Just one in a long line of sequels, Rainbow Six Vegas brings the game back to its roots in a way. Previous Rainbows were little more than a series of well-designed skirmishes loosely hooked together in sequence, this time around Ubisoft set out and actually developed a story arc. The game starts in the deserted streets of Mexico City and essentially acts as a prolonged tutorial. It was an unexpected way to kick things off and a bit of a disappointment as well. It felt like a dumbed down version of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and left a poor impression on me. Once you move on the Las Vegas though things get a bit more interesting, for the better.
The visuals are spectacular in this game and it makes use of the architecture in spectacular fashion. Terrorists burst in through glass ceilings, they attack from balconies several stories above you, they strike from beneath stairwells, they flank you from all sides, and on all elevations. This is a truly three-dimensional experience that takes full advantage of the environment to build some dramatic tension. Shot a slot machine and watch the money flow. The game really make great use of everything in it.
The biggest disappointment for me though is the pacing, something which I found to be particularly slow. It feels as though you’re sneaking around looking for the terrorists far more than actually engaging them. At times I found myself getting bored roaming around the casino, yet it didn’t infuriate me like the difficulty in killing some terrorists did. My biggest peeve with the game was the difficulty of killing some of the terrorists. For some reason five shots to the chest or head wouldn’t drop a terrorist yet they would hit me once I down I went. I found this frustrating when I was at the end of a mission with about two guys to go and they were the most stubborn two guys ever. Down I went and I had to restart all over, which took another fifteen minutes to re-conquer the level.
I wasn’t interested in playing the multi-player version, but from what I’ve gathered if you really like big battles and nothing else you should skip the single-player game and head straight online.
To say I was disappointed would be a massive understatement. I was really looking forward to this game, but ultimately beautiful graphics do not make a great game. Guess I’ll be sticking with Gears of War.