Summary: JCal sits down with the Rainbow Six devs and interrogates them about why the Rainbow Six team is going to Vegas, and whether or not you can use those fancy vision modes to see if the chump across the table is really riding Ace/King.
FiringSquad: First, this sounds like it will be a very different Rainbow Six game. How did the idea to set this new game entirely in Las Vegas come about?
Maxime Beland: After many years of mission-based games where you went from one city to another, we felt it was a good time to focus on one area and exploit it as much as possible. Since we’re mostly in one location, we can increase the tension, ramp up the pressure on the player with non-stop action, and ensure there’re no more menus between the missions.
FiringSquad: Most Rainbow Six games are very serious in nature but setting this new game in Vegas seems like it will allow for more humor. Do you think that will be the case?
Maxime Beland: In Rainbow Six Vegas, we are really pushing on the stress, tension and urgency elements. Las Vegas is under terrorists’ siege and players will truly live the escalation of chaos. So will the game be more on the humor side? I would say no :)
FiringSquad: How much research on Sin City did the development team do for the game and will we see real Vegas landmarks in the final game?
Maxime Beland: Our objective is to show Vegas as it is. This means that as Rainbow travels from one location to another, players may recognize the hotels they visited or saw on television or the movies. We have a dedicated team of artists working on the way Vegas looks and we are using a lot of on-site researches, reference material and the power of next-gen graphics to deliver a cool looking and accurate Las Vegas. Our objective is to make the player feel that Las Vegas itself is under attack.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the storyline for Rainbow Six:Vegas?
Maxime Beland: While chasing an international terrorist, Team Rainbow is redirected to Las Vegas where a terrorist strike is unfolding. Within twelve hours, a major attack could kill the city’s entire population, thus heightening the tension and emphasizing the need to act quickly and decisively. Once in Las Vegas, you’ll fight through its landmarks to stop the terrorists from succeeding.
Maxime Beland: With Rainbow Six Vegas, we go back to what made the franchise a success: Realism, Tactics and Close Quarter Battles (CQB). So new additions such as Rappelling, invert-rappel (very useful to observe a situation and plan an assault), the snake cam (small camera that let us observe under the door the situation), tagging system (we prioritize the targets for our teammates hence a better control of our actions), are examples of the new additions in Rainbow Six Vegas. Those are the tools needed for the OPA: you Observe, Plan and Assault.
Our goal is to maximize the tactical experience while staying fun to play and interesting for the players.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us at this stage about the game's multiplayer features?
Maxime Beland: Expect to find new online cooperative and adversarial game modes as well as some of the modes players have come to love in Rainbow Six.
Attack & Defend is a new team-based adversarial game mode in which one team assaults while the other team defends an objective. Your mission objectives vary from one map to another and include hostage rescue, bomb defusal and recovering intel.
As for customization, you can create a unique character and evolve that character throughout your online career. Your online appearance is your visual identity; its how other players see you in the game, so we’re going to give you tons of possibilities on customizing your appearance. Everything from your facial features to your uniform is customizable.
Finally, our match-making system will put players of the same level together. Veterans play with veterans and new players are going to play together so they can face off with opponents that are challenging without being unfair.
FiringSquad: This will be the first Rainbow Six game for next-gen consoles. What graphical features can we expect from Rainbow Six Vegas?
Maxime Beland: In terms of technology, we are able to go very far, and the next-gen leap will be very visible :). We are really taking full advantage of the engine, physics etc. More dynamic lights (non-shadow and shadow-casting), tons more rendered objects, picture-in-picture technology, advanced A.I. and physics, next-gen breakable objects, MOCAP animations also a completely new 3D HUD interface etc. Our attention, technology wise, is on A.I., visual effects, animations and environments.
FiringSquad: Are there any plans for a demo of the game to be released before the final version ships to stores?
Maxime Beland: I can’t answer that right now, but we’ll of course keep everyone updated!
FiringSquad: What is the current status of the game's progress and when will it be released?
Maxime Beland: The game will be released in November ’06, so right now we are full-speed on the game’s integration, development etc. It will be a very short and indoor summer for us =)
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Rainbow Six Vegas?
Maxime Beland: We are very happy to see how impressed and excited people are around Rainbow Six Vegas now that E3 is over! We had a great demo to showcase and it’s just an overview of what we will have in the final game in November. Expect to be amazed with what we are putting together :)
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