facebook rss twitter

Review: Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 - Xbox 360

by Steven Williamson on 4 April 2008, 10:04

Tags: Rainbow 6 Vegas 2, PC, Xbox 360, PS3, FPS

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qamkj

Add to My Vault: x

Change of locations

Despite the many similarities with Rainbow 6 Vegas, there are some notable new additions. Firstly, although the title suggests the contrary, the locations are different. The neon lights of ‘The Strip’and many of the iconic locations, such as Dante’s casino, have been replaced with locales that will be more familiar to those who have played past Rainbow 6 games, with the likes of car-parks, garages, offices and warehouses becoming the ‘new’ battlegrounds for the anti-terrorist operations, although there are still plenty of new locations, including a strip club, a library and the colossal Las Vegas Convention Centre.

Of course there’s also a new story, and in this instalment the main protagonist of the previous game, Logan Keller, has been ousted in favour of the customisable Rainbow leader Bishop, who leads his team through some tense operations in a bid to finally rid Vegas of its terrorist threat.

The story runs parallel to Rainbow 6 Vegas and you may be glad to know that the awful cliff-hangar ending from that game has been tied up and built upon here. However, unless you paid extremely close attention to the original game’s storyline, I know didn't, then it does become slightly knotted and confusing, getting lost amongst the intense bouts of action. Nevertheless, the missions are explained well enough in the helicopter trips between the various locations and thankfully the story never really intrudes too much on the action or compromises it in any way. In short, you can put the story to one side and get on with the series’ main strength: the gameplay.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Although the situations you find yourself in are typical of any Rainbow 6 game - rescue hostage, infiltrate area, defuse bomb, kill leader and dispose of 1001 grunts along the way who sporadically appear on roof-tops, behind cars and seem to have a penchant for hanging around in warehouses - the game-play in Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 is as solid as ever and the intuitive cover system, a core part of the gameplay, once again lends itself expertly to tactical warfare.

You move from cover to cover, ducking behind static objects, sticking yourself intuitively to walls, boxes, vehicles or columns, where a switch to third-person mode allows you to peer around or over the objects, zoom-in and pick out enemies hiding behind boxes and crates or to pick out that sniper perched up on a rooftop.

One of the slight changes in the game content involves hostage scenarios, of which there are a fair few of them dotted throughout the game. Instead of a cut-scene, this time around you find yourself listening to the terrorists behind a closed-door. If you’ve been wise, you'll have used the snake-cam to find out what’s going on behind the door so you can assess the threat and then it’s your job to take the terrorists down before they assassinate them. The gap between success and failure is extremely small as you have only a few seconds to kill your targets before they kill the hostage. If you fail, you have to start the scenario over again. It makes all the hostage situations tense affairs, but apart from that, it’s business as usual down in Vegas.

That's not a bad thing though, if it works there's no need to totally revamp it. The simple, yet effective, point and click command system once again works effortlessly allowing you to send your two team mates to any point within your peripheral vision, behind cover, or to a doorway where you can command them to clear a room of terrorists. Although commanding your troops is a very important part of the game-play, there’s a fine balance to the game which ensures that you need to fight with your character Bishop and command your team-mates in equal measure.

In conjunction with the superb AI of your team-mates, what this game-play balance does is give you an intuitive and accomplished tactical experience, one that immerses you in the action, gets you really thinking about how to tackle a situation and ultimately makes the game so exciting and addictive. It makes it so that you can't battle through this game alone, you need to rely on your team-mates and they need to rely on you.