Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas
Reviewed by: Danner
Reviewed on: June 6, 2007
Ubisoft has released its latest version and fifth game in the Rainbow Six series, with the release of Rainbow Six Vegas. The Rainbow Six Series is based on the original book written by Tom Clancy and the original game was released back in the 1990's. The game has players assuming the role of Logan Keller, a new leader of the elite international Anti-Terrorist Team, known as Rainbow Six. The team can be deployed anywhere in the world to augment local forces and to assist with Anti-Terrorism. The game starts with a tutorial mission in Mexico, allowing new players to ease into the SWAT style of game-play. This will become essential to surviving in the world of Terrorism, as a team-leader for Rainbow Six.
The game uses the Unreal Engine 3, allowing the environment to be more realistically affected by your actions. Bullets fired around a room react with objects that they strike in a realistic fashion. Bullets that hit glass on vehicle windshields, actually react in a true fashion. Members of your team will also knock around barrels on the ground, making noise while trying to be silent. The game has an amazingly realistic feel to it.
The game starts out with you being deployed onto the streets of Mexico. While moving through the street to your rendezvous point with your team, you are helped by an in-game help screen that will pop up and show you different techniques for taking out the bad guys. The game will show you how to perform different tactical techniques, which will assist you throughout the game.
The storyline has you tracking terrorists and each level takes you to various locations around Nevada including, casinos in Las Vegas, Chinese restaurants, Vertigo Spire and a massive dam on the Colorado River, as well as others. The game ending leaves the player somewhat hanging and there is a strong indication of a possible sequel to this game.
Members of the elite team have to use various tactical methods to assist them. I found this game to be huge on the ability to use cover to stay alive in the game. One of the features is hugging a wall with your body, by pressing and holding the left mouse button. This will allow you take cover behind small walls and vehicles in the street, or sneak up to a corner and peak around it, without exposing your body to enemy fire. There is also a feature that will allow holding your gun out from behind cover and fire without aiming, or exposing your body. As you might imagine, this is extremely inaccurate. Using the sneak approach on doors becomes very handy when entering a room, as you can wait at the door, peek in with your gun and enter the room. After playing many games with a SWAT style approach, I found this game to be amazingly accurate. As you release the left mouse while peeking, you revert right back to your point of view, while still keeping your gun on your target. I really liked the “rappel” feature that you are required to perform in many missions. While rappelling down the rope, you have the option to go either head-first, or feet-first. The whole time you are moving up or down the rope, you can use your side-arm to defend yourself from enemy targets.
As you move through missions, you can pick up any of the firearms dropped by enemies and use them in place of your own. There are also places in the game that allow you to re-equip your player. You can re-arm you character and even switch to any of the 40 guns in the inventory, including the ability to customize the different features of your firearm.
You control a team for most of the game and as the team leader, you control many aspects of the team movement and engagement. You can click your gun sights to move your team to a location and you control their engagement of the enemy and whether they engage on-sight, or only fire when fired upon. Your team will also match your personal style. If you put a silencer on your firearm, they will do the same. You can order your team to wait by a door while you use a "snake-cam", to secretly look under the door into the room. One feature I liked with this, was the ability to mark up to two targets in the room, by pressing the “T” button to target. You will mark the priority target and a secondary target, so that when you order your team to clear the room, these targets will be taken out first. I found this to be very handy when there were hostages in the room. You can also order your team to “open and bang”, “open and clear”, or “open and frag”, controlling the entry style of your team.
During the game there will be times when normal vision is tough. Due to low light, you can make use of either Thermal Vision or Night Vision. The Thermal Vision is amazingly accurate to using true Thermal Vision. There is a downside to using the Thermal vision, as you cannot distinguish team-mates from the enemy targets. There are times when the Night Vision is a better option, in order to minimize cases of friendly fire.
I like the different styles of game-play that are required to accomplish each mission. There are missions that require an aggressive approach to the level and missions that require you and your team to adopt a stealthy approach.
