I think the Montreal studio was responsible for Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow which speaks very highly of them, unless of course they were also responsible for Lockdown. Did Montreal develop Lockdown?
Rainbow Six: Vegas
Posted 06 March 2006 - 04:46 PM
Posted 06 March 2006 - 05:25 PM
Posted 06 March 2006 - 06:19 PM
Posted 06 March 2006 - 10:10 PM
Rainbow Six Vegas will push the envelope of technology through graphics, artificial intelligence, physics and animations created by Ubisoft?s award-winning Montreal studios
Wow, they really are bullshitting this series. Lockdown was supposed to have all of above, and ended up having none. I might give them graphics, since it was built to run on the PS2.
Posted 07 March 2006 - 10:33 AM
I've really stopped buying games that were built to run on the PS2. With the exception of a very few, most American/European PS2 games are total shit. I had given up on the PS2 entirely before I went to Japan. That place is flooded with high-quality PS2 games that really stretch the way you perceive games and gaming in general, but they never make it over here. Most of what we see and most of what is developed/marketed on this half of the globe is derivative and/or trash.
since it was built to run on the PS2.
Posted 21 March 2006 - 04:43 AM
The teenage years haven't been good to Rainbow Six. After starting off extremely strong with its first few games, the franchise has veered down the expansion pack after expansion pack route recently. Now, knowing where the series has been and what it has become, imagine our relief when upon meeting the Rainbow Six next-gen developers, the first words out of their mouths were that they are "returning to the core values of Rainbow Six." With the team that worked on Rainbow Six 3 behind it, including senior producer Chadi Lebbos and lead game designer Maxime B?land, things seem to be looking bright for Rainbow Six: Vegas (and not just because of the lights on the Vegas Strip).
In literal terms, that means you can expect a graphics engine rivaling the best we've seen on any console. We've only seen bits and pieces of this engine, but if the quality can be maintained from what we've seen (and in the first screenshots of the game) throughout the entire game, it's safe to say the developers are onto something special here. The Vegas team is keeping its technology secrets close to its chest, however, only opening its bulletproof vest long enough to tell us that it is a new in-house engine, and not the one used for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfigher.
While Vegas will no doubt provide us with the eye candy we've come to demand on next-generation systems, the aspect Rainbow Six has always struggled with is AI -- both on the part of your teammates and your enemies. Fortunately, Ubisoft realized this was an area that needed major improvement. "For the first time, we've got not only a s***load of programmers, but also a designer dedicated solely to AI," says B?land. "It's a game that's not just [about] the people you're shooting -- it's also the people that are following you." Ubisoft can afford to do such specialization with a team 150 people strong that has been working on this title since early 2004.
But it wasn't only the AI programming that needed an overhaul -- it was also the player animations, and we can't help but compare what we've seen in this area in Vegas to what the Ghost Recon team accomplished with Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Enter Aaron Gilman, a well-established Hollywood animator who has feature films such as The Matrix Revolutions, Hellboy, and Constantine under his belt.
It's a constant struggle when creating a tactical FPS game to keep a good balance between realism and arcade/flash. Go too far on one end of the spectrum and you end a cookie cutter $8 bargain bin game -- too far on the other end and only a tiny audience will want to play your game. "We're trying to make the game more accessible while still keeping the hardcore happy," says B?land. "And trust me, the audience is hardcore. It's a very fine line, and it's easy to fall between the cracks of these two sides -- we're working hard to get this right." Consider B?land to represent the hardcore, realistic end of the spectrum and Gilman to be on the other end, the "look I can bounce off the walls and shoot someone" end. Their relationship to find a happy medium while still creating a spectacular next-gen game is an interesting one.
"I come from a film background so I'm used to working in an environment where you can create a lot of custom, cool movement for one shot at a time," says Gilman. "I used to work on big feature films, so when they brought me in on this game, my job was to create a lot of detail in the motion that would all make them feel and look cool, and at the same time commit to the principles of Rainbow, and that's where my relationship with [B?land] comes in," says Gilman.
B?land describes the challenges: "We brought in Aaron to give personalities to the AI, to the two teammates that are with you. We really wanted them to be different [and] to act different, but at the same time our challenge is that these guys are the best in the world. They're elite special forces and they're trained. They have ways that they do things so we have to always stay realistic, and at the same time we have this dual challenge of wanting to be a little more Hollywood, a little different. And if you look at real special ops together, they're actually trained to look the same. There's one way that they do something, and if you look at them and they're all standing behind each other, they look like one guy. They're trained to do that; they're trained to look the same and for us that's not interesting...so I'm there to challenge Aaron but at the same time tell him, 'OK I think you're going a little over the top now.' I think also with the series we have a lot of fans, a lot of hardcore players that want realism, and I think being a hardcore Rainbow player at the same time I want to make sure we stay true to the franchise, stay true to that, and don't go over the top."
With its 24-styled storyline (in which the entire story takes place over a 12 hour span), cut-scene-less gameplay, and new characters, it almost makes us think that the Vegas team has the same goal as David Jaffe -- to make us cry. "We really want to get the player engaged, to create emotional experiences," says B?land. Leading the new team you play as Logan Keller, who bears a distinct resemblance to Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher. (When asked if there was any relationship between the two characters, the Vegas team merely giggled and remained mum on the matter.) One teammate is the big burly Michael Walters, whose weapon of choice is something equally big and manly. The other teammate is the lithe and spry Jung Park, who specializes in sniping and computer-hacking; strapped to Park's shoulder is a small PDA.
