Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is a tactical shooter video game and the sequel to Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas. It was announced by Ubisoft on November 20, 2007. The game was released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows-based PCs on March 19, 2008 in North America and March 20 in Europe, except in Germany, where the game has been delayed.
A world-exclusive first-look of the game appeared in the January edition of the Official Xbox Magazine. One of the biggest announcement of the game is that Logan Keller, the lead character from the previous game, has been removed in favor of having the player create his own character to play through the campaign. The player will assume the role of Bishop, a member of the Rainbow squad with a great deal more experience who is more deeply involved in the story. The game is billed as "part sequel, part prequel", as the events of the campaign run both before and concurrently to the story of Logan Keller and continue after where the first game concluded.
New features include an enhanced version of the "Persistent Elite Creation" or "PEC" system. Players can now customize their character. Where in the first game, the player could only customize the multiplayer character, in this game there will be only 1 character for single player and multiplayer game modes. This further shows itself in the fact that experience points are now achieved through all the game modes, online as well as offline, whereas in the first game, XP was only obtained by playing the online multiplayer game modes. There is a new sprint button that allow players to weave in and out of cover at a quicker pace, the pace and stamina will be contingent upon the players armor level.
The campaign now focuses on the seedier side of Las Vegas, with more outdoor combat and daytime missions. Also, certain missions now see a real-time day/night cycle. Certain kinds of cover can now be penetrated by weapons-fire, and parts of the environment are now destructible. The player can now sprint for a short distance. Rather than two difficulty modes, the game now has three (Casual, Normal and Realistic).
An additional system implemented in the game is the "Advanced Combat Enhancement and Specialization" or ACES, where players will be rewarded with different weapons based on tactics used in the game. The ACES system is divided into three parts: Marksmanship, Assault, and Close-Quarter Battle. Most kills the player makes fall into one of these three categories and scored based upon how the kill was performed (a headshot would count towards Marksmanship, or shooting through a wall counts towards assault, or killing an enemy while blinded by a flashbang would count towards CQB). By getting a high enough score in a category, the player unlocks a specific item for that category; for example, the Assault category might reward the player with a new type of shotgun, while the Marksmanship category might reward the player with a new type of sniper rifle. Even though the ACES system goes across modes there are certain rewards that can only be unlocked in single or multiplayer (reference: Media Broadcast).
The game begins five years ago in Píc des Pyreneés, France. Bishop is deployed by Rainbow to a science observatory, in which a group of European Union hostages must be rescued. As the local police and Rainbow squads surround the area and begin the negotiations, Bishop is cheered by Domingo 'D' Chavez and given command of Bravo Team, consisting of him and his two newest trainees, Logan Keller and Gabriel Nowak.
Lt. Monroe, the negotiator, plans to talk to the terrorists in-person, effectively distracting their attention while Rainbow’s Alpha Team (Domingo-led) and Bravo teams on the operation get into place. Bishop takes Keller and Nowak to their assigned position and waits for Alpha to get in place. However, before Alpha arrives, Nowak fires prematurely, believing one terrorist to be about to execute an hostage. Bishop is then forced to fire onto the terrorists, but Monroe is killed by collateral gunfire from the terrorists who panicked when Nowak first opened fire.
Six then radios in, giving Bishop Alpha’s sit-rep, but Bishop responds by saying that the situation “is over, but Monroe is dead. We need to talk” : Nowak attempts to apologize for what he has done, but Bishop retorts back,
Six then tells Bishop that there are terrorists scrambling to escape and that they needs to neutralize them. He also informs Bishop that there is a bomb that needs to be defused. When Bishop arrives, Nowak is assigned to defuse the bomb, and per Nowak’s request, Bishop and Keller distance themselves to give Nowak “space” to work with. The bomb is successfully defused, but in a sudden attack terrorists open fire on Nowak, who falls and starts to scream helplessly into the radio, shouting “I knew this would happen! Don’t leave me here! I knew this would happen, damn it!” as Keller and Bishop assures him that they are not leaving him behind. Alpha team then arrive and quell the situation, beginning to give first aid to Nowak just as the level ends.
The game then moves five years forward to July 2, 2010, at 6:27 P.M. local time, in Las Vegas. Bishop is in a Eurocopter Panther helicopter with Jung Park (electronics specialist) and Michael Walter (demolitions expert) as his teammates, Sharon Judd as their intel officer/coordinator and Gary Kenyon as the pilot of the chopper. Six contacts Bishop via secure satellite video, effectively giving Bishop a sit-rep of what operation is to come : Miguel and Alvarez Cabrero, two human traffickers (“people smugglers” or coyotes) have suddenly come in interest of taking up small arms trafficking and even more recently, chemical weapons. Though Rainbow and the National Security Agency (NSA) seem certain that the Cabrero brothers are running the operation for the opposition, they both want Bishop’s new team to investigate the matter firsthand. Six informs Bishop that Logan Keller is running a separate operation down in Mexico.
