Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
N Amer - 06/26/2007
There is a certain expectation when Tom Clancy’s name is attached to a project, and the Rainbow Six franchise has certainly lived up to that expectation. Sure, there was a stumble or two along the way, but Rainbow Six has invaded Las Vegas and the action is taut, the environments are terrific and the gameplay is rich and rewarding.
Not only is Rainbow Six Vegas a top-notch shooter, but the game is also tactically oriented. More on that in a moment.
Rainbow Six Vegas released in late 2006 on both the 360 and PC platforms. In the intervening months, Ubisoft has been busy insuring that the transition to the PS3 is anything but just a straight port. The PS3 has 10 new multiplayer maps and two new game modes, exclusive to the PS3.
The game’s single-player experience begins in Mexico and the Rainbow Six team being sent in to eliminate a terrorist responsible for bombings in Bogot. The setting also acts a bit like a tutorial in that you are quickly familiarized with use of cover as you navigate the streets of the town.
Leaning out from behind cover is simple. First, you need to use the left trigger to hide behind cover, and then use the movement key to press against the wall. You can use the movement key to lean out and tapping the right trigger fires your weapon.
Those looking for a walkthrough shooter need look elsewhere. This title has two difficulty settings – normal and realistic.
There are other new elements for this edition. There is a new team and new team leader, and the AI has been ramped up a bit, so expect your squadmates to offer suggestions on tactical approaches to a target. The game also makes use of real-time mission briefings. Rather than just a static drop screen outlining objectives, the game opens with you en route to the target area in a helicopter. When ready, hit the X button to be lowered into the zone.
Only the first three mission locations were available for this preview but it was enough to get a taste and want more. The storyline escalates as you move forward, and the challenge seems to advance as well. If there is one drawback to the missions, as a whole, it is in their linearity. But you can jack up the difficulty and tackle the missions cooperatively. And not only will you find that your team is smarter, but so is the enemy.
Graphically the game is dynamic, making use of lighting and shadows very effectively. The targeting is first rate, and the game’s texturing is solid. There is a lot of detail in the environments, even though most of the action takes place inside.
While multiplayer was not tested, it looks like the Montreal development team is taking good care of that. Players will be able to create a character exclusively for multiplayer action and then unlock equipment and achievements as they progress through that phase of the game.
Rainbow Six Vegas may be the PS3 version of one of 2006’s top shooter titles, but with the elements this game contains, and the look, feel and challenge of the game, this is shaping up to be one of the PS3’s top shooters in 2007.