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Rainbow Six: Vegas box art from EB Games web site
(Box art image linked from EB Games web site)

This one is proving to be a heckuva fun ride.  Frustrating (in a good way), but fun.

Somewhat in answer to my earlier article here: XBOX 360: It's over?! That's all there is? Really?!, I popped this new title into my Xbox 360 and started kicking the tires and playing through the game.

I have to say I was actually taken back a little by the apparent lack of a tutorial mode, basic training mode, or other instructional mode that would serve as an introduction to the game. That was my initial impression only though, and soon enough I found out that though it wasn't apparent, I was in fact going through an introduction and tutorial type mission to get things started with.

I've really only scratched the surface of this game, but thus far it's been fun (and as noted above, somewhat frustrating). It is great fun sneaking through areas to get to the mission objectives without getting killed, but it's not all that easy to do that fairly simple sounded task. Around virtually every corner there's a "Tango" waiting to engage you and send you back to restart from your last saved check point. Rainbow Six is a game more about working from cover, with the element of surprise, than it is about rushing in "Rambo" style to get yourself and your team killed from your lack of caution.

Note I said "team", as Rainbow Six is a squad based game. Normally you are accompanied by squad mates that are there to cover your butt, take your orders, and help you accomplish your goals.

In the Xbox 360 implementation of the game, there's some excellent bonuses built into the game. Voice commands are included for gamers that hook up their Xbox 360 headset (or any other supported headset). Above and beyond that though, there is also support for the use of images from the Xbox Live Vision camera. Where? How about in the multiplayer game on Xbox Live?! Does that sound cool? No?!?! Are you kidding me? It's way cool. Instead of living with a generic image of the main character in the game you can actually include your own face on your in-game character so that others that play with you will see your face on their screen. That is pretty friggin' cool.

Rainbow Six: Las Vegas is a MATURE audiences game and is probably rightfully rated at that level. It's not family friendly and if my reaction to getting killed in game is typical, it's probably not a good idea to have young ones around anyone that is playing the game. My wife jokes that my pet birds will probably have a heckuva vocabulary thanks to hearing my exclamations as I get killed in the game and have to start over again repeatedly.

Note that Xbox 360 players have a choice of two versions of the game, the standard game and a special Limited Edition copy. The Limited Edition includes a making of video, a special "faking-of the making-of" video (all fun and games it seems) and other bonus features.

If you are a mature gamer, and enjoy first person shooters that require more thought and less immediate action, grab a copy of Rainbow Six: Las Vegas and enjoy the fun. I doubt you'd be disappointed.


Comments
on Nov 24, 2006

Couple more quick thoughts/comments here.

One minor frustration with R6:LV is that it uses different controls than does the more familar (to me) Call of Duty series.  Hitting the B button (normally used for crouching in COD2 or COD3) results in firing off a grenade or other similar device.  Not a good idea to hit it by accident as you wind up blowing yourself to bits.

I wish that all developers would settle on a standard control scheme so that gamers wouldn't encounter those issues, but I doubt anything standard along these lines will ever really come to pass.

I also wanted to mention the fairly "clean screen" approach that is used in R6:LV.  As compared to the COD series, or other similar games where you typically have a mini-map or compass displayed on the screen, R6:LV keeps the screen clean and has the gamer make use of a map key on their controller to bring up a map.  Personally I think the R6:LV approach is a bit more immersive than the mini-map mode is.

Anyway, again, I do recommend the game for those that enjoy the genre.

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