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I know it's odd, but the original Rainbow Six Vegas game did absolutely nothing for me; not that it was a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, there just seemed to be other games I wanted to play more at the time it was released, and thus it passed me by. To that end I'm not overly sure why I found myself loading the sequel into my Xbox 360's drive, but I am mightily glad I did. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is a sharp, intelligent and addictive game which I had trouble tearing myself away from once I started playing.
So what's the game all about then?
In a nutshell you run around Las Vegas shooting the baddies and rescuing hostages, simple enough. The story centres on team Rainbow Six - a multi-skilled task force given the job of halting the evil Alverez Cabrero from hatching his dastardly plan to bring Sin City to its knees with a series of bombs, fires and anything else that makes a lot of noise and mess. You play Bishop, team leader and all-round good guy, who leads two team mates through the maze of casino's, hotels and storage depots clearing out the villainous elements. At your disposal are the very latest in high-tech weaponry to despatch those baddies in a number of ways, you can also rappel down lift shafts or buildings for the added fun the element of surprise gives.
Graphics, Sound and Gameplay
Little surprise that the good folk at Ubisoft have delivered a gorgeous looking game, the graphics are sharp and the attention to detail really shows that a lot of time and effort has been put into making the levels as visually stunning as possible. At the start of each level you are usually helicoptered to a different parts of Las Vegas to clear out the baddies and regain control, the sight of Vegas at night all lit up is astonishing, even down to the detail of cars driving along the main strip with headlights aglow. Inside the casinos and hotels the attention to detail continues, as you would expect everything is big and garish, just as it is in Vegas in real life. Sound wise the game also delivers; the baddies swear and tell each other what to do, and also make the requisite groans and death rattles when you manage to shoot or blow them up. Firing bullets at various obstacles sounds exactly as it should, if a bullet hits a slot machine it will actually start sparking and spewing out coins. As I said, beautiful attention to detail which must of taken an age to do but which makes the game so much more realistic in its feel and enjoyment.
The game controls are as you would expect, nothing really new to learn if you have played first person shooter games before. The beginning of the game is fairly easy and instructions are plentiful so picking it up if you are new to this style of game really shouldn't be too difficult. In most levels you control a group of three men including Bishop, but there are a couple of sections where you have to go it alone and fight the evils of Mr Cabrero and his henchmen yourself. This possibly presents a problem if - like me - you are happier sending your men into a room full of murderous men to clear them out before you step in just in time for the plaudits and medals, these lone roles do mean that you have to get your hands dirty and do some of the bloodletting yourself. When you are leading the two other operatives it is amazing how intuitive their actions are, this is thanks to a lot of work on the artificial intelligence, for once they don't just stand there looking at you when the going gets tough, they get stuck in and use some bullets. Unfortunately the enemy is also able to react differently to what is happening and the environments - which is good when replaying the same section as it gives the possibility of a new experience each time, great for the longevity and replay value but a pain when you are not expecting a villainous thug to creep up behind you and give you the good news with a shotgun because he didn't do it the previous nine times you played the level!
Can I play it online, or with a friend perchance?
You most certainly can, indeed if you are to get the most out of the game I would pretty much insist you sign yourself into Xbox live and kick some bad guy ass with other likeminded folk. An impressive sixteen people can be involved in the same game at any one time online, with thirteen maps to choose from the fun literally lasts forever. There are terrorist hunts where you kill a set number of people to advance onto the next level and a team leader section where the top dog must be kept safe and alive while you navigate through the levels. There is also a feature where a friend can join in on the game at anytime, even when you are halfway through a level, all that is required to turn the game multiplayer is for another controller to be picked up and turned on.
Is all this murder and mayhem child friendly?
That would be a big fat no I'm afraid; Pegi - the video game certification people - have this as a 16+ game with strong language and scenes of a violent nature, Yep that'll be about right. The British Board of Film Certification are a little more lenient, giving a 15+ rating, I guess it depends on where you purchase the game from as to which rating system is used. Suffice to say though that this is not the game to pop on if a fun family experience is what you are looking for.
First person shooter games have been done to death of late, no more so than on the Xbox 360, but Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 shines like a beacon and is a worthy addition to any game collection if you like the genre. Basically if you like to run round and (virtually) kill things this is the game for you. The single player game is a little on the short side, but the way the enemy react differently from day to day means there is some good replay value. To get the most of the game though you should really take it online. You can currently pick this game up for well under twenty pounds from a couple of online retailers, a cracking price for a game that I feel is amongst the best of its genre. Four stars out of the five from me.
Pictures of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (Xbox 360)
Nice review. I have Splinter Cell another Clancy/Ubisoft game. Also with a character called Sam Bishop. Would that be the same as your Bishop ?. If so he certainly gets around.
I'm just gonna switch it on and try and progress through another mission
manimal 07.02.2009 16:03
Great review, i really enjoyed this game, have bought it for the second time recently so i can play on xbox live.