Rainbow Six Vegas Multiplayer Hands-On

You don't think you can defend Las Vegas all by yourself, do you? Find out what's in store for the multiplayer component of the fifth Rainbow Six game.

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The newest entry in the Rainbow Six series is simultaneously getting back to basics and pushing the franchise forward. It's getting back to basics with a development team that previously worked on the acclaimed Rainbow Six 3. But it's also pushing the franchise forward with new mechanics, such as inverted rappelling and the use of third-person cover. Rainbow Six Vegas' single-player campaign features new gameplay and the unusual, eponymous setting. However, this series has always lived and died by its multiplayer component, with its intensely tactical trappings and committed clans of players vying for online dominance. Now that the game's nearly finished, we were understandably interested to see how the multiplayer has shaped up in Vegas.

Ubisoft Montreal has taken the character-creation engine in Vegas to the next level by billing it as the 2.0 version of the "persistent elite creation" system that was featured in previous games. There are so many combinations of gender, face type, facial hair, and other features, such as scars, face paint, clothing, body armor, and camouflage, that you might never see another identical player online. And if you use the Xbox Live Vision camera, you'll definitely never see a player like yourself because the game will create a custom character that bears your likeness with well-lit front and profile shots of your face. Ubi is using an accomplished middleware solution for this, and the game will actually generate facial geometry based on your profile. So you're not just getting a low-res texture that is slapped onto a generic mesh. Check out the interview that is linked at the top of this story for a video demonstration of this in action.

The included classic maps, such as Streets, have never looked this good.

Previous Rainbow Six games let you access new multiplayer weapons and equipment as you ranked up online, and Vegas will be no different. But if you spend extra time gaining new ranks, you won't necessarily find yourself at a distinct advantage. Instead of granting better weaponry that will let you steamroll the opposition even more easily, the designers have opted to include different but tactically equivalent gear options for your character. There will also be a few slightly droll customization options. Who's going to use pink camouflage and expect not to be seen?

Once you get to the action, the big new addition to Vegas' multiplayer is the "attack and defend" mode. This mode is team-based and has varying objectives, depending on which map you're playing. Some maps will require you to seek out and defuse a bomb; others will make you secure a group of hostages and lead them to safety; and yet others will feature a priority item that you have to retrieve to an extraction point. The bottom line is this: One team will attack a position that the other team has to defend (hence, the name).

The sample map we played had the assaulting team select from two spawn points on the roof of a casino, and then fast-rope down through the skylight or head down some staircases to join a number of shoot-outs amid thrumming slot machines and game tables. This map also had an extraction objective, where we had to breach the casino's data room several floors down, grab a heavily protected briefcase, and successfully get the item back to the helipad on the roof to win the round. Between the three different objective types in the attack-and-defend mode and the wildly disparate styles of settings you'll encounter, the casino themes run the gamut from Asian to Mayan--to hellish. There ought to be some good variety here to keep devoted online clans coming back.

Between support for the Xbox Live Vision and the nearly limitless combinations of clothing and gear, you can create a completely unique online avatar.

We imagine that the attack-and-defend mode will be the most popular among hardcore players because it requires the most team strategy. But you've still got the old standby competitive modes, such as survival and sharpshooter. Speaking of old favorites, a number of "classic" Rainbow Six maps, such as Streets, will be on offer, and they've naturally been given an impressive graphical makeover for their appearance in Vegas. And then there's the cooperative mode, which will let you play through the entire campaign mode with real people who control your allies instead of the computer. In fact, while you'll have only two teammates in the single-player game, up to four players total can jump into co-op. The ever-popular terrorist hunt will also be available for all maps. And the cooperative modes can be played online, through system link or split-screen on one console.

If you've downloaded the recent single-player demo of Vegas from Xbox Live, you've no doubt seen that the game is putting Unreal Engine 3 to good use with its detailed environments and overall lavish visuals. There's no word on whether a multiplayer demo will surface, but with the game due out in a little more than two weeks, we'll have the final word on all aspects of Rainbow Six Vegas soon enough.

Discussion

62 comments
ankido92
ankido92

i want to play online you can play 4 players coop in missons is that cool are what hehe :)

slayersdeath200
slayersdeath200

i played the demo and it was awesome 1 or two bugs but thats normal in this type of game with everything thats happening in it. single player and multiplayer are going to be sweet

JobberGobber
JobberGobber

i thought the game came out this week.. damn.. i was so hyped up.. but now im glad cause it comes out after exams.. everybody's happy.

MetalGearSimon
MetalGearSimon

great demo and yes it appears to be better than graw, but we can't forget how cool graw was when it came out. keep it up ubisoft people!!!

Gabriel_peru7
Gabriel_peru7

this is game is so cool i cant wait to get it

sixthsquare
sixthsquare

omg just played the demo ,and this game kicks ass even better then g.r.a.w.

partytimekegs
partytimekegs

The realism of the game (From the demo) is really stunning. The terrorists actually sound like they are in distress when you jump down the rope from the helicopter. Has anyone just sat there to listen to them? It's quite interesting to hear them chat amongst themselves and curse. Sometimes in battle you'll hear them give orders and advice to one another.. like throwing smoke grenades and whatnot.

frustatedgibbon
frustatedgibbon

i loved rainbow six 3 and i didnt even have live! so this will be a must have for me when i get a 360 next year. the live play seems very fun and tactical. i also played the 1 player demo at a friend's house and that was amazing! better than any of the last game's missions! and also very nice looking too. the 3rd person cover thing is a great addition to the game, instead of having to press the d-pad to look around corners all the time. cant wait! b xx

jamserver
jamserver

lol i cant wait to see my face on there

Robertwelsh2
Robertwelsh2

I downloaded the Demo Version from the Xbox 360, the game appears to be very fluid, colour textures are almost flawless, and the voice acting is superb. I'm beggining to think that this game will be very big when it comes out.

x505
x505

The action in this game is by far the most visceral I myself have ever experienced when it comes to shooters. Head shots are rewardingly gruesome...that makes me sound sadistic...

