8.8

Although the ending comes too soon and is somewhat unsatisfying, R6: Vegas is a blast from start to finish.

Although many die-hard Rainbow Six veterans may be offended by Vegas' continuance of the trend R6 games are taking (less difficulty, more forgiving health systems) away from the old days, it manages to incorporate a great combat system and a fairly enticing storyline into the production of a game that is, to speak bluntly, just plain fun from start to finish.

On that note, one of my only quarrels with the game is that it ended far to quickly, and that the cliffhanger ending itself is somewhat unsatisfying. So although the ending might bring a frown to your face, I wouldn't count on it lasting more than 20 seconds into the credits. Even as short as it is, the single player campaign is a lot of fun and you won't regret the time you spent with it.

You play as Logan Keller, the new Rainbow team lead. And you're in the company of a brand new team. Gabriel Nowak is your electronics and reconnaissance specialist, and Kan Akahashi is your heavy weapons and demolitions expert. Additionally, you're aided by Joanna Torres, your information officer. Joanna will be safely circling above your mission locations in a chopper all the time. She will provide you with critical intelligence updates and tips throughout the game.

The game starts with a prologue mission in Mexico. The beginning portion of the prologue acts as your only real tutorial for the game. Luckily, the controls and mechanics of Vegas are fairly user friendly and most players should pick them up quickly. Your mission is to locate and capture an international terrorist named Irena Morales. After meeting up with Gabriel and Kan, you will pursue Irena through her weapons depot underneath the border down you started in. After being tricked by Irena, Gabriel and Kan are captured and Irena escapes with your team. When Jo picks you up, you learn that terrorist forces with established links to Irena have swept over Las Vegas, capturing several casinos and you are assigned to pacify the situation and recover whatever intelligence you can as to why Irena and her men have attacked Las Vegas, and where Gabriel and Kan are being held. Your chopper will drop you onto the streets of Las Vegas outside the Calypso Casino, beginning your first mission after the prologue. Your new team are already on the scene. Jung Park, electronics and reconnaissance, and Michael Walter, heavy weapons and demolitions will accompany you for the rest of the single player campaign.

Your crusade through the casinos of Las Vegas is an absolutely amazing experience. The casinos provide a realistic and immersing environment for huge firefights, and they support Vegas' Gears of War-style cover system incredibly well. You'll find yourself rappelling down the side of buildings and breaching in through the windows, smashing through skylights on fastropes, and taking advantages of every entry point to execute intricate squad-based strategy and clear out rooms before the enemies inside even have time to react. The game does an absolutely amazing job of making you really feel like you're a commando with a world-class team under his command. The AI in Vegas is nothing short of great. Obviously you'll see a huge difference between the normal and realistic settings, but even on normal your enemies will demonstrate solid execution of basic tactics. They will make good use of cover, try to flank you, and throw grenades at your position if you allow them to pin you down. Your teammates prove to be essential to your success in the single player campaign. They are incredibly responsive to your orders, and are extremely proficient both at drawing the enemy's fire as well as eliminating them. The sound quality in Vegas is great and there's some top-notch voice acting in there. However, the terrorist phrases (both the ones they shout during combat, as well as the ones they use when conversing amongst themselves when they haven't detected you) can get incredibly repetitive and there seem to be only 2 different terrorist voices throughout the game.

I won't spoil the ending, but I will say that it is almost certain to disappoint any player at the end of such a fun campaign you'll wish would've lasted longer. Still, there's lots of replay value to Vegas. The online multiplayer offers team-based deathmatch and retrieval/attack and defend modes as well as a co-op mode where up to 4 players can either team up to go on a "terrorist hunt" in which terrorists are scattered amongst a given map for your team's pleasure, or play a coop story where you and your team actually play cooperatively in the single-player campaign. Overall, Rainbow Six Vegas is a great game to own and is a must buy for any FPS lover.

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