reviewed on PC
Team Rainbow 101
Rainbow Six Vegas 2 has finally arrived for the PC and it is definitely as good as a port can get. Nothing new compared to the consoles’ version, but those still hungry for more action in Sin City have plenty of fun awaiting them.
The game follows the same precept of the series with the redone gameplay introduced in Vegas: less planning, more action. Fans who felt betrayed by the sudden shift in the series will find nothing for them in Vegas 2 but fans of the original Vegas should be right at home.
Vegas’ gameplay was all about tight quarters battle, making cover an invaluable asset and room clearing a routine. Both work nicely in Vegas 2, minus a few occasional hiccups where you simply can’t take cover behind certain object. Room clearing is perfected in Vegas 2, thanks to the thoughtful design that created multiple entries for each room. More focus has been given to separate yourself from your team, with cross-com communications that usually suggest sending them to attract all enemy fire while you took a separate route, silently taking out the enemies from a better firing position. There is even an entire chapter played alone that (for better or worse) forces you to think twice before every move you make. It’s no Splinter Cell but it’s better than simply shooting everybody on sight. Vegas 2 also includes a simple object penetration system that doesn’t work just right because in most cases bullets won’t go pass any object, even if it’s a wooden table, a cardboard box or a leaf.
The AI hasn’t undergone much change since Vegas. Your squad mates mostly perform tasks in a correct manner and enemies pose a bigger threat, mainly because they throw lots of grenades, use shields, cover each other with suppressing fire and attack you from multiple places at the same time. The AI frequently shifts randomly between perfect performance and “I failed survival basics class at the NPC academy”.
Squad mates often fail to get behind cover or simply don’t obey your orders; sometimes they stand still while saying they’re unable to move. Enemies are pretty much the same, especially in regard of taking cover. Besides the many times they just don’t see fit to take cover thus opposing less threat that a shooting range target, a very upsetting issue is when a trained mercenary does nothing when he’s hit when behind cover. You won’t get any kind of reaction from your victim, not even when you shoot the glimpses of arms and legs you see till they drop. Their aim is also dangerously accurate so don’t expect a shotgun wielding enemy at ten meters distance to miss.
Building up character
While most of the above refers to how the gameplay itself has evolved the big new addition to the mix is A.C.E.S. This experience based system constantly rewards the player accordingly to their style of playing. For instance, if you’re the type who likes to snipe, scoring headshots or taking out enemies from a distance will earn you experience on your Marksman level. When a certain amount is achieved, you level up and receive either a new weapon or more experience to level up your character rank. In the Marksman example this translates to getting a new sniper or a more accurate assault rifle. It’s not 100% practical (getting a pistol or a shotgun isn’t of any use for anyone) and many weapons are easy to find lying around on the field, but it’s still nice to be rewarded for how you play.
What’s great about A.C.E.S. is that everything you do earns you points be it multi player, the single player campaign, co-op or terrorist hunt. So it’s a constant feel of improvement. You are always on the rush to get your next unlockable and better yet, you get to use what you achieved in any mode, multi player or single player, so it serves for the all mighty purpose of granting bragging rights.
Besides Marksman, there are Close Quarters Battle, Demolitions and a general rank that – when leveled – produces new camouflage patterns and armor.
No Pros and Cons at this time