Breaking Down the Backlog: Rainbow Six: Vegas

In this week’s Breaking Down the Backlog, I went to Las Vegas to see the sights and do some light gambling only to find my holiday ruined by a group of South American terrorists. 


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Rainbow Six: Vegas had demo I remember playing and enjoying when it first came out in 2007. But, for some reason, I never bought it until recently. I expected a more action-y SWAT 4 and that is pretty much what I received, for better and for worse.

The aftermath of a shootout hanging upside down!

The aftermath of a shootout hanging upside down!

The story is pretty much shit. But the game never shoves it down your throat until near the end with the death of a character you spent all of five minutes with at the very beginning. My reaction?Well “apathy” would be an understatement. Also, the ending is quite possibly the worst set-up for a sequel I have ever seen. The main villain literally flies away on a helicopter and everyone just goes “welp, we’ll get him next time I guess” then it cuts to credits. I was stunned at how inept it was. I mean I wasn’t expecting Mass Effect but not whatever that damp squib of a finale I received.

The map, useful for planning different angles of attack

The map, useful for planning different angles of attack

The game-play is great, if dated. You can tell this game was made before Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare because it doesn’t have the ‘right-trigger to aim, left trigger to fire’ mechanics. The right trigger fires, whilst the left trigger attaches you to cover and clicking the right-stick lets you zoom in. It takes a while to get used to especially since I have been weaned on Call of Duty style of gameplay after all these years, but it is perfectly playable. What Vegas has going for it over other generic first-person shooters is that it is a tactical game (to a degree). You can tell your team-mates to move to certain places, who to shoot first, where to stack up against a door and whether to go stealthy or not. It is just enough SWAT 4 to tickle that itch, if only a little. The fact that you can’t go non-lethal or split up your squad to allow for deeper tactical choices is a bit of a let down. This is an action game first, with any real combat depth second. One final thing: the A.I of your squad can be good – they will follow your orders and react sensibly to situations – right up until they stand still whilst a terrorist unloads a whole clip into their back. Which puts the aggro on you and causes a great deal of stress.

The strip!

The strip!

The graphics are mediocre, although the casino designs are fantastic and it makes a nice change over the ‘desert middle east’ or ‘gun-metal grey city’ of modern First-Person Shooters. Vegas actually has colour! I will say that the game doesn’t exactly put it’s best foot forward with a crappy brown mine and nor does it finish strong with a drab Nevada Dam section. However the parts in-between, particularly the hilariously titled ‘Dante’s Casino’ which is filled with deep reds and luxurious, if on the nose – religious imagery.

That is all I can really say about Rainbow Six Vegas, to be honest. It was short, sweet and barring a few short-comings like the A.I, the ending and the lack of ‘proper’ tactical combat, it was an enjoyable game. Worth the ‘wait’ as it were? Probably not but I do not regret playing it at last.

Next time on Breaking Down The Backlog: Unfinished Swan

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