Rainbow Six: Vegas
With Rainbow Six Vegas, Ubisoft got one last chance to bring the series back up to level for me. The last couple of episodes were quite disappointing and the setting of Las Vegas seemed appropriate to do a last throw to success. If you want to know whether they hit the jackpot or not, I suggest you read the review.
This time you get under the skin of Logan Keller of the Rainbow Six team, a guy that just got promoted to team leader. Unfortunately everything starts a bit chaotic when a mission in Mexico goes wrong and you’re sent to Las Vegas with its saturated neon-lit streets, shiny casinos and money machines. Some terrorists threaten world peace and half of the world population and it’s up to you to put a stick in their plans. The first seconds you think you’re having flashbacks of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, and this will remain. The story will unfortunately quickly be forgotten, the firefights and your tactical exploits on the other hand not!
What immediately gets noticed is the perfect implementation of the cover system. Less spectacular than in Gears of War but a lot more subtle and useable to take the enemy under fire from cover and think of tactical attack plans. With the left trigger you pull yourself against all kinds of objects after which you get into a third person view and you can either fire from cover or look around the corner to see what’s going on, to afterwards decide what to do with a couple of well-aimed pulls on the right trigger.
Another big step forward is the AI of your loyal squad mates. These can be easily controlled and commanded by means of the A-button in combination with your D-pad. Send in ahead, don’t run in the way, they will almost always react realistically and exactly as you want. Also one of the more cooler moments, looking under a door with your cam, assigning the most important targets and then entering simultaneous and shooting them down works as intuitive as doing a forehand with Wii Sports. A not so small achievement that pushes both the gameplay experience as well as the realism to a higher level.
More adrenaline pumping scenes and possibilities are the rappelling and the option to take targets under fire upside down on your rope without wrestling without all kinds of buttons and options. You can even have your colleagues enter the room at the same time to take the hostiles down that you can’t get a clear view at. Also the makers are aware of the fun of these moments and you’ll get your share of exploring rooms and cleaning up the content. It’s also here that RSV shows itself from its best side: tactical combat!
Hardcore lovers of the latter will be happy to know that there’s a realistic difficulty degree. Like with Call of Duty 2 and let’s say Gears the choosing of this option transforms the game to something even better and more exciting. You’ll plan every move, look for the smallest sound and absolutely not act like you’re playing an ordinary FPS. Truly a strong piece of gaming fun will be your reward without the frustration levels that often come up with such modes. A decent health system and good checkpoints that save at appropriate moments take care of that.
And there’s more analogies with Gears of War. An impressive co-op possibility through Xbox Live! is present and offers at least as much fun and replayability as Epic’s top game. You can take on the single player part with even up to four people! If you’re tired of that, you can try out the many other and equally good and interesting multiplayer modes with up to 16 players at the same time. On top of that, the possibility to create your own character (including your own face if you have the Live Camera) and building it further out through unlockable weapons, armour and other stuff delivers a fresh and adjustable wind through the online gaming scene. More innovations like these please!
Graphically the game throws high eyes with its beautifully recreated and brightly lit casinos, impressive player models and perfectly detailed weapons. Get rid of the neon lighting and the best comparison is again GRAW, including annoying advertising. Also the sound, voicing and music are more than decent. Your partners give sufficient information and in a believable way and also the bullets that his sound realistic. For as far as I have experience with life-threatening firefights.
Rainbow Six Vegas is clearly a tactical game of the new generation. Qua presentation a big step forward and qua controls, AI, gameplay and possibilities the best Rainbow Six in a long time. For those looking to buy one tactical shooter, this package is a very explosive suggestion.