Bishop, Park and Walter finally set foot on ground and make their way into the warehouse that the NSA believes the Cabrero brothers are running their operation from. Following a failed attempt to save Neville, an undercover NSA agent who's cover is blown, Bishop and his team fight through a plethora of terrorists into another warehouse, where they find Hispanic hostages held at gunpoint by more terrorists.
After a quick rescue,the Team is picked up by Rainbow's helicopter, which goes to a recreational facility where the Cabrero's chemical weapons have showed up at. Upon reaching the facility and securing the area, Walter searches the stash where the chemical bombs are presumed to be located. Not finding them, Bishop decides as team leader that the team has the responsibility to save the people inside a Las Vegas sports stadium from a bioterrorist attack.
However, the team gets to the bomb site too late. Walter blames himself for not saving the people trapped in the stadium, but Bishop accepts full responsibility, for "[he] made the call."
Sharon Judd then notifies Bishop that he and his team need to catch the younger Cabrero brother, Miguel, whose disguised himself as a HAZMAT operative and escaped the Arena. In a chase for Miguel, Bishop eliminates all of the terrorists protecting him, leaving Miguel vulnerable to on-the-spot interrogation, specifically as to what happened to the second bioterrorist bomb. The brother at first denies any knowledge of the bomb, but after Bishop threatens by allowing Michael to pull the trigger, Miguel confesses the location, and attempts to draw a sidearm to shoot Bishop, but is shot before he could have a chance to fire it.
A somewhat important hostage, Dennis Cohen, is then saved by the team at the Las Vegas International Convention Center. Here, Bishop learns from Sharon that the other bomb is located on a monorail headed towards a high-density populated area of Las Vegas. Bishop heads over to the monorail, though Walter is unable to defuse the bomb. Bishop cleverly orders Walter that the bomb to be detonated, just not in a civilian area, ultimately fulfilling both NSA Deputy Director Lawrence's order to "get rid of the bomb" as well as Six's order, "Rainbow's priority is to save civilian lives." As the team is about to evacuate, an NSA agent makes contact with Bishop, informing him of a situation in a downtown penthouse where the terrorists are taking over.
The team then heads over to the aforementioned upscale Las Vegas penthouse, where the last bomb is located. As Sharon briefs the team that Echo Team has been dispatched to assist Bravo, she is shot by a sniper. The helicopter then nearly crashes as Gary is struggling to hold Sharon and keep the aircraft steady ; Bravo Team ropes down, eliminates the sniper and proceed down to the building. Echo drops in too, only to be obliterated a few minutes later when a bomb explodes, vaporizing the level Echo team was securing.
In an ensuing casino battle with terrorists, Bishop relieves a SWAT team and rescues many civilian hostages, leading to a revelation that there is yet another bomb held in a Chinese theater, protected by heavily armed terrorists. Walter successfully defused the bomb, and the team proceeds to clean the roof to get extracted. As every single terrorist is killed, D contacts Bishop to inform him that Logan's Alpha team has been ambushed, resulting in the capturing of his teammates (Kan and Gabriel) ; Bishop is supposed to handle leadership of Bravo to Logan and return to the base.
On the roof the NSA agent joins Bishop in the helicopter at extraction saying that Alvarez has been spotted in an airstrip in the desert, and that because Alvarez is responsible for the bombing of several Las Vegas hotspots (e.g. casino, hotel, convention center, stadium, train station), Alvarez is too dangerous to let escape. Not letting Alvarez have the chance to escape, Bishop rushes over to confront Alvarez personally.
The helicopter arrives at an oil-refinery close to the airstrips position. But due to heavy resistance at the airstrip, Bishop is forced to make his way down from the oil-refinery. He is dropped in on a roof of a gas station while the NSA agent is dropped in a different location to provide Bishop with intelligence on the surrounding situation. Bishop is then forced to fight alone, making his way through the refinery and into an abandoned train-yard. When Bishop finally reaches the refinery's airstrip, the NSA agent is revealed to be Gabriel Nowak, who shoots and kills Alvarez. He is revealed to be the traitor and taunts Bishop before terrorists attempt to kill him. With the help of Bravo's helicopter pilot, Gary, Bishop survives.