During our visit to Ubisoft Montreal, the developers showed us the concerted effort being made to make Walters and Park different from each other. Even something as simple as clearing and entering a room demonstrates their differences in both movement and style. Walters is likely to enter the room with a full press play while Park will dart into the room, quickly jerking his gun up. The developers were still working on these two characters during our visit, so consider these examples just that -- examples, for now. The only female introduced, Joanna, has been relegated to a support role in the helicopter that will carry you from mission to mission.
One of the tools being used for the character realism is a brand-new motion capture studio a hop, skip, and jump away from the Ubisoft Montreal studio. "It's huge that [we have our own studio]," states Gilman. "Before the studio was set up, we were actually going abroad. In some cases we were going to other cities to do mo-cap testing for this game. That was a huge headache because we couldn't be reflexive at all. If we didn't like the moves, we couldn't just go back. From the first shoot we did before our new facility was set up, I would say that about 60% of all the content we did isn't in the game. It's just gone because we now have the opportunity to do more shooting with the facility here and fine tune and really make the process a lot better. Having the facility here is phenomenal."
Using motion capture doesn't come without its own challenges, however. Heavy testing and tweaking were done to the player speed to make it both realistic and fun for gameplay. The team members literally took tape measures into the motion capture studio to chart and time the actors' movements, coming up with what they initially believed to be a realistic speed. But when they took this back to the development studio, "it was like playing a turtle," jokes Gilman. He likens it to running in place underwater, much like in the PC version of America's Army where if you weren't sprinting or were even slightly injured, your player's speed would dramatically decrease. It's pleasing to know that the full workout is being given to player speed since the majority of gamers complained that running was too fast and walking too slow in Rainbow Six: Lockdown. "We have to make compromises," says B?land. "Basically, the bottom line is if the game's just not fun, you can have the best animations possible but it's just not fun. People are not going to play your game. This relationship is very interesting because Aaron wants to make it look good, [and] I need to make sure it's going to be fun. But if it's fun but really ugly we're not winning. It's a give and take but I think for the movement system it needed to be set."
While B?land and Gilman ultimately have the same end goal, there are times when their views aren't on the same page -- or even in the same species. For one scene, using the epic shootout at the end of Scarface as inspiration, Gilman went into the mo-cap studio to capture what he thought easiest terrorists in the game should be like. When he brought the data home and applied it to the CG, B?land said two things about it: "they look like monkeys" and "they look like old men." "When he said those two things I kind of cocked my head and said, 'You're right! They do!'," says Gilman. "So...we went back [to the mo-cap studio]."
Thank goodness we won't be getting monkey tangos in Vegas, or it might create an entirely new genre. "We need to take [these kinds of risks], in order to be the best and to have the best-looking motion," says Gilman. "If we don't go through the steps then we're not going to get there."
Posted 21 March 2006 - 08:42 PM
Posted 09 June 2006 - 01:01 AM
Download, sit back, and relax. We have a 10-minute HD video walkthrough of Vegas, baby.
One of the best live demos IGN witnessed at this year's Electronic Entertainment Exposition was Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas. The approximately 10-minute video ran every 15 minutes or so every day at E3 and covered a lot of ground. Passers-by witnessed the game's gorgeous new graphics and effective sound, plus gameplay additions highlighting the new snake-cam, tagging system, and the newly added rappelling features.
While you might have seen this same video posted during E3, we now present it to you in high definition, with full commentary voice-over explaining the game's new options, features, and enhancements. You're going to love it. So sit back, download, and enjoy
Posted 30 June 2006 - 01:01 PM
Slowly becoming your entertainment dictator.
I hates me some sports games.
Posted 13 July 2006 - 05:42 PM
Local leader says he'll examine legal options to prevent the game's release, claims it could be "economically harmful" to the city.
North Korea. Venezuela. Las Vegas. A mutual disapproval of games makes strange bedfellows. Officials from all three of these places have decried games based within their jurisdictions.
In May, Venezuelan legislator Gabriela Ramirez called Pandemic Studios' upcoming shooter Mercenaries 2 " a justification for imperialist aggression." In the game, players drop into Venezuela to help settle an oil dispute, take on "a power hungry tyrant," and blow stuff up.
Back in 2004, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 was decried by the North Korean government as propaganda. In that game, a North Korean general diverts food to the military, eventually taking power of the country and invading China. It is then up to players to join the Ghost Recon team in repelling the invaders.
Now Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman is taking exception to the setting of another Tom Clancy game, Ubisoft's upcoming Rainbow Six Vegas. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Goodman has an issue with the game's plot, which sees terrorists taking over a swanky casino on the city's Strip and seizing a number of hostages.
Goodman reportedly said the game was "based on a false premise," adding he has been repeatedly told by government officials that Las Vegas is "the safest place imaginable" when it comes to terrorist attacks. The mayor also said he'll look into whether or not the city can prevent the game from being released. "It could be harmful economically, and it may be something that's not entitled to free speech [protection]," Goodman is quoted as saying.
Posted 25 August 2006 - 12:17 PM
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