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Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Review

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Review

Here we are with Tom Clancy's part prequel/part sequel to the rather good Rainbow Six: Vegas, imaginatively titled Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 and before I begin with the proceedings, may I take this opportunity to say that this game may be one of the finest pieces of digital entertainment I have had the pleasure of playing.

 

The setting for the game initially begins in Pic des Pyréneés, France, though the story promptly moves five years forward to Las Vegas, in The United States of America Land on July 2, 2010, the same day of Logan Keller's arrival to Las Vegas in Rainbow Six: Vegas.

In this incarnation of the Vegas storyline you take control of Bishop, the main protagonist of the game, taking control of 2 team mates, the aforementioned Keller and Gabriel Nowak. If you host a co-operative campaign game then you control Bishop, though if you join a co-op game then you take control of Knight, the appearance of which is down to your own persistent character, the role of Knight is merely limited to a co-op player and does not hold a vital role within the campaign game unlike titles such as Gears of War or Halo 3 nor can the co-op player give orders to the AI controlled team mates, but will allow the player to unlock the co-op achievements of the game.

During the mission Nowak decides to take matters into his own hands and fires upon a group of terrorists during negotiations, disobeying the order of "Six", (Six is the radio code for Rainbow's commander, a one Ding Chavez of previous Rainbow Six fame), and generally screwing the whole operation up as the negotiator receives an unhealthy dose of terrorist bullet bum spray as they panic over Nowak's assault. Throughout the remainder of the mission Nowak tries to apologise for his mistake to Bishop but is told to save it so it may be discussed later.

Now via the magic of flux capacitors and 1.21 gigawatts we transport forward 5 years. Terrorists have seized control of Las Vegas to instil widespread panic in both the public as well as law enforcement agencies, such as the NSA, NATO, Rainbow, as well as local SWAT. As the plot unfolds, however, the setting moves away from Las Vegas to other places, such as a small town in Nevada, unlike in the first Rainbow Six: Vegas, which was mainly in Las Vegas.

Now Bishop's team mates are Jung Park, a Korean electronics expert and Michael Walters, a British demolitions expert, now if you have watched the trailer for this game then you would have noticed Park being depicted as the team sniper, yet throughout my playtime of this title I fail to recall at any point Park holding a sniper rifle, it seems the transition from trailer to main title our pal Jung has lost the ability snipe and favours assault rifles. From start to finish the 7 main acts and it's several sub scenes per act are just a non stop rollercoaster of action, plot twists and suspense as you battle to save Vegas from the terrorist threat.

The intense shootouts are extremely well placed out so that you are not overwhelmed with an endless onslaught of terrorist fodder as you move between checkpoints, also the length between these gunfights are just right so you aren't spending hours retracing steps to find an objective. Each level is well balanced so that they provide you with the maximum amount of excitement possible.

Your AI controlled team mates aren't stupid either, they'll follow, provide cover, follow your orders with ease, point at an area press a button and they'll go to it and attempt to find cover. If one of your team mates is downed during a fire fight then akin to Gears of War you must attempt to reach him with your magical syringe of medical goodness before he turns up his toes and begin to pong. But unlike Gears of War, you can also order your other team mate to do this job for you if you prefer to keep the terrorists pinned down with gunfire.

One thing is worth noting though, your primary and secondary weapons have limited ammunition yet I noticed that you appear to be equipped with a magical pocket of infinite side arm magazines, seriously where does Bishop hide all these pistol clips? I must have fired off hundreds of rounds yet our main protagonist kept providing a fresh clip from his bottom hole without fail. This for me takes away the notion of preserving ammo as I could just run around missions using solely my sidearm, to which I did on a few occasions, but don't let this deter you from the game, it is without doubt only a very slight blemish upon a very highly polished game indeed.

Now the visuals and sound for this game do their job extremely well, the use of Epic's Unreal engine is just simply superb. The level of detail in the characters is outstanding, the animation of the movement just practically spot on, all the locales visited are modelled and detailed that well you just feel like you're actually in Vegas battling with the terrorists.

