Form feet and legs. Form arms and body.

And I’ll form the head.

Review: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2

Posted by rapaleeman on April 15, 2008

I know its been a week but I’ve been busy celebrating my birthday and among other things playing a little video games.  Here’s a review.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is the second (obviously) of the Rainbow Six series to hit the PS3 and the 360 (the one I’m reviewing by the way).  The first one droppped a little over a year ago and was amazing.  Not only did it feature awesome graphics, but it introduced a 3rd-person cover system into a 1st-person game.  Sounds weird but it worked.  The game was an instant hit both online and off. 

The first Vegas was Rainbow Six in name, but featured a lot less tactical gameplay than before.  You still had the one-hit killshot, but under most circumstances you could heal Halo style by taking cover.  It made the game less frustrating and more noob-friendly.  I liked it overall.  It worked and under the harder settings it made the game a little more bearable. 

The game also introduced rappelling and fast ropes to spice up the Tactical side, but gone was the pre-mission tactical map and was replaced by more of a SWAT style on-the-fly action mission.  Not a terrible thing and certain portions of the game were extremely hectic.  Your 2 AI buddies that were with you were, well, stupid.  They went where you told them, but really didn’t help all that much except for being able to be used as shields and bait to the enemy.  One or two guys and they are fine, but 3 or more (which the game typically threw at you) and they were screwed.   The AI of the baddies wasn’t much better, but they at least they were great shots and would flank you so they did make formidable foes.  Though popping out of the same wall 3 or 4 times to shoot me did make them fodder in a lot of cases.  Not geniuses, but in numbers they were a pain in they ass.

For all that was bad about the AI, the graphics were amazing.  Though there was some pop-in upon initially loading (typical Unreal 3 Engine fwiw) but overall not bad.  The people were awesome and looked convincing enough and “The Strip” mission is still my favorite for the fly-over of Vegas.  The audio was typical Clancy so that means it was top-notch.

The story for the first one wasn’t bad, but a little predictable and a little broken, especially for a Clancy epic.  Though the story was more cohesive than it had been in the previous Rainbows.

Some of you may be wondering why I just reviewed the first game.  Well, the sequel is the same game.  I mean nearly identical.  Looking at them side-by-side and they look identical.  The graphics are still good.  Your AI buddies are still Kings of the Stupids and the game still lacks in the story department.  With all that, you should still play it.

The tactical map is back.  Pressing and holding the back key brings it up.  Thank you UBI.  There is also a lot more more ways to tackle any situation.  True it is still pretty linear but at least there are mulitple ways to tackle each room/section.  There are also more places to use the cool rappelling feature and they actually make sense.  You can break into skylights and scale the side of almost every building.  I get some kind of sick pleasure of rappelling off the side of a building, inverting myself, shooting a few guys through window and then watching my team storm in from the doors across the room.  A successful tactical entry is a lot more satisfying here and seems to be more about the planning than the dumb luck it was before.

The other new thing is the cohesion of offline and online.  You can create a character setup for both and what you do offline directly relates to what gear and weapons you have online and vice versa.  You can fully customize your guy or gal with different weapons like before.  Meaning two rifle types (assualt, machine gun, sniper, shotgun, or a shield) a pistol, and 2 gadgets.  You can also change uniforms, add on body armor, and customize your camo for any given situation.  It all makes sense and affects mobility and visibility.

With the right set-up, it can help you earn experience for everything from killing a baddy with his back turned to using an explosive or by a successful room entry.  You earn a general experience, plus you also earn experience in 3 catagories (marksman, assualt, and cqb) with requirements for each.  This in turn earns you more weapons and armor to upgrade your character in both modes.  I felt this addition worked pretty well and you get some good stuff rather quickly, though Elite is still a long way away after the first playthrough, you won’t go into online completely useless like last time.  You stand a chance on your first match whereas before you got the crappiest gear.

The game still looks pretty good.  It is a year later and the game does look a little old, but not much.  The animations are still kinda blocky and the pop-in is actually a little more noticable.  What is also more noticable is the fact that EVERYTHING can be shot and/or detroyed.  Every window and object in the game.  A little slowdown does rear it’s head, but nothing too bad and this addition makes storming windows, both indoor and out more realistic and fun.

I have played through both games and can honestly tell you I have no idea what the hell the story was about.  I know one of the Rainbows goes bad and gets all pissy but I’m not really sure why (they say why, but honestly who cares).  The story was always second to the action and that is where this one shines.   The sound is still great for those that care.

Ok, so this is a year old game with a few new tricks.  Yet I still feel the need to recommend this one to any fan of the original or Rainbow Six.  It feels more tactical than the first and certain sections are a lot more intense.  There are definately more on-screen enemies in this one as well.  It just seemed like a better put together package even with the few flaws.

The single-player is short, but the multiplayer is great and the cohesion between the experience points is a welcome change.  Definatley pick this up if your a fan and/or need some tactical-light killing.  It is a welcome change from Dark Sector and Gears even though they all share the cover mechanic.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

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