Review by sfcalimari

"A fifty dollar expansion pack"

First of all, let me say that I haven't played this game online at all, only offline, and will be basing this review on that fact.

Ok. Let's get one thing straight: the first Rainbow 6 Vegas game was a truly classic and fairly innovative fps game. A cool cover system, smart and responsive ally AI, cool weapons, and really well-designed levels made it one of the better games I've played in recent years, and led me to kill a lot of hours playing through the single-player campaign and terrorist hunt mode offline. So obviously I was really excited to play the sequel, which SURELY would be more of the same fun gameplay, right? RIGHT?

Well not really.

Unfortunately, as I had feared, Vegas 2 is really just an expansion pack for the first game, and really not as good as the first game. One main glaring flaw is that the single-player campaign levels are really, really boring and bland. In the first game the single-player levels were surprisingly well-designed, setting you up for exciting firefights that required you to use cover skillfully and set up your teammates. This time around, almost all the levels are just long and wide corridors where you move along in a straight line as enemies pop out here and there for you to easily mow down. You rarely need to take cover, and you barely even need your allies, who just tag along behind you blasting anything that moves anyway. Pretty quickly the game feels like a boring generic fps game, which is annoying considering how much fun the first game was.

How about the storyline? Honestly the storyline in this game is just really forgettable and usually incoherent. It's all “we gotta go here and take out these guys” and that's about it. The first game at least had some interesting characters and even though the plot was kind of cheesy, it was presented in a good way. Plus your character, Logan, was kind of a cool guy. In R6V2 you basically have an anonymous character. The upside of this is that you get to completely design your character, face and gender and armor and all. The downside is that your character has no personality or, well, character.

Moving on, the “Terrorist Hunt” mode was pretty fun in the first game, and it returns for the sequel, though with some noticeable changes. In this mode you are set down in a smallish enclosed level and you have to move around killing a certain number of enemies. One major difference is that you now have the option to play with two computer-controlled teammates like in the single-player campaign. To compensate for having two extra guns at your side, the enemies have been made quite a bit more ruthless, and will kill you a lot faster than in the first game. Also the enemies spawn kind of weird now—in the first game they would almost always be in the same place, which sometimes got a bit predictable. Now they spawn much more randomly, and often appear out of thin air right in front of you, just before they somehow kill you with one shot without raising their gun. Cheap? Yeah. Challenging? Yeah. So on the whole the Terrorist Hunt mode is a lot more challenging, but half the time the added challenge just gets really frustrating.

Another major change is that you now get different kinds of experience points which unlock weaponry and camouflage patterns and armor and so on. In the first game you got all the weapons without having to do anything; now you have to work for it. The point system is a bit complicated—like killing an enemy at close range gets you a few “CQC” points, which go towards unlocking close-quarters weaponry. Killing an enemy at long range gets you a few “sharpshooter” points, which go towards unlocking long-range weapons. And so on. You basically get all the weapons from the first game, along with a whole lot of new ones, all of which are generally pretty cool to use.

Pretty much the only improvement in the game is that the graphics are noticeably sharper and better, and the game generally seems to run more smoothly than the first game. Unfortunately the sound is kind of glitchy; for example sounds made far away from me sound the same as when they are made right next to me.

So let's review quickly. The single-player campaign, which was a lot of fun in the first game, is boring and dull in this sequel. The Terrorist Hunt mode is more challenging but also more frustrating. The weapons are cool and the fact you have to work to unlock them is kind of fun. Graphics are better. Sound is glitchy.

Now for all I know the online component of this game is really fun, but I don't like playing pc games online so I haven't bothered with it. But I can't deny that the offline component of this game is just nowhere near as fun as the first game, for the reasons I've stated. Hopefully any sequels made will live up to the promise of the first game.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 05/21/08

Game Release: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (US, 04/15/08)

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