Nothing looks out of place and everything looks like it has been painstakingly created by some master artisan, for example the mission in the convention centre when you come across the set up for the MLG tournament, yes you get your eyes filled with more product placement than the super bowl but in context of the scenario, it works very well, also from personal experience of attending a similar tournament in the States, I could relate to all the scenery, product placements and general layout of what is in the middle of being setup, from the arrays of PC's for the competitors to the company stands for displaying their latest wares for the public, again its another step of drawing you into the game.

Then you have some good voice acting for throughout the game, unlike some other titles where it can appear rather wooden, you can feel the emotion in the voice overs while playing making yourself feel those same emotions so that you would push yourself harder within game to stop the dastardly plans that are unfolding in front of your eyes while the music just completes the whole package, it's not overpowering yet noticeable enough for you to register that it is there.

Now between Vegas 1 and Vegas 2, some features were removed while new additions were brought into play for the exhilarating jaunt of sin city. New features include an enhanced version of the "Persistent Elite Creation" system. Players can now customize their character. Where in the first game, the player could only customize the multiplayer character; in this version there is only 1 character that is customisable for single player and multiplayer game modes. This further shows itself in the fact that experience points are now achieved through all the game modes, online as well as offline, whereas in the first game, XP was only obtained by playing the online multiplayer game modes. There is a new sprint button that allows players to weave in and out of cover at a quicker pace, the pace and stamina are contingent upon the players armor level. Which basically means, the more protection your armor provides reduces the mobility of your character.

Also along side customising load outs for single and multiplayer usage, you can also customise some aesthetic touches to your character from what types of shirt, pants, hats and eyewear down to what kind of camouflage you wish to use. If you're feeling creative then you can customise each section to run with a different camo colour/design to really stand out from the crowd and as a final touch, apparently those with a webcam installed can take a picture of their own face to be mapped onto the model of your P.E.C. character so you can use your own horrible fizzog to frighten your opposition, yet this is something I haven't been able to test.

An additional system implemented in the game is the "Advanced Combat Enhancement and Specialization" or A.C.E.S., where players will be rewarded with different weapons based on tactics used in the game. The A.C.E.S. system is divided into three parts: Marksman, Assault, and Close-Quarter Battle. Certain kills the player makes are organized into one of these three categories and scored based upon how the kill was performed (a headshot would count towards Marksmanship, shooting through a wall would count towards Assault, and killing an enemy at close quarters would count towards CQB). By getting a high enough score in a category, the player unlocks a specific item for that category, each level gained in A.C.E.S. rewards you with either XP towards your next rank or a new gun, and these are offered out at alternative levels; for example, level 1 rewards with XP while level 2 rewards with a new gun.

Even though the A.C.E.S. system goes across modes there are certain rewards that can only be unlocked in single or multiplayer. The difficulty level chosen to play the single player, co-op and co-op terrorist hunt modes also changes the amount of A.C.E.S. points that you achieve per kill. Casual rewarding only 1 point per kill moving up to 2 per kill for normal and 3 points for realistic.

Ok that's the basics covered I feel, now onto my experiences with multiplayer and co-op modes, before we begin blasting away anything that moves the game requires to you create a Ubi.com account, if you haven't already done so with previous multiplayer Ubisoft titles. This is a fairly painless affair unless you use a rather popular online handle, then Ubi.com will offer some alternatives or the option to enter something different.

To begin with we have 5 multiplayer or adversarial modes within the game, and for this I shall quote the direct text from the game manual.

Adversarial Mode: Whether alone or as a team, you compete against other players for a variety of objectives in a variety of maps.

Attack and Defend: The ultimate goal of these matches is similar - two teams fight for the control of an objective. One team assaults the location to gain the objective while the other team defends.
• Item Extraction: Locate and recover valuable intel before the other team can stop you.
• Hostage Rescue: One team must prevent the other from freeing and escorting hostages to an extraction point.
• Demolition: Plant your bomb in one of two target bomb sites and prevent the other team from defusing it.

