Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Review
Vegas revisited, the end of a series
©2008 – Lee Edgerton
“`It’s like the old glove that fits, that bike you rode when you were a child or even those shoes that have been worn in just right. Ubisoft’s next addition to the Rainbow Six IP is everything you’ve come to expect from the series and although the similarities take away from some of the “new game feeling”, the extras sure make up for it!
“`Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 answers a lot of, well, unanswered questions surrounding the first iteration. It takes place from before the first game and tells the story both during and after Vegas 1. But you’re not seeing the events through the eyes of Logan Keller, but rather Bishop, the leader of another Rainbow squad dealing with the more dirty situations that arise throughout the Vegas timeline.
As such, the story takes you away from the bright lights and dancing girls to a more grittier and dark side of the famous desert city. Expect dimly lit corridors, deserted factories and industrial rooftops throughout the game, a nice change from the seemingly endless supply of neon lighting from the first title.
One of those “new extras” I’d mentioned above comes in the form of the improved PEC or Persistent Elite Creation, which is actually persistent now across MP and SP! What does this mean? Every terrorist you frag, every room you clear and every enemy you disable nets you XP that counts towards your character across all games. As someone that prefers to fight alone rather than battle it online, this is a Godsend, allowing access to the usual unlocks and ranking usually only found online. Plus with the ACES system, you are rewarded for all sorts of skills, from headshots to close range kills.
“`If you’re more XBL inclined, Ubisoft hasn’t forgotten you. Online you have all the usual Terrorist Hunt and Multiplayer elements you’ve come to love, as well as Co-op for both TH and SP Campaigns (however, only 2 players and 2 AI now) and of course a whole host of new maps and adversarial modes to go along with. Online play is plagued with the same issues many Australian’s suffer daily, increased latency, rare local games and overseas hosts kicking yellow and red players alike, however Ubisoft claims that many of the online issues from the past have been improved and along with the recent update, XBL modes should soon return to normal.
Continues & more pics after the jump:
Veteran players of the first game get a little bonus to their character upon start up, which is a nice touch from Ubisoft. Character customization is just as easy as it ever was, with a whole host of clothing, weapons and armour to adorn your virtual Rainbow member with. As well as custom camouflage and the ability to take a photo of your face with the XboxLIVE Vision camera and apply it to your in-game character for a photo likeness of yourself!
Click any image for Full Sized View:
Sadly, one area that has let R6V2 down is visually. Although in-game environments, characters and weapons are all crisp and detailed, the Unreal 3 engine chugs along at some points, even reducing your screen to a stuttering mess at parts, forcing you to put up with a chatterbox image or simply quit and start again. It’s not a regular occurrence, but when it does happen it takes away from the immersive nature of the game.
Sound is everything we’ve come to expect. Voices are clear and weapons sound realistic (or as realistic as they can to someone who’s never actually heard a gun fire before) however the lack of a subtitle option is frustrating when the sound has to be on the down low. There was a stuttering issue with some repetitive sounds including LMG fire and in-game choppers, however it has been resolved in the latest patch.
All in all Ubisoft hasn’t strayed too far from a winning model. Understandably they have veered away from the label of “tactical simulator” as to attract the everyday-gamer, although this does not take away from the fact that this game is and will be a stable title that all gamers should own. If you don’t believe me, give it a try yourself! Whether it’s on your own, with some mates or on XboxLIVE, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 delivers in all aspects of play.
©2008 – Lee Edgerton