Six orders Bishop to stand down, however he, Jung, and Walter follow Nowak to a Costa Rican villa. The team begins to storm the house, killing terrorists as they go. Suddenly, a helicopter engine is heard and Rainbow operatives begin to drop in, with Logan as their leader. As Bishop says that Bravo won't retreat, Logan quotes Bishop's teachings about trusting and protecting each other. As the teams split up to find Gabriel, Bravo is ambushed in the same fashion that they were trapped in the Pic des Pyrénée, with Michael incapacitated by a bomb as was Gabriel by a terrorist attack, with the rest of the team ambushed and under heavy fire. However, Bishop and Jung manage to get rid of the terrorist and set Mike back on his feet quickly. Shortly after that, Bishop confronts Gabriel, alone ; however, an attack helicopter and more of Gabriel's terrorists attack. Bishop manages to trick the helicopter into radioing for assistance, which lets Joanna Torres, Keller's intelligence officer, target the helicopter and shoot it down with a surface-to-air missile. Finally, Gabriel and Bishop meet face to face, with Gabriel gloating that he outsmarted all of Rainbow, and arguing that he should have been punished for what happened in the Pyreneés, blaming Bishop for cover him in every mistake he made. Gabriel draws his gun but Bishop shoots first. Michael and Jung appear out of the bordering gardens, and Rainbow operatives arrive with prisonners at gunpoint. D radioes in, berating Bishop for desobeying direct orders. As Mike begins to defend Bishop, D reassures them by placing Bishop as Deputy Director of Rainbow, working in Hereford with Six. Mike express his happiness and Jung states that it isn't too early to happen, and they depart from the villa.
In co-op, players will now be able to experience the full single-player campaign -- the previous game skipped several cut-scenes and all of the in-game media (such as the picture-in-picture talking head briefings given out during each mission and Logan's responses to the NPCs). As a result, the co-op experience has been reduced to a maximum of two players, down from four in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas. Unlike the co-op mode in the original Rainbow Six: Vegas, the AI teammates will remain in the game during co-op and can be given orders and go-codes by the primary player. The second player assumes the role of Knight, a silent and never mentionned character, yet stated to be Bishop's old friend and teammate. With him, however, the team is more powerful and dispatches the terrorist faster. For example, Knight can assume the role of a sniper or a secondary machine gunner, or even a pointman protected by a shield. He fills the usually empty 4th seat in the helicopter and backs previously alone Bishop in the refinery level.
The multiplayer in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 has been expanded to include more than 10 new close-quarters maps, two new adversarial modes, a newer and different rewards system, and according to Ubisoft, improved online matchmaking. The experience point (XP) system is different than the old Vegas, for every kill achieved the player gains XP. Also, unlike its predecessor, the XP system is tied in with the campaign mode as well. The gained XP results in promotions which rewards the player with new equipment. Players also receive bonuses from the A.C.E.S combat system based on achieving goals and the methods used to kill opponents, much like the single-player and co-op modes. A.C.E.S also result in the unlocking of new weapons. Another feature for multiplayer is that using a Xbox Live Vision camera or a PlayStation Eye, the player could take a picture of his/her face and make him/herself the playable character. A camera can also be used in the PC version as well to create a playable character.
The limited edition for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 was released on launch day. Differences between the regular and the limited edition include a collectible poker chip keychain, a bonus disc containing a strategy video, an interview with FinestX (a "pro gamer" according to the game box), an MLG insider video containing hints and tips about the online modes, along with a sneak peek at Tom Clancy's EndWar.
Previous Rainbow Six games up to Lockdown supported eight human players on the PC in co-op mode, while Rainbow Six: Vegas reduced co-op from eight human players to four human players. Although Terrorist Hunt mode retains the four human player limit, story mode in Rainbow Six Vegas 2 has reduced co-op from four human players to two human players, with the second human player assuming the position of Knight, Bishop's teammate.
As of July 24, 2008 the game has sold six million copies worldwide.
The game received generally positive reviews from critics. The Xbox 360 version had an average score of 85% based on 18 reviews on the review aggregator Game Rankings, and on Metacritic had an average score of 84 out of 100, based on 24 reviews.
The PS3 version had an average score of 86% based on 11 reviews on Game Rankings, and an average score of 86 out of 100 based on 13 reviews from Metacritic.
In the March issue of Game Informer Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 was given a review of 9.25.
IGN gave the Xbox 360 version an 8.4, where the main criticism was that the game was too similar to the first, and citing slight framerate issues on the PS3 version.
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- ↑ http://www.schnittberichte.com/news.php?ID=743
- ↑ http://xbox360.ign.com/objects/142/14220053.html
- ↑ Team Rainbow Returns to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Rainbow Six Franchise in Sin City in 2008. Ubisoft (2007-11-20). Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
- ↑ First details on Rainbow Six Vegas 2.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 IGN: Rainbow Six Vegas 2 Interview, Page 2.
- ↑ Computer and Video Games Website
- ↑ Philippe Therien (game designer), Official Ubisoft Forums.