View Full Version : Game Review: Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 Vegas (Xbox 360)

April 17th, 2007, 23:00
Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6: Vegas
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Genre: First Person
Players: 1
Reviewed on Xbox 360 by gdf

Rainbow 6 Vegas is somewhat a redemption for French developer/publisher Ubisoft. Two years ago, the Rainbow series took a turn for the worse with the terrible and shamelessly mainstream Lockdown. Hardcore veterans were left cold as numerous compromises were made and the game turned out more like Project Snowblind than a tactical, tough to beat Rainbow game. For its first next-gen outing the series has raised its game cosiderably, managing to please both the old guard and new blood whilst still proving a challenging and absorbing FPS; Vegas is a fantastic game.

The training is set in Mexico City (possibly a homage to GRAW, another big Clancy franchise?) and lasts for slightly longer than you would probably like. You are introduced to the mechanics of the game and the streamlined command controls prove much more accessible than those of GRAW. So for around three hours (told you it was long) you charge round the impossibly dusty town, tactically pwning those Filthy, Freedom-Hating Wetbacks. So far, so Clancy, and the game continues like that throughout, playing "Rousingly patriotic" music from time to time. America, **** YEAH(!) and so on. Just as you begin to wonder when it will in fact live up to its title and actually go to Vegas, you are whisked away in a chopper and dumped onto the Strip. From here on in it's all good.

The game feels familiar, reminiscent of Rainbow 3, yet somehow fresher and more accessible whilst retaining its depth. One of the things you'll notice, especially in the casinos, is the variety of ways you can complete the level. There are usually a few routes to each objective and when you reach a room filled with terrorists you can enter in numerous ways. For instance, you could set your men up dangling above a window and move round to a door, using the snake cam to pick out priority targets then giving the order to flash and clear while chucking in a smoke grenade yourself, throwing on your heat goggles and providing covering fire for your teammates as they crash through the glass and into the fray. All of this takes place in the space of around 5 seconds. It really is exhillerating stuff when you pull off a perfectly executed move and have the room cleared before you can say "Fourth of July".

A new cover system has been implemented and proves far more useful than the old leaning trick. For a start it actually works. Akin to, though not quite as smooth as, the system used in Gears Of War, it manages to let you see round and over the object, blindfire, pinpoint shoot, throw grenades and snipe from your position. How so you ask? This is a first person game, so it must be impossible right? Wrong. The camera cleverly zooms out into a third person view, retaining the crosshair and, magically, not disturbing your play at all. It feels like a natural transition, as if you are still viewing in first person. You'll never notice it, and it is second only to the mighty Gears.

The firefights themselves are intense as you try to second guess the enemy and outflank the scumbag without letting him do the same to you. Clever use of grenades works much of the time, but not as you would expect. Smoke and flash grenades aren't as impotent as in other games and often work better than a frag or incendiary, as your enemy loses his accuracy and you can pop out to shoot his face off quite easily. Though the game isn't gory, it is extremely violent, with blood splattering up the walls as a foe falls in an excellently mo-capped action. The same can happen to you just as easily however, especially on Realistic mode, as your enemies will go for the headshot and a few hits can be deadly. It isn't quite as punishing as GRAW, as you have a Gears/CoD vision blur thing going on instead of a health bar; just sit for a few seconds and you are good to go.

The guns are very well thought out, each handling in a different way. There are several categories of weapon too so it's good to mix and match. In the end I plumped for an MP5N Sub-Machinegun fitted with a rifle scope as primary, a pump action Shotgun as secondary and the Raging Bull revolver as my pistol. You can add different scoped and attatchments to your guns which helps you create your own custom weapon set. The graphics in Rainbow are great, Ubisoft's trademark excellent lighting used to good effect throughout. An improvement on GRAW is that the screen is less cluttered with markers and arrows etc. so even when you get a video feed to your cross-com you can see the cation perfectly. The sounds are convincing to say the least, though the music can get repetitive from time to time because of its annoying American patriotism.

Rainbow 6 Vegas is a stunning return to form for the series and is one of the very best next-gen efforts to date. Once again there are plenty achievements for 360 users and an outrageous amount of Multiplayer options, online or off. Those licky enough to have Xbox live will find loads of longevity and with a sizeable campaign to get through there is plenty to sink your teeth into. The campaign is worth repeated plays for all the gamer points and Rainbow should stay glued into the disc tray for some time. There are few flaws to be found and most are very petty, so not worthy of mention. That said it isn't quite as good as Gears, the obvious comparable benchmark. Still it puts up a good fight and is definitely worth buying. Quality stuff.

Replay Value 4/5 Will keep you busy for a long while.
Sound 3/5 Stupid music and great gun and death noises.
Graphics 4/5 Very detailed and easy on the eye with some very nice light effects.
Gameplay 4.5/5 Comes THAT>(-) close to a ten, 'nuff said.

This is a game that absolutely oozes quality from every inch of the map. Pretty much an essential buy for PC, 360 and PS3.