|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Montreal||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: April 15, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-16 (Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
They were once titles to be reckoned with. Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six were notoriously difficult games. They were designed to give hardcores their fix for the week and give game reviewers nightmares. "I just want to finish this game, write my review and get back to watching TV," was the lament of the average reviews. Good luck. But that was then, and this is the future. It's a more friendly future, in an arcade-kind of way.
The trend in games is more toward interactive movie than unbeatable forces. I must admit that I like this new trend, and not because it makes my job easier; it's because it makes it a lot more fun. I think we've all had enough of replaying levels, trial and error, and leaps of faith. The games of today are more real-time. They envelop you in the moment, allowing you time to assess a situation and take appropriate action. The odds may be stacked against you from time to time, but they can usually be evened with a little skill and intellect. That's my kind of game.
Not only is Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 my kind of game, but Vegas is my kind of city. I've been there many times, but the only thing I've shot is craps. I don't know about you, but when I visit Sin City, I tend to leave my firearms at home. Fortunately Bishop and his teammates didn't, because terrorists are on the loose again and need to be dealt with before they get the upper hand. Things do get dicey. But you've got an ace in the hole, and you can give it to them straight and flush them down the river. (I hope you're getting my gambling references here).
Running on the same Unreal 3 engine as the original Vegas, this sequel seems more like an expansion pack than anything else. It utilizes many of the same locations, premises, characters, weapons, and situations. As far as pure entertainment goes, it's almost a guilty pleasure. It's entirely possible to get through the single-player campaign in one sitting. The action is addicting due to the variety of missions and the relatively fast pace. As far as the gameplay mechanics go, it's darn near perfect. Nothing will kill your buzz. No crashes, no framerate issues, no latency. It's a solid game. And even though the single-player story mode is not very long, there are a good variety of multiplayer modes that are definitely worth playing. They're anything but filler.
Beginning in France, after an encounter with terrorists and a bomb, we are plunged five years into the future to face these terrorists in America's playground in the year 2010. It's all about diffusing the ultimate situation: the detonation of chemical weapons. To this end, a variety of missions are presented that will push your team to the limit. If you like feeling like a hero, you'll revel in this gameplay as you literally call the shots in every situation. You should also be a big fan of shooting because there's no shortage of gunfire.
Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is a tactical, first-person shooter where you are the main man in a trio. You can issue a series of commands to your teammates which they will follow very convincingly. You can have them follow you, hold their position, shoot at enemies, and even perform some tactical strategic maneuvers such as breaching doors and tossing in flash grenades to stun the enemy.