Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas Single-Player Exclusive - South of the Border

We played the first two hours of Ubisoft's tactical shooter sequel and were surprised to find ourselves in a place hotter than Sin City itself.

Last time we looked at Rainbow Six Vegas' ambitious single-player story mode, we talked about the development team's efforts to streamline the game experience by stripping out noninteractive cutscenes, bland textual mission briefings, and other antiquated conventions of the realistic shooter genre. Instead, the game will present everything you need to know--mission updates, story progress, and tactical information--dynamically from within the game as you play, and today at Ubisoft's office we got to take control of the game from the very beginning and play the opening levels in Mexico for a solid two hours to see how this will work.

Wait, Mexico? What are you doing south of the border in a game about Las Vegas? For one thing, the game needed a training level--but in keeping with the more dynamic nature of the game, you'll get your training after you hit the ground, rather than in a nice, safe test area. At the outset, you'll take control of Vegas' main character, Logan Keller, as you head with fellow Rainbow members Kan Akahashi and Gabe Nowak to a small Mexican border town where suspected terrorist ringleader Irena Morales is holed up, smuggling operatives and weapons into the US. The tangos were relatively few as we made our way through the streets in the initial section of the game and were instructed in mission-relevant scenarios on core gameplay functions like taking cover, rappelling down walls, commanding our teammates, and so on.

The intro levels set in Mexico do a good job of introducing the gameplay concepts while you're actually under fire.

Though we've played Vegas a good bit before, we still enjoyed this chance to get a feel for the game's finer points straight from the beginning. For instance, we had a chance to experiment with the snake cam, which lets you see under doors and tag enemies for prioritized neutralization. You can have your teammates breach a door with a flashbang, frag grenade, or smoke grenade, or even blow the door itself down with an explosive charge. We were entertained just seeing how well we could set up a room breach to see if we could clear an entire room of tangos without lifting a finger ourselves. This fifth Rainbow Six looks like simultaneously the most complex and most action-packed so far, and we appreciated the learning opportunities this introductory area afforded us.

Unlike past games, Vegas won't send you into one discrete map per area and then extract you when you've finished your tidy mission. Instead, once you hit the ground in a particular place (be it a dusty Mexican border town or a posh Strip casino), you can expect to be there for a while. The introductory sequence, in fact, lasted through four distinct levels; we first fought in the arid streets and dilapidated warehouses of the village before heading down a mining shaft to Morales' temporary hideout to capture her and root out her heavily armed minions.

This connected feel of the maps in Mexico gave the flow of the game a more natural feel, since the end of one level is simply the beginning of the next, similar to seamless, story-driven shooters like Half-Life. And when we finally left Mexico by helicopter, there was no summary screen showing our kills, or a text briefing on our next objective. Instead we received a radio communication from Rainbow leader Ding Chavez that directed us to an even more critical, developing situation in Las Vegas, so the next mission after the loading screen began with us setting down in that very same helicopter and diving right in to the next mission with barely a chance to take a breath.

Ubisoft Montreal is clearly putting Unreal Engine 3 to good use in Vegas.

But a lot happened in Mexico before we made it to the extraction point. Without giving too much away, when we finally caught up to Morales in her subterranean lair, she offered us some choice words before pulling a fast one on us that deprived us of our teammates and all of our gear, save one silenced pistol. So the remainder of the Mexico mission became a game of survival, as we crept through the tunnels alone, stealthily picking off guards like Sam Fisher might do, and trying to arm ourselves after taking out the enemies. We found this an interesting way to turn the Rainbow Six gameplay on its head. Without a high-powered, long-range assault rifle and other amenities like night and thermal vision to aid us, we suddenly felt a whole lot more vulnerable while creeping through dark tunnels and factories, and the excitement of our escape was thusly increased.

