Rainbow Six: Vegas, when it was released, was a monumental game for me. It was the first time I had ever been hooked on a console multiplayer game, and for good reason: it was damn fun. The ranking system, the way you could make your character look like you wanted (you could even make him look like you!), the way you could customize your class... it was all done very, very well.
So, you'd imagine, the sequel would be just as good, if not better than it's predecessor.
Vegas 2 puts you in the boots of.. yourself? That's right, you're not playing as Logan Keller, you're playing as a guy named "Bishop," who looks just like you want him to. This, right off the bat, is the game's biggest innovation: the P.E.C. from Vegas is back, but instead of being a multiplayer only affair, you get to create and use your avatar right from the get go, in single, co-op and multiplayer.
This also goes hand in hand with the new experience system, which is tied to the single player AND multiplayer. So, for those of you who don't have an internet connection (all 13 of you), you can still gain experience and rank up offline. But, this also has its disadvantages. Unlocking weapons is now based around how you play, as opposed to how much
you play. This new feature is called the A.C.E.S. system, and it's based around three different requirements: Marksman, CQB, and Assault. All three of these are tied to everything you do in-game, whether it be getting a head shot, or killing someone with blind fire. It's a neat little system...
... that can be easily exploited. You could have every weapon after only a handful of hours, just playing the same terrorist hunt match over, and over. This wasn't a problem in the first game, where your rank meant something. Now, it's simply a tool for unlocking armor and camouflage.
Knowing you can attain ranks and unlockables by playing through the single player campaign is about the only thing that will drive you to do so, because it's absolutely terrible. It's not that the story is bad per se
, its just very, very contrived. Oh, and remember the original's awesome locales? Ya' know, the ENTIRE reason the game was set in Las Vegas? Well, they certainly couldn't repackage the same game twice, so thay really, really stretched themselves for maps. Thrill as you battle terrorist scum in a "convention center."
Marvel as you chase bad guys in the "Vegas Junkyard."
It's all done very poorly, and beating it gives you about the same satisfaction of going to a John Tesh concert; that is, there is none. The new sprint mechanic isn't much to write home about, either.
You'd think i saved the best for last, right? "The multiplayer has to be good!" you say?
Not so much.
... and that's all i can say. I can't review this portion of the game, because in one week, i was only able to complete ONE
entire match from start to finish. You see, Vegas 2 has a nasty habit of either not letting you into a match, or kicking your ass to curb as soon as you start playing a match. Ubisoft has told all of us unlucky PS3 owners that "they're working on it," but that might as well mean anything. I'm STILL waiting on the online patch for the first game.
At the end of the day, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is simply a rehash of the original with a sprint button. Add to that a new ranking system that can be exploited, and a completely broken multiplayer, and you've got one sad reviewer. If you need me, i'll be playing Call of Duty 4.