Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas

Published Monday 21 Jan 2008 7:04pm
PlayStation 3

The game's storyline follows a new Rainbow team that is dispatched to Las Vegas, Nevada to defeat international terrorist Irena Morales and her army of mercenaries that is repeatedly attacking key locations in the city.

Ooo pretty lights
Rainbow 6 was one of the first titles to adopt the highly publicised unreal engine 3 and thank god Ubisoft did as the game looks terrific. And lets face it, it needed a face lift as its prequels back on the PS2 did nothing special. Your first mission is based in the run down streets of Mexico, but its not until you hit the Vegas strip that you can appreciate the unreal engine in full effect. Flying in a chopper overlooking a neon sprinkled Vegas is a moment to behold. All the landmarks are here for the party, that pyramid shaped building, the Eiffel tower rip-off, the sphinx building, yes they’re all here and this is when you begin to notice that you are in Americas playground baby, and its time to play. Even if you look of into the distance you will see the havoc the terrorists have created. Buildings on fire, smoke left right and centre and even traffic has come to an abrupt halt.

Character models are impressive despite a few flaws. The detail in the character models is what got my attention. You can see everything, all there equipment like guns and rappel ropes, you can even see minor scratches in the helmets from past missions. Even there 5’o clock stubble. These laws that I said of earlier are mainly to do with the poor lip sinking animations. The lip sinking is just as bad as one of Jackie Chan’s earlier flicks.

While this game is most impressive, its still far from perfect. For instance the effects are a 50-50 for mine. The flash bang effect is well done. You get blinded and then disorientated just as would happen in real life. Also the screen goes blurry and darkens when your about to make a meting with GOD. On the other hand the smoke looks like $h!t as does the fire. Other things that make the bad list are the ridiculously flexible physics. You know those cheap free online games where you can throw someone when and however you want? Well picture that kind of nonsense, when an enemy is dead. Yep that means the unrealistic stupidness of legs over heads, and legs running up backs. Enemies also when dead will spawn into space, while this is nip picking, it does slightly detract away from the realism that the game prides itself on. Some textures are inconsistent, but there is a few shining lights like the marble textures.

Jackpot….Ding! Ding! Ding!
While sound cant exactly make or break a game, it can certainly add to it, and with this particular game that’s precisely what it does. I’ll start with the guns first as that’s what we all want to hear about right, f**k the music and what not right??…..perhaps not then. But the gun sounds cant be underestimated, and keeping with the realism of the game, the sounds of gunfire have received a lot of attention. You can tell what type of firearm the enemy has by just using those ear things on the side of your head. For example a quick sharp bang and you know it’s a pistol of some sort, or hear a slow loud bang and you know a shotgun is just around the corner. Also the lady fart noise (frrrp, frrrp) makes a return when using a silencer.

The dialogue in this game is not as prominent as it is by story driven games, but there has been no sort cuts taken by Ubisoft, with the voice over aspect. The accents match the characters perfectly. For instance Logan they guy you play has the typical American hero type voice and well the African American team-mate has the deep voice while your Asian counter part speaks like a true Asian. The only con I could pick up on was the fact that at time you could harshly hear what your team-mates were saying, even if I was standing in front of there faces. The enemy dialoguedoes become repetitive.

The music does what you would expect in an FPS. It picks up the beat when there’s action, and slows down or completely disappears when your in no danger. I said completely disappear however there will still be plenty of noise around you, with the likes of traffic and sirens going of when your in the streets of Vegas, and the sound of lobby and casino music mixed with the sound s of busted poker machines spilling there coinage when in the casinos.

We have come to Vegas to play not make friends:
Gameplay is perhaps what separates Rainbow 6 Vegas from the rest as you will never find yourself in a dull moment, you could be in a tense gun battle, and then straight into carefully planning your next assault all with the knowledge that you could be a goner by the next corner. But first you gotta learn how to hold a gun before you can shoot, and with a flawless control scheme, you will be popping of terrorist heads just like Jack Bauer in no time. When I first got the game I was of the impression that the control scheme would play havoc with more Rambo style FPS guys like myself, as most tactical shooters like to complicate things when it come to the controls. However this is far from the case with Rainbow 6. All it takes is a press of the x button to direct your team to a location, and commands are mapped to the d-pad. So you could direct a team of special forces black ops to frag and clear a room full of tangos with just two presses of a button. Its that simple. This is accompanied by a genius cover system that all others should be judged by. Any object above leg height can be used as cover, and trust me you will want to. When you take cover behind something it pulls back and lets you see where you are in relation to your enemy. You then have the option of blind fire - where you stick your gun out and just fill your tangos general location with bullets, which is cool n all, but rarely results in a kill. Or you can jump out and aim a stream of hot lead at your enemy. The problem being you are know a target and you better watch yourself as these guys have taken shooting lessons before or something because they’re good. Lose concentration for a few seconds and your toast, as headshots result in instant kills (You and the enemy alike). The checkpoints are well-placed but not outrageously generous.

The AI in this game can only be described as brilliant. Your squad and tangos have remarkably human like reactions to particular events its unreal…hahahahaha just like the engine it runs on **boom tish**….not funny??….Ok lets get on with this. I cant say enough about the AI. From team-mates who will suggest tactics and even inform you when the enemy starts to flank your position, they are also a good shot. To the enemies who take cover, use smoke grenades as cover and rush you if you stay in one place for too long.
Another thing I like is the fact you can pimp out your weapons as if you were Xibit himself. You will have the chance to add handy attachments and larger magazines to your preferred guns of choice before ever mission and at key checkpoints.

Tangos at 3 o’clock.
Unfortunalty I didn’t spend as much time with Vegas’s online components I would have liked. But I must say I did enjoy my short stays when I did get online with the game. I would say its best enjoyed with a few like minded mates in clan battles. I say this as its strategic element really shines when playing in team battles. The game modes on offer are surprisingly original to some extent, and again favour the team battles. In terms of lobby’s and friends and all the other components in online play I’m not sure about, as I didn’t play it enough online, however there are achievements that you can accomplish and receive medals, badges and the like. The greatly increases the games lifespan as from what I hear on the “street” A.K.A teh internetz its just as addictive as drugs.

This is certainly by far one of the best tactical shooters around. Its simple and genius control method mixed with a movie like story and truly imersive gameplay are all reason to say so. You will find yourself caught in all the action and will feel every bump and plot swing along the way. This is one not to be missed.

-Easy control scheme
-Genius cover system
-Intelligent AI, who ever thought of such a thing.
-Great on and offline
-Plays and looks great

-No destructive environments
-End suck nutz

Deal again
A few weeks ago it was announced by Ubisoft Montreal to no surprise that there will be a sequel to this game, and trust me you will be thank-full when you see the ending. There’s not a lot that the devs can do as they have got a great formula going and there’s no need to fix something that ain’t broken.

"You feeling lucky... PUNK!!!"
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas


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