Rainbow Six is truly one of the most classic shooter franchises out there. It has essentially paved the way for many tactical shooters to come. But throughout it all, only the Tom Clancy branded franchise continues to deliver with nearly every iteration. My memories with R6: Rogue Spear are nothing but great. The level design was fantastic, and the immersion into the game's missions/objectives was tense. Tension was the one thing I always felt playing the game either online or off. The game called for staying alert and focused more than Metal Gear Solid did. It's been a relief to watch the Tom Clancy series continue to do so well and not tumble downhill, as many other long-running flagship series' often do. Last year Xbox 360 owners were treated to the brilliant Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfare, and in 2007 PS3 and X360 owners will be treated to the sequel and an all new Rainbow Six game taking place in Las Vegas.
Perhaps the coolest aspect of R6 Vegas' single-player is that the entire game takes place all within one day. There are no stages, levels, etc. You have one primary mission which extends throughout the entire game, and that is to eliminate the terrorist group that has taken much of Sin City hostage. So essentially, progressing through the campaign doesn't revolve around you being deployed to complete various objectives among various locales. Instead, Las Vegas is you're one huge stage that you will continuously make your way through, paving through various different environments, with frequently placed checkpoints acting as your saves.
The action is what makes R6 Vegas brilliant. Ubisoft has retained the signature basics of the series, while adding something new to the mix. Firstly, being alert and cautious is still the key to surviving Vegas. Taking cover is still a highly recommended defense, as run-and-gun is not a tactic you'll want to employ. You'll be able to take cover behind anything large enough to cover your body — and when doing so, you'll be able to fire back, as well. The game's camera will instantly go into a 3rd person view showing Logan Keller (your character) taking cover, this will allow you to properly peek and shoot, or poke your gun out and shoot wildly. Peeking/blindly shooting isn't limited to walls, as you will be able to shoot over the top of a smaller sized object as well, which is certainly a nice touch.
R6 Vegas will host a bevy of neat executions like breaking through walls, doors and windows, rappelling, spying, and so forth — all in true Team Rainbow commando agent fashion. Ubisoft is giving the R6 gamer an unprecedented amount of freedom to pull of a multitude of maneuvers that will greatly impact the gameplay. As Logan, you will be able to command your two accompanying agents to do various tasks that'll ultimately help aid your progress in the game. The artificial intelligence behind not just your partners, but also the enemies, is superb. Ubisoft has gone great lengths to produce an experience that won't feel dumbed down when you're playing it, and that's very welcomed.
Visually, R6 Vegas is definitely impressive. Boasting some of the most spectacular graphics this generation has seen thus far, Vegas is definitely one of those games you can truly enjoy looking at — especially if you've got an HDTV set. Details are precise and almost photo-like in quality. The textures are riddled with intricacies that you'll certainly appreciate looking at. And of course the character detail is nothing short of splendid.
While the Xbox 360 version has already appeared, PS3 owners have to wait a little bit longer. But fear not, as multiplayer mayhem consisting of up to 16 players will be arriving March 20th. Until then, take my advice and make sure you have yourself a copy of R6 Vegas for your X360, or come this March for PS3.