Bradman984
Bradman984

SHOW ME THE MONEY, SHOW ME THE MONEY

Mazeku
Mazeku

I´m looking forward to buy this game and of curse gow too ;)

MaddenBowler10
MaddenBowler10

its a fun game, but gears of war still looks like the one im going to get

cejay0813
cejay0813

Yeah this and Gears of War will make excellent additions to my 360 collection. Now to wait for Halo 3 to come out some time in the next decade or so

Tezzer05
Tezzer05

This game looks so cool. Im going to have a very tough time deciding on this or Gears of War. I want this cause Im a real avid fan of the Tom Clancy games especially Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six however I want Gears of War because its something thats completely different. At the moment Im leaning more towards this game though. As for what they're saying about people not unlocking something "more powerful" or making themselves more powerful than others, I think they just made it so people can still be easily killed. A more powerful weapon isnt a shield that blocks bullets so it by no means stops you from being killed. So I (as a novice) can use my MP5 to blow away your face when my gun is like 3 inches away from your face and your super M95 or 50. Cal MG wont be able to stop me killing you because I just filled your skull with 9mm bullets. So actually after thinking about it after I read through this message, Im getting Rainbow Six first THEN Gears of War. Cant wait to start pwnerererring and being pwnererererrred by some of you guys on xbox live!

bern20
bern20

This game looks awesome all around. The customization is pretty cool. It is awesome that you can use the Vision Live camera to take a picture of your face and put it on your character for online play. Pretty sweet. I can't wait for this game to come out.

MASTA_KILLA13
MASTA_KILLA13

Im only buying this game cuz its got streets :)

onthe_dl
onthe_dl

"Looks good, still not sure what I think about the cover system in multiplayer tho " if you think of it, it's going to be just as hard to cap someone off peeking around a corner then someone leaning around a corner. and rainbow six: rogue spear had third person so you could see around corners and the multiplayer played amazing, it's just you have to be more careful in running around into open places. in time you'll be cautious about people poping around corners knowing where you are.

kozzy1234
kozzy1234

Cant wait for this game!!!! It looks just awesome!!!!!

anderson600
anderson600

this looks great. I'm really looking forward to it now.

power_rangerer
power_rangerer

this game looks good. the only thing thats sucks is that the streets arent filled with people and if this happened in a real world there would be way more than 4 people fighting a terrorist army.

Real720
Real720

[quote]Keith4RFC17 I only really cared about the multiplayer online it seems like its going to be good who cares about co-op [/quote] Uhhhh......... I do!

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

Awesome... I hope more games use this new and improved customization system that takes advantage of the camera to put you in the game...Both genders are acknowledged? great ;)(no sarcasm) I wonder how this plays

LucasAW
LucasAW

Sounds cool. Not convinced tho. But saying that ive never been a Rainbow Six fan.. maybe this one will be worth checking out - I luv it that you can put ur own face on the in game character.. Im gona pull a mooney for my in game face! :D

Dr_Evil353
Dr_Evil353

This looks like the best rainbow yet, i cant wait

Keith4RFC17
Keith4RFC17

I only really cared about the multiplayer online it seems like its going to be good who cares about co-op

p8tball99nyr
p8tball99nyr

I just pee my pants seeing that. I cant wait!

ryanjtravis
ryanjtravis

Awesome... this game is sure to be a great time all-around. I loved the single-player demo and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy to give the multiplayer a go.

Gans_II
Gans_II

Looks good, still not sure what I think about the cover system in multiplayer tho

WillT12345
WillT12345

The entire campaign can be played Co-Op, didn't know that, I'm sold!

Icekxg
Icekxg

I'm glad to see that R6 is still keeping the 4 player coop even after all these years...THANK YOU UBISOFT!!! (you are forgiven for the tragedy that was lockdown)

spitshine1144
spitshine1144

Still skeptical, hope they don't f-up the multiplayer.

DarkArgonanth
DarkArgonanth

I hope my 360 gets fixed in time... or i will be VERY sad...

saugh
saugh

Yeeeesssssssssss CO-OP all the way!!!!!!!!!1

slayaz
slayaz

That makes me very, very happy. I love co-op campaigns. Sweeeeeeeeet

paoloa
paoloa

Wow, can't wait to get my hands on the final build - the demo was awesome and the new cover system works remarkably well (and damn, the graphics...*glomp!* I like). This game will surely be a blast on Live! for sure :)

hmaxpain
hmaxpain

thats so cool 4 players through the entire campaign i can barely wait

pathogenb
pathogenb

"oxymoron1331 The multiplayer looks insane! " almost the same as RS3, but with a much prettier coat of paint.. which in not a bad thing.

mojahid_1st
mojahid_1st

This is a must have game. It makes Ghost Recon look soft and that was a game I didn't think could be topped this year.

STEALTH5000
STEALTH5000

Yay! Finally a Rainbow Six game that's worth playing in Xbox Live. I've played the demo, and I was really impressed in how good it looked. I'm definetely going to buy this game when it comes out.