2008 Reviews

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2

  • Review Date: 2012-08
  • Release Date: 2008-03
  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Rating: 6.5

I was a little harsh in my review of the original Vegas. I was expecting something really, really good, based on the popularity and reviews it got. It left me a little disappointed, so I ripped into it. Still, after playing all the other shooters of 2006 it was one of the better ones. So for Vegas 2 I was going to make sure I wasn't too critical of it if it was still a fairly decent game. Unfortunately, it's a big let down and proves once again that the critics have sold their soul to the devil aka Ubisoft's marketing department.

While Vegas was quite memorable for all it's sparkly, dazzling indoors casino's with great detail, Vegas 2 loses that charm and turns into a boring display of typical, flat urban locations. Generic plain buildings, car parking areas, factories and warehouses, the kind of urban settings that have been done to death since Soldier Of Fortune. And done much better in other games. There's seven acts to the game, each featuring roughly four levels and only a single act features the swish casino's that were so common in Vegas. Vegas 2 got plain, very plain. However, it looks better as the game rolls on, which it needs to because the start of the first level I found myself thinking this is what a level should look like before all the fancy detailing is added in. It was ugly, nothing more.

While Ubisoft attempted to do some nice sprawling views of the city, they look hideously under-detailed. In one such scene the cars look like little cardboard cutouts in the distance. Even Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty puts the urban city scenery of Vegas 2 to shame. It's on the same engine, so Ubisoft have no excuse.

The bottom line is that this isn't one of the better looking Unreal Engine 3 games. Hell's Highway looks years ahead of Vegas 2. And while the levels start to look a little better as you play through Vegas 2, there's no wow factor. Not a single thing to make you go "wow".

I guess Vegas 2 is all about it's gameplay. But sadly, it's done absolutely nothing to advance Vegas. The gameplay is identical apart from a sprint ability that makes you feel like you're drunk. The combat is still fun though; as it was in Vegas. The strategy is still the same with your team mates opening doors and charging in while you attack from another door. Re-spawning enemies are far too common though with them just appearing out of thin air right in front of me. Or thinking I had a room cleared out only for more to suddenly appear from nowhere. I played on easy difficulty, but easy still isn't that easy. Console players must have to replay checkpoints a LOT. My main strategy was just ordering team mates to stay ahead of me as decoys so they can shake out the enemies and I'll pick them off. Fairly good fun.

Only the sixth act was a nightmare as you play alone and it only takes a few shots before you're dead. You end up having to play very slowly using cover constantly and patiently picking enemies off. It's not particularly fun when checkpoints are spread too far out, as in some tight fight - it's marginal in Vegas 2. A lot of the time it's a pot shot from someone you never saw that catches you out. The amount of times I'd be getting shot at by enemies around a corner and I'm not even close to getting them into eye sight, yet they can clearly shoot me, is very frustrating.

There's plenty of ammo and your team mates can be revived. It would have been better if they could revive you as well.

There's not much of a storyline in Vegas 2. You're chasing after someone, whom in the final cutscene I realised his name is Gabe and must have been on your side in Vegas. Very poor story and poorly told because I had no idea what was going on through most of the game. Not helped by the characters voices all being muffled and barely audible while in the same helicopter ride between every single act. I'm not sure if that's a bug in the game or my speakers.

Overall Vegas 2 is just an okay game. The combat is fun most of the time, though it can be challenging. This is a game that doesn't test your speed like Painkiller or Serious Sam, it tests your patience. The design, however, looks pretty average. Halfway through the game I remember thinking this is very similar in design quality to Soldier of Fortune: Payback. And that's not a good thing. It's certainly not as good looking as Vegas, released two years prior.