Team Deathmatch: Two teams face each other and try to accumulate the most kills.

Deathmatch: A Lone wolf battle where each player fights for the most kills.

Total Conquest: Teams must capture three satellite transmitters and hold them for 30 seconds in order to win.

Team Leader: The teams must support and protect their team leader in order to secure a victory. Leaders can win by making their way to the extraction point. Players can respawn as long as their team leader is alive.

Now all of the above modes are extremely fun to play and the use of the cover system in this game (run to cover and hold mouse 2) adds an extra element of strategy to all modes of gameplay instead of the usual run and gun techniques. Now you can run to cover and use blind-fire to help suppress the enemy while your team maneuvers into a better position to take out your opposing team. In this section of multiplayer gaming you can have up to a maximum of 16 players per server.

Then we have the co-op terrorist hunt mode, here only up to a maximum of 4 players can partake in this section, now the aim is simple, load a map, select the terrorist density, select the difficulty level and then run about killing terrorists. There isn't really much to it but its fun also a very good way of building up your XP and A.C.E.S contributions.
Finally the co-op story mode, where you and 1 other player battle it out through the intense action of the campaign. I managed to jump into a game along side someone who has been playing Rainbow Six titles ever since Tom Clancy's first incarnation of the series 10 years ago, back when he co-founded Red Storm for the games. Now for the life of me I cannot remember this guy's online name, Uniform something or other, but he gave me insight into the game from another perspective.

While playing through the co-op campaign, he told me that this title was without a doubt the finest Rainbow Six game ever made, the controls were so simple and the cover system implemented, is the easiest that he has ever used. Even though I had jumped into a game with a complete stranger, we bound together as a team quite quickly, he would run to one position and cover while I ran ahead to a more forward position so that I could cover his advance, through this we were able to progress through quite a decent portion of the game on realistic difficulty even though we did take a few attempts at a couple of sections.

This added another level of enjoyment and re-playability to the game as even if you go through to the end of the game on your own, you can still be able to jump into other co-op games to help others out or just jump into them so you can unlock your co-op achievements.

Now dear readers, I shall now conclude my review of this fantastic title, but before I do may I thank you for reading my wall of text that has just crit you for 15,000. From start to finish this game has impressed me on every level, the work that has gone into this game is impressive and it should become a benchmark for other titles to aspire to, yes it's not a perfect game but no game is, but it is a complete and extremely solid piece of gaming for all to behold and enjoy. A one for the list of must have games which is written in your notebook entitled "Things I Must Have" neatly pencilled in between "A Ferrari" and "More Money than Bill Gates". Dare I say this but to me Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 may even topple the mighty Call of Duty 4 in my own humble opinion.

9.00/10 9

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Reviewed on Windows)

Excellent. Look out for this one.

Here we are with Tom Clancy's part prequel/part sequel to the rather good Rainbow Six: Vegas, imaginatively titled Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 and before I begin with the proceedings, may I take this opportunity to say that this game may be one of the finest pieces of digital entertainment I have had the pleasure of playing.  

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Neil 'Wedge' Hetherington

Neil 'Wedge' Hetherington

Staff Writer

A purveyor of strange alcoholic mixes and a penchant for blowing shit up in games. Proud member of the glorious PC master race.

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COMMENTS

Betty_Swallocks
Betty_Swallocks - 11:44pm, 3rd April 2015

That sounds excellent Wedgeh. I haven't played the original Rainbow 6 Vegas. Will that spoil my enjoyment/understanding of this one?

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POBmaestro-1428097466
POBmaestro-1428097466 - 11:44pm, 3rd April 2015

Hi, sorry to butt in on this question, but I would definitely say you can fully enjoy this game without worrying about the original. I have played both the original and sequel, and the storyline didn't seem related, though I could be wrong. Gameplay wise Vegas 1 is highly competent and still worth the buy, but Vegas 2 is more polished and refined, which probably makes the second the better place to start. For me at least, I feel that with both Vegas titles you will be streched hard to find another FPS which is more fun in co-op.

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