Legacy Interview

Friday, July 9, 2004.
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow Box artRainbow Six 3: Black Arrow

Ubisoft gives us a seek peek on what to expect with this highly anticipated sequel. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow.

Q: Can you give us some more details on the story that drives Black Arrow? Is this a continuation of the first game for the Xbox, or can this be considered an all new mission for the Rainbow Six Team.

A: Expect to have brand new missions in Black Arrow. It’s not connected to the previous game hence you’ll see new environments, from Europe to North Africa. Rainbow Team is up for some new international business!

Q: Is the development team behind Rainbow Six 3 the ones working on Black Arrow?

A: Well our team is made of leads that previously worked on Rainbow Six 3, but also we added a new team from Italy to make sure we had the best for each department.

Q: Where you a big fan of the PC game series of Rainbow Six? Do you think it's a difficult task converting well a known game such as Rainbow Six that was created for computer gaming to a gaming console?

A: PC version of Rainbow Six is great. It’s something a bit more complex and tactical. As for the console version, well it’s a faster, action packed game. The main challenge was to keep the same Rainbow Six feel but more suited to consoles gameplay. The multiplayer mode is the best example. You can start playing and have fun right away with the console version. Learning curve is really fast, but at the same time, the more you play the better you get, which is good for both casual players and more experienced Rainbow Six gamers.

Q: Will the original team from Rainbow Six be returning for duty in Black Arrow? Will there be new team members with new specialties?

A: Chavez, Loiselle, Price and Weber are back for some intense action. They each have their own personality, which is great to see in action =)

Q: It's a well known fact Ubisoft's expertise at implementation of a combat game on Xbox is unsurpassed. Could you tell us what makes the Black Arrow Edition different from the experiences we have already had with Rainbow Six 3?

A: We took the best elements from the previous game and added a lot of new features: In the Singleplayer aspect of the game, we have 10 new missions, 1 new game mode (Lone Rush), and smarter AI. Also, for those of you having the Xbox Live!, well you can now see all your singleplayer stats over the net and compare with others! Multiplayer has 14 new maps + 4 good ol’ maps (think about Garage, Presidio, Peaks or Airport), 2 new game modes (Total Conquest and Retrieval) but also we are the first game using the Xbox Live! 3.0 features. So now we will be able to play in tournaments, create competitions and clans, but you’ll also see a brand new inbox using for example voice mails and messages. We worked with Microsoft on this, and it pays up in the end! We really wanted to have a game with more features for team playing. We know how great the experience was with Live! in the previous game, so we knew that we had to give the community even more!

Q: Getting into the game play itself, how many different enemy "personalities" or "types" can we expect to see in R63: Black Arrow, and will the emphasis here be on numerical superiority or tactics?

A: You’ll be able to see and hear different personalities from terrorists and teammates. So some tangos are really courageous and will do whatever they can to bring you down, but some others will be less bold and react more on the defensive side. As for the Rainbow Team they each have their own personality and type. It’s so cool to see how Loiselle for example will react when a sniper is hiding on the roof (with his French accent) or Weber while taking heavy fire! And this is part of our integrated AI, so expect to see many variables.

Q: The new Rainbow Six 3, Black Arrow game is touted as improving upon the most successful Xbox Live game of all time Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 with new single- and multi-player action games. What will Black Arrow offer that players won't be able to get from other similar competitive FPS games?

A: Rainbow Six 3 is well known for its longevity and awesome online gameplay. So the main difference with Black Arrow versus other competitive games is that we have the knowledge to give players an awesome offline gameplay with missions and split-screen for example, but at the same time we offer Live! users an amazing experience that lasts, even after months of playing. Also, Ubisoft is very close to the community, so gamers know that there won’t be any let down in terms of content and fixes. With all the upcoming games, and very strong competition, we have to give what players really want. And by listening to the community, that’s exactly what we’re doing!

Q: Regarding tactics, what can you tell us about what role AI partners/enemies will play in Rainbow Six 3 Black Arrow?

A: As you probably know, we decided to improve the AI. We know how great it is to feel that enemies and teammates are “intelligent”. We added a random script for enemies and they now react very differently based on how the gamer plays. Rainbow Six is all about squad teamplay and tactics so improving the AI was important.

Q: I assume Black Arrow will support High Definition Resolution 720i as previously offered on Rainbow Six 3. Will 1080i be available this time and if not why?

A: Black Arrow will support the 1080i High Def. Resolution.

Q: Realistic sound is critical in a game of this caliber. What modes of surround sound will Black Arrow support?

A: As with R63, Black Arrow will support Dolby Digital, 5.1 channels.

Q: What kind of weapons are you going to have that are different from Rainbow Six 3?

A: BA will have 30+ weapons as in R63. But we decided to remove the M82 for balance issues. That weapon was way too powerful and players didn’t like it at all in the multiplayer mode. So we replaced it with a Dragunov, a very good but balanced sniper rifle. Talking about weapons, we improved the close range damage and efficiency with pistols, based on community feedback.

Q: One thing I know myself and other gamers out there wonder is where is the Keyboard/Mouse Support? I mean shouldn't support for all peripherals be made available? And if you are not even considering support for mouse and keyboard. Why?

A: Now that every controller has analog sticks, it’s much better, and players really can enjoy the game. We built Rainbow Six 3 on consoles with the controller in mind really. And since gamers can modify their settings with horizontal and vertical sensitivity, everyone is happy!

Q: Devices such as the Action Replay and other "resources" often plague the online gaming community with cheating. This has been known to occur even on Xbox Live. Has Ubisoft taken steps to prevent the abuse of such Resources in the Black Arrow edition?

A: Ubisoft won’t allow any type of cheats or hack so everything is done and will be done to prevent any form of cheating. Speaking of which, Lean glitch is the latest exploit/cheat we took care of in BA. So no more leaners!

Q: Will there be a feature for a dedicated server to vote for a map or vote to boot someone who is hacking, team killing or being annoying, with majority of vote?

A: We don't have any voting feature but we decided to give the most options we could to the server administrators and clan leaders having a server. If you want to play with people you really want, try the Friend's list or give enough powers to your friends so that they can control the server as they wish. We understand that it's an online community where you play against thousands of players around the world, and for that we decided to add as much features as possible to help everyone enjoy their gaming session.

Q: In the new version will you be able to search for specific levels/boards in Optimatch?

A: You will be able to see in Optimatch the server’s map and all other information related to the server. We don’t have any level specific search tools.

Q: Any chance of an outside type of mission? Like P.O.W. camp or South American jungle warfare level?

A: Black Arrow offers a lot of different environments through the missions but also with the multiplayer maps. A lot of those maps/missions have outside parts, and some of them are spent mostly outside. But Rainbow Six always had a different tension than other Warfare games such as Ghost Recon 2. You’ll have those close-quarter types of missions and tension is caused by never knowing what’s around the corner.

Q: Any kind of features from Splinter Cell? Like being able to hear the enemy's communication or use cameras?

A: Such features are more intended for stealth/infiltration gameplay than intervention action. So when Rainbow is there, Sam already did his reconnaissance job ;)

Q: Can you tell us about the graphics engine? Is this an all new game?

A: We use the same technology as Rainbow Six 3 (Unreal) but with we now know all of its intricacies and can work more efficiently with it. Wait you see those lighting effects!

Q: Do you plan to charge for any of the downloadable content in the future?

A: No official words yet on fees for downloadable content, sorry.

Q: After the release of Black Arrow, will you continue to provide downloadable content for the Rainbow Six 3?

A: I can’t answer this one but since the whole R63 community will have jump to Black Arrow anyway… ;)

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, till next time!

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