Having played with the Rainbow Six series from its conception back in the dark ages of gaming, I have watched the series evolve from what it was to what it is now and I will say that some will ecstatic and some will be alienated by what the series has been transformed into. This exciting new addition to the series does change certain aspects of the true and tried formula that is Rainbow Six, but there is a definite improvement therein with certain audiences. Later in this review, I will compare what has been changed and if it is for the best or the worst, and that really depends on the perspective of the player.
Rainbow Six: Vegas starts off in the scrawling cityscape of Mexico City and then proceeds to go back to one of the favorite travel locations for people who live in Hawai’i, Las Vegas. With terrorists haven taken over Las Vegas, you are dropped into the middle of a firefight that pits your team of Rainbow Six operatives against the best that the enemy has to offer. So are you up to save Vegas?
Usually games that immigrate over from a console have those Rainbow Six has always wowed me with its sound effects, and Vegas is no deviation from the norm. Machine gun fire flying past your ears and ricochet off of walls, flash bangs go off and distort you, and commands are given during a firefight. The whispering voices of your team mates turn into all out frantic yelling as you engage the enemy. Most of the weapons have a nice ring to them and do not sound damp and hollow, adding realism and acoustical immersion. The voice over talent in the game during the cut scenes does leave much to be desired, but it is bearable. Interestingly enough, the combat voiceovers are executed to a better degree than in the cut scenes. The controls in this game are sublime. I was amazed at how intuitive most of the controls were in the game. Left click will allow you to fire your weapons, right click allows you to take advantage of cover that is in the surrounding area. A push of a keyboard key brings up your weapon layout and you can ready your weapon with another push. Instead of having to use the overhead map, you can give orders to your soldiers by pressing the space bar and just moving the crosshair to the correct position. The controls are what make this game a blast to play as they are responsive and intuitive.
The game starts out by throwing you into Mexico City as you conduct your acclimation missions. Throughout these early missions, you will learn the basics of performance and what is expected of you during the life of a mission. Once you conquer these early struggles, you are taken back to the states to the experience the game proper. There you will take everything that you learned in the training missions and apply them to the rest of game. You will learn how to rappel down designated rappelling areas and you will be familiarized with the different weapons that are available in the game. Let us not forget the fiber optic camera that is available to peak underneath doors. This item has saved my characters plenty of times.
Actual in game fighting allows the player to take advantage of the cover that is given in the different scenarios. You WILL have to take advantage of the cover or enemy fire will tear you up. Your team of 3 (including yourself) will not survive a head on firefight against the masses of opponents that are unless you utilize all of the cover in the area. As mentioned previously, you will be rappelling down buildings and busting through windows to catch the enemy by surprise. Luckily, you will have access to a sidearm as you rappel down if you do come into conflict.
Your team plays a vital role in helping you accomplish your mission, and if one of your team members becomes incapacitated, you fail unless you command a team member to resurrect the fallen comrade or taking the daunting task upon yourself.
The enemy AI in the game threw me a couple of curveballs that I did not expect as I was flanked and had grenades and flash bangs tossed at me that made me reload at the last save point. Even in multiplayer, the enemy AI acts as a challenging opponent using the same tactics as in singe player to take out their opponents. The developers did seem to use the usual bum rush method in a couple of areas in the game as the enemy runs you down utilizing cover and superior numbers.
Multiplayer was a mixed bag for me as it took two patches till the game was functioning properly so I could create my Ubisoft account and log into the servers. Once this was accomplished, logging in was snap allowing me to design my avatar and jump into the right into the game. Your choices of armor have a direct effect on how quickly your character moves and how long you can survive under fire. This adds a massive variable to whom and what you fight against as they might be heavily armored. The player has the option of joining a CoOp game through the single player campaign, a team vs. team scenario, or a last man standing scenario that pits a team against a predetermined amount of opposition till you come out as the victor.
As you can proper absorb from this review, the planning stage is sadly missing from this episode of Rainbow Six. Most hardcore gamers seemed to have a grudge against Ubisoft for this loss, but most other popular opinion points in the other direction as something that would have bogged the game down. I believe Ubisoft could have provided the chance to still preplan the missions of it was so desired to please their variety of customers.
Of all the the gripes, the checkpoint save system should NOT have been transferred over from the console version. I understand this was added to allow us not to save/reload and make wise decisions, but since there is less of a tactical viewpoint in this game, this is sort of a moot point. Hopefully a patch will address this issue.The single player campaign offers one or two playthroughs, as the game is definitely linear and doesn