Rainbow Six Vegas Review
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Rainbow Six Vegas is the best tactical shooter currently available for PS3.
- Features an incredible cover system.
- Both enemies and teammates have advanced A.I.
- A fantastic multiplayer experience.
- Several graphical issues including poor textures and facial features.
- A sometimes problematic framerate.
- Occasional audio glitches are present.
After months of delays, PlayStation 3 owners can finally shout “Viva Las Vegas!” During this latest retreat to Sin City provided by Ubisoft, you’ll have the opportunity to drink, gamble, and perhaps stop a terrorist invasion. Actually, while only the latter is available, it’s an absolutely splendid experience for any PlayStation 3 owner with even a slight yearning for a tactical shooter.
The campaign remains essentially unchanged from the 360 and PC versions. You play as Logan Keller, commander of a three-man counter-terrorist squad. Originally beginning in Mexico, Logan is called to duty in Sin City, the target of a malicious terrorist attack. Logan and his team then have to traverse a casino, a restaurant, and a construction site; before the plot climaxes at the Nevada Dam, a hydroelectric dam on the Colorado River. The story contains more depth than the average shooter, though a slightly lackluster ending disappoints. Regardless, we applaud the incredible recreation of Las Vegas. In fact, the setting itself may be the most unique location to ever grace a war title.
You’re able to choose between only two difficulty settings: normal and realistic. Normal provides enough of a challenge in itself, as you’ll die after a single barrage of bullets. Gone is the standard health bar. Instead, the screen will blur as you are hit, slowly returning to normal should you escape any injury for a short period of time. On realistic, the same system holds true, though the difference is quite apparent. Even a single well-placed bullet can take you out, so you must act, well, realistically. That means small mistakes equal death. You’ll find yourself dying quite often when realistic is turned on, but each mission feels more rewarding once beaten, and through your necessary patience and conservative style you’ll become a better player.
Vegas makes some extreme changes to the Rainbow Six gameplay formula, the most drastic being its fantastic cover system. You’re able to take cover behind nearly every wall, pillar, or otherwise flat-sided object in the title. While under cover, the camera departs from the standard first person view to a third person over-the-shoulder whilst aiming. In a thoughtful touch, you have to hold L1 to remain against a surface (as opposed to toggling off and on with a button press), so you never feel locked to a wall when getting shot. Even better, you’re able to aim in a full 360 degrees while against cover, so it never feels restricting and dangerous to use.
The other most notable gameplay addition is the ability to rappel though differing areas. Need to head down an elevator shaft? Not a problem – just hop on a rope and rappel yourself down to the bottom. This tactic isn’t limited only to the campaign, as multiple rappelling ropes are sprawled throughout both new and old Rainbow Six maps. They can be faster than an alternative route, but are also considerably more risky. Overall, they make old maps feel fresh again while providing a useful play mechanic for newer areas.
The A.I. in Rainbow Six Vegas is generally intelligent. Your opponents will take advantage of cover just as well as you. They’ll use all types of grenades in different situations, and even attempt to flank you and your teammates when they deem it necessary. Unfortunately, your enemies seem to only react well to visual cues, as they don’t hear basic sounds such as gunfire and footsteps properly. Luckily, your two counter-terrorist pals are highly useful for retribution against the otherwise quick-witted adversaries. Intelligent, skillful, and simple to control; your squad-mates are of incredible importance to turning the tide of a battle against the terrorists.
If you want nothing to do with computer-controlled allies, you’re able to play through the campaign levels with up to three other friends instead. However, you’re forced to choose each level separately, making the experience feel incredibly sporadic (whereas the single player flows perfectly). In this reviewer’s opinion, it’s advisable to stick to terrorist hunts (quick matches against 30 or so computer opponents) should the urge for human companions arise. All in all however, the campaign is a worthwhile experience, especially for a Rainbow Six title which as a series has generally placed the majority of its emphasis on multiplayer.
Speaking of multiplayer, it feels just as satisfying ... (continued on next page)
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