|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|
They can even throw regular grenades with a good deal of accuracy. You can even use the duo to act as a human shield. But they will eventually die since they can't take a steady diet of lead, even on the easy difficulty setting. They will take a bullet for you, but it's not a feature that you can exploit, and rightly so. In an effort to streamline commands and make the gameplay flow more naturally, many of the moves are context sensitive. For each location and situation you will be presented with a few obvious options. This saves valuable time having to search for the appropriate command in the interface. The only downside is that it limits the degree of depth that you could explore, or at least perceived depth, in any potential situation.
There's a symbiotic relationship between weapons and performance. You will be awarded weapons based on your favored technique. There are three categories: Marksman, Assault, and Close-Quarter Battle. You will earn points for your kills that will be attributed to any one of these categories. For instance, making headshots will increase your Marksman ranking, while any successful melee combat will build up the Close-Quarter Battle category. You can expect to earn weapons such as sniper rifle if you have lots of points in the Marksman category, or an assault rifle should you show a propensity for the Assault category. You aren't forced into any particular category, like a "class" in a RPG game, so you'll get to try a lot of different weapons if you mix things up a little. There wasn't one weapon that I didn't find functional in one situation or another. The various unlockables, which include not only guns but armor and melee weapons as well, can also be used in the multiplayer modes.
As in the original Vegas, the scenery is a little generic. The casinos are not "brand name" casinos, merely reasonable facsimiles. They all have a similar style to them, and while I can't say they lack detail, they do lack charm. Most of them have the ambience of a bowling alley. But unlike the original, there are few different locations to look forward to that take us out of the glitter gulch for a while. It's a refreshing change to have some wide- open spaces like the small town in the Nevada desert. The sound effects are excellent and the voiceovers display human qualities and not just "tough guy" vernacular. The character models are very well designed. They animate smoothly and realistically. The cutscenes are well produced but can't stretch the thin storyline much further.
Even though you can literally blast through the single-player mode in a day, the multiplayer modes will keep you coming back for weeks on end. The co-op mode is not an afterthought. Played with another person via LAN or online, it seems as though the game was built for more than one player. You even get the cutscenes with this mode. Up to four players can join in on the terrorist hunt, which is kind of like a frag fest version of an Easter egg hunt. Of course you can expect variations of Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, where you can customize the gameplay to your group's desire, including respawning time, weapon restrictions, and when new players can join in.
Vegas 2 may cover a lot of old ground, but like the city itself, it's something that you just can't stop paying a visit to every now and then.
CCC Senior Writer