The game has two main gaming options. You can play the single-player missions throughout the game, or go online and play multiplayer. The multiplayer option is perhaps one the best features of the game. In the multiplayer mode, you can fully customize the appearance of your character, altering almost every part of your uniform and weapons that you carry.
There are various different types of game-play to enjoy, including, co-op campaign, co-op terrorist hunt, sharpshooter, survival, team survival, retrieval, attack and defend and team sharpshooter. You can play any map in the game on any of the above mentioned game styles. Each mode can be totally customized by the host, allowing respawns and restricting certain weapons in the game.
- Windows XP
- Processor: P4 3GHz or AMD equivalent
- RAM: 1024 MB
- Video Card: 128MB, Shader Model 3 and DirectX 9.0c compatible
- Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
- DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c
- Multiplayer: Local area network (LAN) and/or 128kbit Cable/DSL
- Rated: ESRB: Mature (17+)
My System Specs:
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
- Asrock AM2NF6G
- 2GB Mushkin 9200
- 320GB Seagate SATA Harddrive
- WinFast 7900GT
- Mushkin 650 Watt
- LG DVD-RW
- WinXP Pro Service Pack 2
When opening this game to install on my Computer, I could not wait to get started. All I remembered were my days in college playing the first Rainbow Six Game with my buddies and how much fun we had. While reviewing this game, I was very impressed with the Unreal Engine 3 and most of the aspects of the game. There were some things that this game did fall short on. The problems I found were minor in some minds, but I found that if these small problems would have been addressed, it would have made the game that much better.
All-in-all, I was very impressed with the game as whole. I found the game to be extremely accurate to real SWAT team movements. Details are so realistic, for example, the way your teams enters a room. I was amazed at how your teams can rappel down a building, as you can go feet first, or head first. As stated earlier, these movements are very realistic and true to real-world tactical teams. There are so many different things that Ubisoft have added to this game, to make it one of the most realistic first-person shooters on the market today.
It is also worth noting that the Unreal Engine 3 utilizes HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging, which makes Rainbow Six: Vegas look truly superb. It does however, take a reasonable hit on performance, with FPS dropping noticeably on some systems. For those running Intel and AMD dual-core systems, you will be pleased to hear that the Unreal Engine 3 supports SMP (Symmetric multiprocessing). Not only does it support it, it takes a massive advantage of it, which will result in a reasonable if subtle, increase in performance on many dual-core machines. As I am sure many will agree, it is refreshing to see a game released with native SMP support, rather than having to patch it later.
The one main downside to the game that I thought would have made it so much better, was that the game needed some re-vamping of the Multiplayer options. I was disappointed to find there is no voice option to speak with your team during multiplayer games. There were also some issues to get your custom-made uniform to work and I found that on several games, I could not get it to show my custom-made uniform at all. From speaking with other players, I found that they were having the same problems as I was. I was also not impressed with the chat system in the multiplayer game. In a game like this, fast communication between team members is very important. Unfortunately, to send a message, you have to press “y”, then type your message and then press “Esc” to get out of the chat window. This is a cumbersome task to perform while dodging bullets. I found that during game-play with other people, there is very little conversation that goes on between team members.
As I stated, all-in-all I am impressed with this game. I also feel that Ubisoft could have made a better product with some simple fixes in the multiplayer options. This is the best feature of the game, especially with the ability to play the co-op story with your friends. I do feel however, that in a tactical team-based first-person shooter game, the most important ability, is that of communicating and moving as a team. The way in which the multiplayer game is currently designed, means that it is not easy to conduct team movements. Some may find these problems to be minor to their game-play and yes I agree they can be minor, but they are problems that I feel should have been addressed by Ubisoft before release.
- Amazing real-world environment
- Realistic tactical team-based movements
- Great storyline
- Great multiplayer options
- Native SMP (Symmetric multiprocessing) support
- HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging
- Help menu flashes too quick
- No easy multiplayer communication
- Very demanding system specifications