Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
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|Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2|
|Series||Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One|
|Genre(s)||Tactical shooter, first-person shooter|
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is the seventh installment in the Rainbow Six series. It is a first-person 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 and PlayStation 3 on March 18, 2008, in North America and March 20, 2008, in Europe, except in Germany, where the game was delayed. This game is also available for Xbox One via backward compatibility.  The Microsoft Windows version, however, was delayed until April 15, 2008. It was released in Japan on April 24, 2008, for the Xbox 360 and on May 29, 2008, for the PlayStation 3.
Logan Keller, the lead character from the previous game, had been removed in favour of having the player create their own character to play through the campaign. The player assumes the role of Bishop, a member of the Rainbow squad with a great deal more experience who has a deeper involvement in the story.
The game, billed as "part sequel, part prequel", has events that run both before and concurrently to the story of Logan Keller and continue after where the first game concluded. In addition to the ability to customize a character in multiplayer, the player can now customize Bishop, Vegas 2's protagonist. In single-player, the developers claim to have vastly improved teammate AI, so that now teammates cover each other as they advance. There are also several new commands, for example, the ability of a teammate to throw a grenade at a specific point. It is also possible to give commands to one's AI teammates using the Xbox 360, Xbox One, or PlayStation 3 headset, or a PC microphone.
Bishop is the main protagonist that the player controls and guides throughout the events of Rainbow Six: Vegas 2. The appearance and gender vary, depending on the intended look by the player. If co-op mode is enabled, Knight, whose appearance also varies depending on how the player desires them to look, accompanies Bishop on missions. Knight's role, however, is limited as merely a co-op player, and Knight is not critical to the single player campaign's story. Playing as Knight allows the player to unlock co-op achievements.
Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 includes a single-player campaign/storyline mode as well as a variation of the Terrorist Hunt mode included in previous games, which involves repeated encounters with enemy AI terrorists in a non-linear map.
Terrorist Hunt mode may be played in "Lone Wolf" (alone) or with a pair of computer-controlled allies that may be issued environment-based contextual commands. Both the campaign and Terrorist Hunt game modes support cooperative multiplayer which can have up to three friends playing. Present in all game modes is a multi-dimensional advancement system.
The game goes into third-person mode when the player takes cover behind a wall or piece of the environment. While in third-person mode, the player can shoot enemies blindly or aim using the reticle, without the ability to look directly into their weapons aiming sights, unless a scope is attached.
The multiplayer in 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. Another feature for multiplayer is that using an Xbox Live Vision camera or a PlayStation Eye, the player could take a picture of their face and make themselves the playable character. A camera can be used in the PC version to create a playable character. Ubisoft released downloadable content for Vegas 2, a fan pack that includes three maps from the Rainbow Six Vegas and new XP ranks.
Up to four players can play together in co-op. Although Terrorist Hunt mode retains the four human player limit (online only), the story mode in Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 has reduced co-op from four players to two players, with the second player assuming the position of Knight, Bishop's teammate.
The experience point (XP) system is different from that in Rainbow Six: Vegas in that every kill achieved awards the player XP. XP gains result in promotions which reward the player with new equipment, such as body armour. Players also receive bonuses from the ACES combat system, a separate but related advancement system from the XP system. ACES advancement is based on the methods used to kill opponents, and weaponry unlocked differs depending on which tactics are used. Experience can be gained by the player in any game mode, single player or multiplayer, and advancement is shared amongst all modes. Equipment unlocked in one mode is usable in all other modes.
The events of the game begin shortly before the events of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield. Bishop, along with his teammates Logan Keller and Gabriel Nowak, is sent on a botched hostage rescue operation in Pic des Pyrénées, France in which a Rainbow hostage negotiator is killed due to Gabriel defying orders by opening fire before additional Rainbow operatives arrive. After securing the hostages, Bishop and Keller cover Nowak while he defuses a nearby bomb. Nowak is injured during a brief firefight shortly afterward and verbally lashes out at Bishop, taking out his apparent shame and anger on the team. Alpha Team, led by Domingo "Ding" Chavez, arrives and quell the situation and Nowak is rescued.
The game then moves forward to 2010 in Las Vegas, with Bishop commanding a new team on a mission in Las Vegas, Nevada. The National Security Agency (NSA) suspects two coyotes, Miguel and Alvarez Cabreros, of smuggling chemical weapons from Mexico into Las Vegas. The Cabreros are alerted when they discover and kill an undercover agent from the NSA, forcing Bishop's team to rush to the warehouse containing the weapons. The team is delayed by a hostage situation that Bishop declares to be of top priority. During the ensuing rescue operation, the NSA informs a van possibly containing explosives has fled the scene. Following the rescue, Bishop learns that in addition to a chemical bomb there is a conventional explosive device. The team locates the escaped chemical weapons van but turns up nothing. They frantically search the area but reach the target, a Las Vegas recreational center and sports complex, too late. The chemical weapon is detonated, and many innocent lives are lost.
