. My teammates shouldn't be bullet shields I use to distract the baddies. They should be people I want to keep alive because they're useful (the latter Ghost Recon games have suffered from this problem immensely, IMHO).

Which does remind me, remember in the first GR game, when your teammates' abilities could be advanced with experience? Not the most realistic, I know, but I thought it was fun as you really got to make a squad to fit your preferences. Miss that.

To bang on about an old point here, I just can't express how tired i've become of the running at top speed, firing from the hip and hitting you in the forehead AI that some of the titles in the series have had. Again, to bring up an old title, I loved that SWAT 4 had varying levels of enemies who would react differently to situations and were more or less skilled with their weapons as a result (A bunch of scared gangbangers might surrender at the very sight of your squad, a bunch of crazed terrorists might retreat and lie in wait for you). Plus, the randomized baddies on every level. Christ do we need that. Would make R6V2 a much more exciting experience in Story and T-Hunt.

Yellow5 wrote:

I was a big fan of the original R6, but I'm not sure that I'd have the patience for it anymore. It does make me kind of sad that the market can't seem to support that kind of diversity, though.

93_confirmed wrote:

You had multiple squads and each soldier was an expert in their field. If you're best snipers died early on in the campaign, then you're stuck with a bunch of sniper school grads with no experience. You had to make do with what resources you had and that's part of what made the game great.

Personally, I'm not very big on the sort of mechanics that punish poor or inexperienced players for doing poorly by making it harder to succeed. It just seems to be a really exclusive approach to design, kind of like the way certain hardcore Japanese games mock you for playing on easy modes. I'm not saying that it would have to be easy to exist now, but there must be a way to make something realistic tactically, without making it unbearably frustrating for 90% of the potential audience. It's certainly an interesting problem to consider.

Well, R6 isn't for casual game players just looking to jump right in and dominate. It's not that kind of game. Poor and inexperienced gamers can do just fine by understanding the scenario, balancing their teams, and utlizing the map and planning tools. The problem nowadays is that the game is marketed for people who want mindless run-and-gun FPS action instead of true tactical warfare. Games like R6 forced you to really think and make wise decisions but I guess intelligent gaming in that regard is a thing of yesteryear. It's too bad we reached this point and I can only imagine that it's going to get worse from here.

from what I'm hearing SWAT 4 needs to move directly to the top of my pile of shame.

from what I'm hearing SWAT 4 needs to move directly to the top of my pile of shame.

A fantastic game with some of the best level design I've ever seen. I'd recommend both it and the expansion. Fairly cheap now too.

I think it's a copout to claim that the console market wouldn't support it. In fact, that smacks of elitism

It's not a copout, I'm a console player as well and I'd love to see it work, it's just that planning is a major part of the experience, and placing waypoints, setting milestones, sniper headings, navigating multiple levels all seem to be things that would be very difficult to accomplish on the console without feeling frustrating. Anyone play the early versions of Rainbow 6 on the console (Dreamcast, I guess?). How did they handle the planning stages?

AmazingZoidberg wrote:

from what I'm hearing SWAT 4 needs to move directly to the top of my pile of shame.

I know i'm probably running at the mouth, but it did do an outstanding job, the firefights were intense but real (if you used a whole clip in one encounter, you probably screwed up) and while the RoE got frustrating (If I say "POLICE! FREEZE!" and you don't immediately put your gun down, your next warning will be a .223 in your ass) some of the levels were great and the multiplayer was a blast. I think it's fair to say that it comes in between where R6 is now and where it was when it started.

93_confirmed wrote:

but I guess intelligent gaming in that regard is a thing of yesteryear. It's too bad we reached this point and I can only imagine that it's going to get worse from here.

Ah yes, that took longer than I thought. The game market is just too "dumb" to support this kind of game anymore.

Actually, what a lot of people describe, the pre-mission planning and everything else doesn't sound like a game, it sounds like work. I already have a job, thanks ever so much. I know some people like this sort of thing. Ten years ago I loved Jagged Alliance 2, but that's one slow paced game, at least if you're doing it right and not getting everyone blown away. I've realized that I just don't have the time or patience to dedicate to that kind of game anymore. My job is already fairly demanding and so for some odd reason I want to spend my limited leisure hours doing something that resembles, and hang on because this is radical, leisure.

I get why some people like that style of game, what surprises me is how quickly people resort to the "dumb" argument because it doesn't have mass appeal.

93_confirmed wrote:

It has nothing to do with nostalgia. The fact of the matter is that R6 is one of the original tactical shooters. Sure, there were a lot of flaws with the game (as there also are with the latest versions) but it was truly tactical and forced players to use their brains instead of blind fury and a quick trigger finger.

Because most of their sales come from those of us that only played it for the multiplayer/shooter aspect. It was something different than CS, and the world loved them for it. Most of us in clans playing tournaments barely touched the single player. I didn't after Rogue Spear. Well not until RB6:V/V2

93_confirmed wrote:

I'm just going to rant here because I have a lot of built up anger about how Ubi f'd this series.

I'm not as angry, but I agree with the sentiment.

Also, R6 is a shooter and now you can't even f'ing choose your loadout before a mission! What's that all about? I'm an elite commando going to find an army of terrorists and I'm stuck with an MP5 and default equipment.

Actually, that's not true. The save points are not discrete missions, so the load out on the Helo, or at the weapons crate around the halfway point of each level.

And, I'm stuck playing as one person with no option to switch.

I wouldn't mind that so much if the story was solid. Ding Chavez is an original Tom Clancy character: he's in Clear and Present Danger, Rainbow Six, and a bunch of others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domingo...

All of which is well and good if the story is good. Oh, wait:

Instead of a series of great individual scenarios in a global climate, we're stuck with one ridiculously impossible scenario in Vegas with a paper thin backstory to boot.

The story lines for both R6 and GRAW are laughable at best, especially when you consider the rich possibilities that Tom Clancy's books allow.

I really think that Ubisoft is missing the mark on these games. The world does not need a Tom Clancy branded Gears of War (you know, run, duck behind cover, blow stuff up, use a chainsaw)-there is a real paucity of tactical shooters out there, and they own the rights to the #1 brand.