For people that like first person shooters Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six has given gamers a game of what they like through many changes with Rainbow Six Vegas being a favorite among gamers.
For storyline RB6: Vegas 2 will be easier to understand if you played the previous game. The game’s storyline kinda tip toes in and around that of the first game. But to be honest I didn’t feel the storyline to be that strong a feature in this Vegas 2. It adds context to your operations but that’s about it. Characters are not really fleshed out and so you are basically left to focus on the combat. I kinda wished the game felt more like a Tom Clancy novel like the popular Splinter Cell games do, but then again I don’t think gamers will be coming to this game for strong story elements.
There are experience points to be earned in-game all of which will allow you to rank up which will earn you better options for gear. You also have the ACES system where completing certain combat feats in various categories across 20 levels allows you to unlock specialization weapons in areas like Marksman or Close Quarter combat. Furthermore your upgraded character can be brought into Co-Op and online versus modes. So taking the time to earn points in campaign mode will definitely pay off as you migrate to online multiplayer.
Thankfully there is a decent system for taking cover and firing from cover including blind fire. You will be moving mostly from cover point to cover point, rarely stepping out into the open. For the most part the cover system is quite good, though there are times when the only cover you are given seems inadequate to protect you at all, which can get annoying. Tactics of course is a strong feature of the game, where taking on a room full of enemies will have you setting up your two other squadmates at one entry point as you enter a separate entry point to flank. The scenarios are pretty much preset for you to use one or two tactics. Deviation from that will have you dead quick. I wished the infiltration scenarios were a little more dynamic and at times it does begin to feel repetitive as you use the same tactics to deal with the same situation over and over.
As for the graphics the game looks decent enough on the Xbox 360 but a little dated compared to the quality we’ve begun to see on the console in games like Call Of Duty 4. Particularly noticeable as odd is how irregularly proportioned some of the characters are. Shrunken heads and oversized hands, but thankfully that’s an exception rather than a rule. Environmentally I have no complaints though it should be noted that the Vegas 2 moves away from the casinos and more into offices, convention halls and industrial sites which some may find not as appealing as the bright neon lights of the original game. Audio is great with decent voice acting and sound effects. Enemy dialog can be rather bland and repetitive though as it seems to solely to serve as audio clues.
Perhaps the strongest feature of RB6 Vegas 2 like it’s predecessor is the multiplayer aspect. Co-Op has you along with 1 other live player and 2 squadmates, reduced from 4 live players in the original game. Unfortunately only 1 player can issue squad commands which kinda leaves player 2 as a mere tag along. Of course this means that if player 1 goes down there is no way for player 2 to continue on with the squad until player 1 respawns. There is however a fun Terrorist Hunt mode where you and 3 other live players can play together wiping out the terrorist threat.
Multi player has 12 maps with 2 new modes and supports up to a total 16 players online. Players can, as mentioned before, bring their ranked up character into the multiplayer with all the goodies you earned in campaign mode. Online matchmaking can insure that if you only want to play with similarly ranks players you can. The multiplayer maps are very well done and well balanced with numerous incursion points to keep the gameplay interesting. As well I’ll note that online multiplayer runs quite smoothly right up to the max player limit.
All in all Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is a decent sequel to the original. Some may want for more while others will be happy Ubisoft didn’t venture far from all that made the original game such a hit. Chances are if you played the original game with friends online you should be picking up Vegas 2 or be left behind. I give Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 a 9 out of 10.