Rainbow Six Vegas' single-player campaign has been looking better every time we've seen it the last few months. The game is making great use of the third-generation Unreal Engine--we were highly impressed at one point to emerge from a warehouse onto a catwalk and see a brilliant sunset over the hillside horizon outside of town, which was seemingly a good couple of miles away. We're looking forward to seeing how the designers map Vegas' core gameplay concepts onto the elaborate casino environments of Sin City, and we'll get to see the entire campaign in its final form when the game ships in just under a month. Also stay tuned for an update on Vegas' multiplayer, including exclusive high-definition footage of several maps and modes in action.

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Discussion

85 comments
jakeboudville
jakeboudville

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kahuna9995
kahuna9995

Finally a Rainbow 6 game where you can actually move and aim fast enough to fight properly. I have played every Rainbow game since the original on the PC and my biggest issue has always been the speed at which your character moved and the speed at which you could aim. This has been totally redressed in this version and after playing through the demo several times I am impatiently awaiting this games release and I think it may have even superseded Gears of War as my most anticipated 360 game.

English_Death
English_Death

Brilliant and I do mean brilliant. I love this type of game and this is one of the best. I haven't stopped playing the demo. Could it be better than GRAW? It's looking and playing that good, a multiplayer game will be stunning. This truely is next gen at it's bestist....

ali_g_84uk
ali_g_84uk

Yeah played the demo (haven't finished it yet as i have a large overflow of titles to play/complete right now). Its incredible, literally incredible. Put it on a decent screen with decent sound and its so immersive, looks much better in motion than in the pics (you don't see the aliasing as bad for one). I love the use of cover in the demo in conjunction with your squad team, and the whole blind/peek shooting. It just plays so well and sounds incredible. I actually think this may be better than gears of war. Hopefuly ill have both a day or two early from my reliable source, but its going to be hard deciding which to play first...i think vegas has won me over. I have the friday off (emergence day) from work too, so its gaming all weekend for me :)

Apoc112
Apoc112

looks great... it might be a game i pick up later on, but my november is already looking crazy

stat30fbliss
stat30fbliss

I look forward to a worthy rainbow six title. I have found them quite dissappointing for some time.

King_Louis51
King_Louis51

I've got the X360 demo (coz i live in the uk) and it's awesome. never liked a rainbow six game before, but the demo has made me a fan. you americans should be real excited about being able to download the demo soon, it's certainly been worth the wait.

Marvelii
Marvelii

judging from the article and the pix, the graphics have improved. i played the r6 demo in the euro mp recently and see a noticable difference. seems like that was demo is an old build.

tjoqahontz
tjoqahontz

its look great can,t whait....:D

SqueekyC1ean
SqueekyC1ean

i played the xbox magazine demo and I dont like the graphix graw looked way better :(

-HCMF-
-HCMF-

can't wait, looks great....

devxwill
devxwill

been waiting on this one!

dpyroaxis
dpyroaxis

I completed the demo and it was great but there are a few things I did not like. 1st off is the night vision goggles, They are useless. During the dark areas I switched over to heat and that was way better to see and shoot. 2nd whats up with the smoke entry? You are meant to use smoke grenades for you, not for the enemy! Lastly Button presses for commands? What happened to the voice orders?

tcampbell1976
tcampbell1976

The demo wasn't that great. You start out with a debrief during a fly over Vegas and then your inside a construction set the entire rest of the demo that looks like something out of Max Payne 2. Cliche... Zzzzzz.... be patient, I'm sure the game itself is great overall, but this demo doesn't sell anything off to get you excited.

CyphenX
CyphenX

Must... Have... This... Game!

raynimrod
raynimrod

Yep, this game looks like it will be great and I am definately looking forward to it. Btw, just because the settings (1 of which is just a training mission) for GRAW and RS:V doesn't mean Clancy HATES mexico, he might LOVE Mexico. This could be why he likes to use it for his games. And this game only looks like GRAW on the mexico level, and its not even that similar. I think this game will have its own uniqueness and will be fantastic to play.

taisui
taisui

RAINBOW SIX: VEGAS DEMO IS AVAILABLE ON JAPANESE XBOX LIVE MARKETPLACE!!! DOWNLOAD NOW!!

