Rainbow Six: Vegas Review

 

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With a struggling campaign and scarce upgrades, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 feels more like an expansion pack than a full-fledged sequel. Vegas 2 takes the familiar formula of the previous game, and implements minor corrections, installs some news maps, and delivers Vegas fans a sequel that will leave them unsatisfied, and possibly calling this “Vegas 1.5”. Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is a totally rad shooter, but bares the old saying, “what happens in Vegas, says in Vegas…and continues in the sequel”.

The gameplay centers around the typical first person tactical action format. You’ll roll around with your three-man posse, moving from check point, to check point, through the game’s six hour campaign.
You’ll have the option to tell your AI partners to bust open doors, blow up doors, or just open the damn door and flash bang the room. You’ll mostly utilize the AI’s ability to open doors in various ways to safe enter rooms, because that’s what your limited to in terms of AI control beyond telling them to hold, or regroup. The game doesn’t rely to heavily on tactics, but that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore the tactical possibilities your given. If you keep your head down and use cover wisely, you should be primarily ok. This lack of a tactical focus may disappoint Rainbow veterans, but with the success of the Vegas series, this seems to be the –direction the franchise will continue to pursue.

The singleplayer campaign is where the game doesn’t hit its high point. The campaign should take about six to eight hours, depending on your difficulty setting, but this is still a very unsatisfying experience. Vegas 2 does allow the option for two-player co-op which livens things up. Weird enough, is two AI squad mates remain in the co-op game only controlled by the game’s host. The secondary player has no real connection to the world, and feels more like an extra gun, which makes the game unquestionably easier. Unlike the singleplayer which forces you to try again from a check point once you die, co-op offers respawns. When one of the players dies, they come back in ten seconds, for as long as the opposite player doesn’t die. Also if you haven’t herd you can sprint now, which may sound a little more than foreign to Clancy fans, but the sped up action is a welcomed addition.

Regardless on how much you pay attention, the plot of Vegas 2 is tough to follow. The plot centers a four-man squad in their fight against terror. That part is simple to comprehend, but the narrative is hard to pick up on beyond that. I was dumbfounded by the game’s conclusion, which was some dude I didn’t recognize giving me some speech about him becoming evil and blaming the protagonist. This is both the fault of the game’s shoddy writing, and narration. However, its not uncommon for an action game to fall apart at its climax. But even beyond the goofy ending, the whole story is just slapped together to connect the levels together.

The most imposing quality of Rainbow Six Vegas 2, is the static and lifeless environments. The physics are basic, and very little of the environments are destructible. The graphics in the game show their age, and the lights of Vegas struggle to keep your attention.

With a shoddy campaign, and a less-than impressive story, its good the gunplay is superb. Cover mechanics are a breeze, and very useful in firefights. While you are limited with your squad, it is satisfying to see them working with you without many AI issues. With a fat Call of Duty 4-like experience bar at the bottom of the screen, you’ll rise through the ranks and unlock weapons, camo, ect.
Unlike Call of Duty, this system is less featured, however its good side is that it carries through the campaign, terrorist hunts, and multiplayer. So you’ll be earning XP no matter what your doing in Vegas 2. The guns sound believable, but at times I encountered that they sound more muffled than they should. Sometimes the audio doesn’t act at all, but the game’s audio hiccups are hard to notice, and shouldn’t interrupt your gameplay.

I found myself really enjoying Rainbow Six Vegas 2, the only thing holding it back for me was its close relations to its predecessor. Obviously no one should buy this for its campaign, though it does offer some entertainment. Vegas 2 is built for multiplayer, and thats where it shines. If you can get over the similarities to the originally, there’s plenty of fun to be had with Vegas 2, however if you are a veteran of the first game, the value of this iteration may ware quickly.

-Steve Beynon

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