"For a few of us, the end of Rainbow Six: Vegas left a bad taste in the mouth; a sudden cliff hanger that provided little satisfaction or resolution. For everyone else, it was just a side commentary to combine smoldering action set pieces together, or was forgotten altogether due to the compelling multiplayer. In either case, it was an excuse for a sequel; one that is not quite a fully fledged evolution of the franchise, or something that could have simply add-on content either. "
For a few of us, the end of Rainbow Six: Vegas left a bad taste in the mouth; a sudden cliff hanger that provided little satisfaction or resolution. For everyone else, it was just a side commentary to combine smoldering action set pieces together, or was forgotten altogether due to the compelling multiplayer. In either case, it was an excuse for a sequel; one that is not quite a fully fledged evolution of the franchise, or something that could have simply add-on content either.
Not falling too far from the tree, everything you loved about the first game is here. The visceral gunplay, deep seeded tactics, and harsh enemy placement - it is effectively the same game until the guise of a few useful additions. They have added a few weapons here, a couple of different enemy types there, and aside from a few ported areas, ten new stages to combat in. Two key additions carry across all the modes - character development and additional team members. Whereas before experience points and ranks were only amassed online, here your customized character grows across single player as well. For every sublime shot, grenade and spot of tactical wizardry you gain rewards - points are added to facets such as stealth or brute force to unlock new weapons or kit for your character. As it ties across the entire package, you are engaged in every mode you come across, giving real rewards in the process. For every failed mission or botched attempt you are given something in return, and you will play on knowing you are better for it. A subtle but engaging addition.
In an attempt to carry an air of team work throughout, two team members can now join you in co-op as well as single player. Terrorists dread a four pronged result, but your co-op team member probably will; only the team leader can control them, and dying turns them into sitting ducks. As before they need babysitting - guiding them behind cover so they don’t bite the bullet - and goes completely out the window when the going gets tough. As they do have their uses, such as diverting fire away from you, it is frustrating that only one player can control them at any one time.
The story this time round is incredibly confusing, too. You play a squad set before, during and after the events of Rainbow Six: Vegas, trying to tie up the motives and plays behind key characters. With tinny audio and visual feeds taking up the top right portion of the screen, notably during packed situations, you cannot keep track of what is going on, nor do you actually care. The story was never the star of the show, but considering the main drive of a sequel is unfinished business, you are not quite sure what part you have to play. Although most environments and events are quite forgettable, you will still have a blast going through the story mode, and a little throwaway drama doesn’t hurt one bit.
Visuals are similar, if a little glossier, to before - and although suffering from spurts of localized aurora borealis that plagued the first title, still give off that unparalleled sense of harrowing warfare. Terrorist Hunt has had a slight overhaul, with compulsory (but limited) respawns, and enemies that mimic lemmings making a return. And yes, they still waffle random quips such as “who’s with me?” and “he owed me money!” Unfortunately enemies will spawn right on your position; one minute an open space will be clear of any trouble, and the next it will be populated. Whilst staring at the area in question. While not a game breaker - it is rare one spawns right on top of you - it is frustrating that they nailed this the first time round, and added an unintentional curve ball in the process.
What you get with Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is not a full on sequel, but more of a glorified expansion pack; there is more than enough new content here to justify a purchase, especially with the stupendous addition of character development, but it is essentially more of the same. One for fans of the original, if you weren’t converted before this is not going to change your mind. Still as tense and exciting as ever, if you want more of the same, give it a shot.
Community review by Crazyreyn (June 14, 2008)
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