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Rainbow Six Hits Jackpot Again

New in the latest Rainbow Six game: more weapons, picture-in-picture video updates and trickier enemies.
New in the latest Rainbow Six game: more weapons, picture-in-picture video updates and trickier enemies. (Ubisoft/ign.com)

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Friday, March 21, 2008

When it comes to sequels, the difference between Hollywood and video games is that a movie with a number after it usually disappoints. But with video games, developers can fine-tune things and offer a more fun and more challenging experience. Such is the case with the second Rainbow Six trip to Vegas in as many years.

First there's a back story that takes place five years before the original first-person shooter's cliffhanger ending. As the action unfolds across Sin City -- this time such locales as the monorail and convention center replace the casinos of the original -- that cliffhanger is resolved.

Vegas 2 offers 11 new weapons and 11 new multi-player maps -- 11 being a lucky number in Vegas, after all -- but there wasn't much to "fix" from the previous game, which continues to be a top online gaming experience for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 users. The new sprint ability makes it easier to jump from one cover area to another, and the ability to jump in and out of cooperative play at any time adds to the replay value. But the heart of this gameplay experience, whether alone, with a buddy or online, remains using your weapons, gadgets and environment to eliminate the enemy.

The single-player story continues the scenario of a terrorist threat in Vegas, which keeps the action moving with picture-in-picture video updates. The enemies are a lot harder to contend with thanks to their equipment for thermal and night vision. This makes co-op play the way to go for best results, although your artificial-intelligence squad mates now behave more realistically (no more clogging those doorways while breaching).

Gamers can create lifelike avatars in single-player mode using the PS3 EyeToy and Xbox 360 Live Vision cameras, upgrade them with skill sets (called Aces) from sniping to demolitions, and then take them online.

The bad news is that this is probably the last stop for the elite Rainbow Six team in Vegas. The good news is that gamers have two great ways to visit the city.

-- John Gaudiosi

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 Mature; Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 ($60); PC ($50) Ubisoft/Montreal Studio Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 Mature; Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 ($60); PC ($50) Ubisoft/Montreal Studio


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