So Rainbow Six Vegas brought the Tom Clancy, Rainbow Six brand into the next generation, it souped up the action and provided us with artificially intelligent enemies that we could really get out teeth into. They were capable of giving a reasonable challenge and using the environment to get around, rappel points, fast ropes and ladders.
It gave us a limited cooperative story in which the story itself was cut-down, there were no cut-scenes and you could play it with four people. You could go online in a variety of game modes and team based action. It was almost perfect apart from a few issues with dodgy AI for your team mates in single player and a few spawn bugs in terrorist hunts for multiplayer.
Rainbow Six Vegas is back, bigger and somewhat better than the last instalment, billed as a bit of a prequel to the first game in terms of story, you play as Bishop (a Rainbow operative who has been responsible for Michael and Jungís training) five years before the Rainbow Six Vegas mission kicks off. Bishop is tasked with overseeing a couple of new rookies on their first assignment, one Logan and one Gabriel to be precise.
After the first mission, itís five years later and youíre given Michael and Jung as AI team-mates, Logan Kellerís team is somewhere else at that point (in Vegas 1ís story) so you get to play events from another perspective and varied locations as Bishop works to unravel a bigger plot and mow down hordes of enemies, using brute force or team tactics. There are still hostage situations and time critical events to deal with; these are similar in many ways to the first game.
The controls are similar to Vegas with a couple of tweaks, hold down the RB and youíll sprint for a short distance. You can now use the D-Pad to order your team mates to throw grenades on the map, smoke, frag, flashbangs etc. The ROE (rules of engagement) can be altered by tapping the BACK button, or the map can be displayed by holding down the BACK button. This is a bit pesky when you accidentally order your team from Infiltrate to Assault in the middle of a room packed with tangos.
The biggest change in the game comes from the way that the Persistent Elite Creation works. You have a character hub now, My Character. This can be accessed at most points during the game, from the main menu or from within the various game modes. From the moment you make this male or female character, you will watch it evolve as you earn two kinds of experience in the game, off or online.
One of the biggest gripes about the PEC and XP last time was that you had to really battle online to get anything unlocked, your rank was hard to attain unless you played the game with lots of people solidly and you couldnít kick back with some friends and earn XP as a team. This has been addressed with Rainbow Six Vegas 2 in a big way; a lot of noise prior to Vegas 2ís release has been made about the ACES that are individual experience rewards in three separate areas, Assault, Close Quarters Combat and Marksmanship.
You earn these in a variety of ways, destroying enemies with explosives for Assault, shooting from behind cover in blind-fire for CQB and popping tangos as they use ropes or ladders for Marksmanship. These are not the only ways to earn XP for your different ACES, thereís quite a few.