It seems we’ll be revisiting Vegas through the eyes of Team Rainbow a little sooner than expected, with Rainbow Six Vegas 2 hitting in three short months. Anyone who’s finished the first Vegas may be wondering how that “To Be Continued” story is going to, uh, be continued. Worry not! We here at Ripten are prepped to give you the full mission brief.
In Vegas 2, you no longer play the role of the modernly generic-named Logan. Instead, your character is your own. Much like Mass Effect’s star Commander Shepard, you play as Bishop - male or female, black or white.
Ubisoft Montreal has included a full customization tool that let’s you configure your Bishop to look any way you can imagine, including your gear. You can reasonably recreate yourself in the game, or craft the devilishly handsome man-whore you always wished you could be.
Essentially, the PEC mode (Persistent Elite Creation) from the original’s multiplayer is fully implemented into the single-player experience, only this time they’ve added significantly to it and cleverly named it ACES.
ACES stands for Advanced Combat Enhancements and Specialization. It tracks everything you do and assigns you experience points in one of three categories:
+ Assault - shooting with reckless abandon (”spray and pray”) nets you Assault points, which eventually rewards you with additional automatic machine guns and SMG options.
+ Marksmanship - essentially the complete opposite of Assault - one shot, one kill. Marksmanship rewards include sniper rifles and other long-range weaponry options.
+ Close-Quarters Battle - kills within a certain distance of your enemy accumulate CQB points, rewards of which include in-your-face weapons like shotguns.
One of the coolest things about ACES, though, is that it’s an all-encompassing feature. They didn’t just add PEC mode to the single-player, they made the entire game a single-character experience. Your multiplayer face-shooter and single-player terrorist-stomper are one in the same. Your experience and rewards carry over across all game modes.
No longer will the rank-obsessed sluts be “forced” to play multiplayer in order to excel. Even better still, the objectives your pals complete in cooperative play earn some experience points for everyone on the team.
So now that you know how awesome your Bishop will be, what the hell is he doing in Vegas again?
Bishop begins the game alongside longtime Rainbow buddies Jung Park and Michael Walter. Their storyline starts at a point before the events of the first Rainbow Six Vegas, runs concurrently with the first game’s story, and then ends at some point after the original’s cliffhanger ending.
Ubisoft Montreal stresses that the story is the main focus of the game this time, and tries to keep you immersed in your character by planting your view in Bishop’s eyeballs during cutscenes.
You’ll also find yourself in all sorts of environments within the Vegas city limits (and some outside as well). You’ll still find plenty of casinos and neon lights, but Ubisoft Montreal has added a great deal of outdoor locales to mix things up. Take to the streets, blow up cars, shoot some terrorist fools in some rich dude’s back yard - plenty of time will be spent in the residential areas of the city.
Even with these larger, open environments, the team promises better graphics and a smoother framerate. They’ve also fine-tuned the gameplay with little things like bullet penetration and the ability to sprint.
So what does all this mean? While I don’t think most Rainbow Six Vegas players played the game for the story, it’s nice that Ubisoft Montreal wants to improve it. Some games with ****ty gameplay are actually brought up in value by a quality, well-presented story.
Now, of course, I don’t expect Vegas 2 to be ****ty, but it certainly won’t hurt the game to up the immersion factor and make you really care about your character. Then again, most players don’t pop terrorist melons and then sit around and philosophize about it, so let’s not forget why we play these games in the first place. Any terrorist in Vegas, stays in Vegas… because he’s dead.