Dinghy_Dog
Dinghy_Dog

I think I just crapped myself. *checks* Yup. Now I peed myself. This game has me so excited, and I just can't hide it.

redfop
redfop

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Pittfan666
Pittfan666

Kinda bummed that Ding Chavez and the group isn't in this game like its predecessors, however I am still excited to get my hands on this possible masterpiece.

linkman31
linkman31

I will ****ing shoot you! On your knees! Damn

XxXCommanderXxX
XxXCommanderXxX

I have played the demo! And omg it was awesome! You can play the Dante casino mission.

XxXCommanderXxX
XxXCommanderXxX

The said the demo will come at the 23th of october in.........Europe! Finally we get something first! So today is the day!

Tungsten88
Tungsten88

Damn, looks even better than GRAW. I am definitely buying this game.

puckhead778
puckhead778

last ones had pretty fun gameplay.....now the graphics have improved greatly so pretty sure this will be one i get

EwaAznLeader
EwaAznLeader

It's not all in Mexico.. it is called Tom Clany's Rainbow Six VEGAS

_Sam_
_Sam_

I think that this game is looking great!

Bansheesdie
Bansheesdie

Why does Tom Clancy hate Mexico, he has two games were you have to go and stop something in Mexico. I'm surprised Double Agent wasn't in Mexico.

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

Looking good, I'm probably going to get this game, G.R.A.W is fantastic and this seems like its similar in terms of realism. Just as well because I'm passing on Double Agent until it drops in price, i have always been a SC fan but they need to develop the single player portion more. Hopefully Vegas will live up to its expectations and keep me entertained.

benswinbanks
benswinbanks

yeah the speech sounds great. "Get on your knees or i will fking shoot you!"

gamepr0
gamepr0

I like how they talk how real people would in that situation (I.E. all the cussing) it adds a certain something to the immersion.

JCOscar
JCOscar

Best 360 game that i have seen so far

jonathan29
jonathan29

when is the demo for Vegas going to be on the marketplace

maaly81
maaly81

hope its better online than SPlinter cell4-- that online play is suck

saugh
saugh

It'll be intresting to see how much further the stealth element progresses. But I'm getting this game hands down.

360guy
360guy

hopefully there will be some civies (civilians) this time, without some civs, even a hundred of em in mexico, to up the ante on realism a bit, i was a bit suprised to see no civs in GRAW but for the hell of im looking forward to seeing some real chaos, screaming civs, trucks blowing up, cover being torn up, cursing, and more bad guys to shoot up. Even my dad was amazed by the realism of GRAW.

PerfectDark0Fan
PerfectDark0Fan

WOW thats very impressive. I see a canadate for "Game Of The Year".

buzzguy
buzzguy

Don't the Mexico levels remind you of GRAW? I love it...keep this stuff coming?

Jaeme
Jaeme

I just hope it`s a good game that doesn`t stray too far from the earlier ones. Lockdown wasnot very good. So far the best one has been 3 (and black arrow). I want a realist ic, thinking man`s game. There are tons of run and gun FPSs out there already, we don`t need another one with a different setting.

trigun123
trigun123

this game is going to be absolutely amazing in single player and multiplayer

natemanxxx
natemanxxx

I'd almost go as far as to say that these graphics out-shine Gears in term of realism.

jackson84
jackson84

This game is going to be crazy. I wish it was in thrid person, but I'll still buy it tho

adzpsp
adzpsp

This game looks well cool, much better than previous Rainbow Six games. I tend not to like UbiSoft games but this i think will be exelent.

dnathug
dnathug

yup this is gonna be a very good game. It say Nov.11 it's coming out anybody else know......