Game Review: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Release: March 18, 2008
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3,PC
MSRP: $59.99(Xbox 360 and PS3) $49.99(PC)
ESRB Rating: Mature
Rainbow Six Vegas is a game that I absolutely love. I played countless hours of the first on the 360, so when offered the chance to do a review for the second iteration of the game I jumped on it. Rainbow Six Vegas is one of the most realistic shooters of this gen, and was also one of the best games to come out last year. The best thing about this Rainbow Six Vegas is that it’s not like all other shooters, you‘re made to think before you act because if you don’t, you will die, and die often. You have cover, you have team commands, and you have different weapons for every play style, not just one almighty gun that out does all others.
The story, while short, is extremely fun, fast paced, and immersive. You’re the leader of your squad and you’re going through Las Vegas trying to stop evil terrorists from blowing up a bomb, all with a surprising twist towards the end that I am not going to spoil.
As with the previous Rainbow Six games, the online play is really where it’s at. Vegas 2 offers many different game types and maps for you to choose from, along with many different options for you to choose for each mode. There are several different weapons to choose from, and in the game you’re given the chance to customize your character from top to bottom. This was popular in the prequel, and is also going to be in this version. Once again we are offered face mapping, and again it does take a long time to get your colors and skin tones right. Unfortunately they still do not allow you to use much of the equipment for your head if you do the face mapping, and still it looks a little cheesy, but do not let that stop you because it’s always fun to see your real face in the game.
Enough of the face mapping talk, let me get right into the review because that is why you are here. You want to find out if this game is truly all that.
This game looks unbelievably good. The character faces, the level design, and the detail on everything is amazing. When you’re playing this game you can see every little detail that the team at Ubisoft put into this game. Every piece of equipment is an exact replica of its real counter part. But really, what more do you expect from a Tom Clancy game? Now, in the previous Rainbow Six Vegas the graphics were also top notch, at least until you went online where everything just took a turn for the worst. This is not an issue with the sequel. I spent a lot of time with 4 player Terrorist Hunt and noticed no difference in graphics, so either Ubisoft hid the lower quality very well or they improved the net code so the graphics don’t have to be scaled down. My only issue with the graphics is how dark a couple of the levels are. At times it is really difficult to see. I can understand this happens at times to make you use your night vision or heat vision goggles, but it seems to happen too often. Other then this issue, I have to say that this is one of the most realistic looking shooters I have ever played.
Good audio is one of the most important things in a game to help immerse you, and one of the most important things in a realistic shooter. You need to know if your enemy is behind the corner or on the other side of a door. That was one thing that Ubisoft did almost perfectly with the first iteration of Rainbow Six Vegas, and again is something they did with this sequel. Every sound in this game will keep you on your toes. If you hear someone talking your whole game play will change, because you know that there is going to be some kind of confrontation soon. The attention to detail in the audio is incredible. The score in this game also excels. It really helps you feel what is going on and it helps suck you into the game play. Ubisoft knew exactly what music to play when the game scenes are tense, and what to play when things are cooling down. This is something that I have always noticed Ubisoft is great at doing, and this game is no exception.
If you have ever played a Rainbow Six you have a great idea of the game play it has to offer. You’re in charge of your squad or team, and you’re directing them constantly to follow you, clear rooms, move to point, stand down, etc (this is a very simplistic view if you have never played the game). This should be no surprise to you. You do a lot of the same things over and over, which is not a bad thing. The level design is very well done and even though you are, for the most part, doing the same things over and over it does not get repetitive. The game play, combined with the sound, will suck you into the story and before you know it you will have played 2-4 hours of Vegas 2 like it was nothing. Everything about the game is extremely fun, but at the same time is nothing new to any one that has ever played a Tom Clancy game. There is a bomb that you’re trying to stop from going off, and in doing so you have to kill a lot of terrorists and save some hostages at the same time. You’ll have fun.
The controls are the only weak area of the game. It is not really Rainbow Six’s fault, as there is only so much that you can control, but even so I do fault the game a little. Even for someone like myself, who has spent more then forty hours playing the first Vegas, I constantly found myself throwing grenades when I did not mean to, turning on my night vision when I meant to sprint, and many other little things. Even on the last level I was still making these little mistakes. I felt that this was partially Rainbow Six Vegas 2’s fault because they went so far from the norm with their control scheme. Yes it is a lot like the previous version, but different from every other game out there. For this reason this is not a pick up and play game. If you have never played a Rainbow Six game you will have serious issues getting used to this, and it’s why I felt that the controls were the weakest aspect of the game.
Rainbow Six Vegas 2 has 7 levels in the single player game, with each level having between 3-4 episodes a piece. The game start to finish took me just under 7 hours to finish. This, however, does not take away from the game. There is plenty to do in this game besides the campaign. That is, if you have access to online play. If you do not have Internet access you will miss out on so much of this game, and then the replay will severely suffer. However, if you one of the 60-70 percent of gamers that have access to online gaming you will not be disappointed with Vegas. When you have all your friends with you doing Terrorist Hunts, co-op story, attack and defend, team death matches and several others game types you will not be disappointed, because this is where this game excels. Yes the single player is a whole lot of fun, but if you are like most gamers the majority of your playing time will be online. This is where you will have the most fun.
Rainbow Six Vegas 2 costs 59.99, and for someone like myself this is very much worth it. If you are a gamer that loves shooters, not just any type of shooters, but realistic shooters, this is a game that you have to pick up. I can easily see myself putting another 40-50 hours into the multiplayer alone, it’s that good. Besides the impressive game play, one of the reasons I will be spending so much time with this game is because they took something out of Call of Duty 4’s book and used a ranking system. The more you play the higher your rank, and more weapons will be unlocked. It’s a lot like Call of Duty’s perks, and it’s nice to see that they implemented this into the game because it adds to the longevity/value of the game.
If you are a realistic shooter fan you have to pick this game up, there is no question about it. If you’re not, this is most definitely a game that you have to check out to see if it can change your mind. For me, this will be the game I’ll be playing till Gears of War 2 comes out. Rainbow Six Vegas will hold my attention until then, and for a game to do that it has to be impressive. This is what Vegas 2 is. Having full control of your team, telling them to clear rooms, take point, while overly complex at times, is one of the most enjoyable experiences that I’ve had with a game. The graphics are amazing, the sound is amazing, and the amount of fun you will have with this game is amazing. In all honestly I do kind of feel this to be more a Rainbow Six Vegas 1.5, because it does feel a lot like its prequel. But it’s not a bad thing. They took a lot of the game play from the first Vegas and built upon it to bring us more levels, new weapons, more characters and more story. If you combine that with all the online play ,it is an easy decision for me to recommend this as a must buy, and as of right now this is the best game of this year on the market.