Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six is and will probably remain one of the most renowned PC series. The Rainbow Six franchise opened the road for the first-person tactical genre, attracting more and more fans with each passing year. The first failure of the series was Lockdown, a total fiasco when compared to its predecessors, but Ubisoft showed us it can do more and launched Rainbow Six: Vegas in 2006. It had a lot of success, being a combination of adrenaline, realism and a lot of action. But all of this meant a lesser emphasis on tactics, driving the veteran fans of the series nuts. And even if it had some problems, like poor optimization and plenty of bugs, they mostly passed unnoticed, and Vegas gained plenty of success.
Meanwhile, Ubisoft (their Montreal studio, to be more precise) didn’t waste any time planning a sequel, especially since the ending of the first Vegas cried for one. While in the first R6 Vegas we took the role of Logan Keller, the captain of the Rainbow team, now we will fight terror as Bishop, Bravo team leader, again partnering up with Jung Park (team IT specialist) and Michael Walter (demolition expert). The mission coordinator will be Sharon Judd, and her information will prove essential for our success. The first mission in the game takes place 5 years prior to the events in R6 Vegas; the mission: pacify the terrorists from a scientific observatory placed in the French mountains and rescue the hostages. However, being used to things going the wrong way, this mission also has an unexpected ending with present day repercussions.
After this intro, the action unfolds in tandem with that of its predecessor, but this time we’re tracing the footsteps of a second bad guy, Alvarez Cabrero, since he too is responsible for the events that have taken over Sin City. The story is again told “on-the-go”, with the help of some well made cut scenes and the action will surely remind you of classics Die Hard or the famed 24 TV series.
During the action you will be able to issue orders to your teammates, such as breaching rooms occupied by terrorists, using computers, throwing grenades (explosive or smoke grenades), disarming bombes, and so on. The orders are simple, and you’ll only need two keys to assign them. This made them very viable in the first Vegas, the producers not having any reasons to change it. Also, the two “stances” – assault and silent – make a comeback, each one useful in a certain situation, or sometimes even demanded by it.
Speaking of team mates, their AI was improved, though it was not really necessary. This time, the improvements concern the self awareness, so we don’t need to use the magic serum which brings them back from the dead quite so often. True, some very serious fire exchanges will still take place, and it’s unavoidable that one or both of your teammates will be hit, but you won’t have to babysit them as much. On the other side of the barricade, the enemies are a bit more aggressive and smarter, but not exaggerated, but this depends mostly on the difficulty level. They will throw flash and incendiary grenades every time they’ll get a chance, and take control of a machine gun nest if their comrade falls to enemy fire; and they will hide behind corners and start firing chaotically and swearing, if they feel threatened. The AI is best seen in action in the “Terrorist-Hunt” mode: when they realize you are in the area, they will constantly harass you and even come through the windows just to get the jump on you.