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Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Minimum requirements: Windows XP or Vista; 3GHz Pentium or AMD Athlon 3000; 1GB RAM, 128 MB DirectX compliant, Shader 3.0 enabled video card; Direct X compliant sound card
Genre: Tactical FPS
Release date: Available now
Review by: Andrew Clark
Throughout my life I’ve always been told that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Sound words from a trustworthy source, unfortunately falling on the deaf ears of a tinker. Through my inattentiveness, car stereos have miraculously become silent, cell phones have been alchemized into bricks and relationships were condemned via paranoia and suggestion. Ubisoft listened to reason, though, and have stuck to their guns (pun intended) for Rainbow Six Vegas 2, the sequel to 2006’s sin city squad based shooter. We’re still in Nevada for part of this outing, but more content, a cool character customization feature, and a few other incentives have been added to make this run a little bit more than yesterday’s terrorist hunt.
Its 2005, the setting: a science observatory in the French Pyrenees. A hostage situation has presented itself and Rainbow squad is sent in to do what they do best; diffuse and rescue. Bravo team’s operation appeared to be progressing smoothly, up until the most crucial moment when an itchy trigger finger caused hell to leap from the hand basket. Before Alpha had a chance to get into position one of the rookies decided to take matters into his own hands and fire prematurely. Monroe, a hostage negotiations expert, was killed in the crossfire allowing the terrorists to make a break for it. Just as chase is being given, intel comes in that there is a bomb ticking away somewhere in the facility. When it rains it pours, or in this case almost explodes. If not for the very same man responsible for the snafu in the first place, there would have been a lot more collateral damage than what is considered acceptable. Nowak deactivates the bomb, and Alpha arrives just in time to clean things up.
Much like the day after a horrible night of drinking unmarked booze, morning comes in the form of a five year passage of time. Bishop, the team leader from the Pyrenees mission is awakened by a new task encompassing the subjects of life and death, only this time the climate is a bit more temperate. Rainbow squad is going to Vegas, but not for tables, buffets and women of ill repute. This time lady luck pits them against a biochemical threat helmed by the brothers Alvarez, two men interested in human trafficking and more recently, terrorist activities. Consider this your unguided tour of a fictional game of chance, one that is littered with reality, tactics and the consequences of being dutiful. Bishop and his new team must traverse the warehouses, casinos and convention centers of a fictive Las Vegas; breaching, gunning, and maintaining the ever important aspects of cover and being covered. With a job like this, it’s a good thing they’re in a city that doesn’t sleep, because who knows when the echoes of gunfire will ever stop?
Similar to previous Rainbow games, Vegas 2 relies primarily on tactical approaches to realistic situations, although this offering includes more shooting that stratagem. Maneuver your squad through the commercial landscape clearing rooms, rappelling down (or up) the sides of massive buildings and breaching through just when the right moment presents itself. It’s really a lot of fun to get a good vantage point, set your team up, then either watch them or participate to clear the threat. Even failing a checkpoint can offer an opportunity to try a different approach. This adds a great amount of replay value, and keeps one from becoming disheartened should a particular area appear too difficult. In addition to all of this there are a multitude of weapons, gadgets, armor and clothing you can outfit yourself with. This is military technology at its finest, and a real treat for gun lovers and terrorist haters alike.
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