Immediately afterward, Bishop's team learns that the younger Cabrero brother, Miguel, has escaped the area. Bishop's team gives chase, cornering and interrogating him in the Neon Boneyard. At first, Miguel denies any knowledge of the bomb, but after the team threatens him he confesses the location of the second bomb. Miguel then draws a weapon on the team and Bishop is forced to kill him. It is heavily implied during this scene that Bishop antagonizes Miguel into drawing his weapon, allowing Bishop to shoot him without any repercussions from the agency.
As Miguel told Bishop that the second bomb is on its way to the Las Vegas Convention Center, the team redeploys to the centre quickly, fighting through the huge building to find the chief of security being held by Alvarez Cabrero. The chief is wired up with explosives to kill him and deny the NSA evidence that he could leak. Upon defusing this device, Bishop learns that the second bomb is located on a monorail headed towards the Las Vegas Hilton hotel. Bishop's team fights their way to the bomb and disables its timer, but they are unable to disable the bomb's remote detonation circuitry in a timely manner. Thinking quickly, Bishop suggests detonating the bomb themselves in an unpopulated area after sending it to a safe distance by activating the train. At this point, Bishop is contacted by an NSA agent, who tells him/her that the terrorists have set up in a Las Vegas penthouse and are preparing another attack.
As Bishop's team nears the penthouse, a sniper injures Sharon Judd, despite assurances by the NSA agent of a safe landing zone; fast-roping to the penthouse, the team proceeds to clear the building. Echo Team is deployed to take the other side of the building but are killed in a large explosion as Bishop's Bravo Team pushes forward, revealing the entire assault to be an ambush. After rappelling from the penthouse to the casino below and fighting through more terrorists, Bishop learns that there is a third bomb held in a Chinese theatre. The team assaults the theatre and successfully defuses the bomb and saving several hostages. The team escapes and fights their way to the roof and is extracted once the roof is clear. Mike and Jung are then ordered to assist Logan in cleaning up Las Vegas following his team's ambush.
On the roof, the NSA agent, wearing a balaclava, joins Bishop in the helicopter, saying that Alvarez Cabrero has been spotted at an airstrip in the desert. Bishop and the NSA agent enter the area at separate locations, and Bishop fights his/her way through an oil refinery and abandoned train-yard in order to get closer to the airstrip. When Bishop arrives, he/she discovers the NSA agent speaking with Cabrero. The agent is revealed to be Gabriel Nowak, who shoots and kills Alvarez. Nowak then insults Bishop, implying involvement in all of the team's recent troubles, before terrorists appear and attack. Bishop attempts to defend himself but is knocked unconscious by an exploding airplane that he/she is hiding by. Bishop regains consciousness, having been dragged to safety by Gary Kenyon (the helicopter pilot), and reports to Ding. The latter orders Bishop to stand down.
Bishop, Keller, and Bravo Team, defying orders to stand down, follow Gabriel to a Costa Rican villa. As Bravo Team storms the complex, Nowak taunts Bishop and reveals that he was going to sell information about Rainbow operatives and their families to terrorists and criminals. Bishop closes in and attempts to face Gabriel alone; however, an attack helicopter and support troops arrive. Bishop manages to trick the helicopter into radioing for assistance, and Joanna Torres, Keller's intelligence officer, manages to triangulate the chopper based on its radio signal, eventually shooting it down with a SAM battery. Gabriel and Bishop finally meet face to face. Gabriel gloats, claiming that he has outsmarted all of Rainbow and arguing that Bishop should have let him fix his own mistakes, including what happened in France, while Bishop tries to calm him down. Nowak eventually draws his weapon, and Bishop is forced to defend himself/herself, shooting Nowak as the rest of Bishop's team arrive from the other side. Bishop is berated by Chavez for disobeying orders but is offered a position as deputy director of Rainbow at Rainbow HQ, Hereford, England.
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 pro gamer FinestX, an MLG insider video containing hints and tips about the online modes, and a sneak peek into Tom Clancy's EndWar.
Anti-Piracy 1.02 update fiasco
In July 2008, Ubisoft released the 1.02 version update patch. In addition to adding new weapons and maps, the update also secretly installed a disc check anti-piracy countermeasure. This would check whether or not a legally purchased disc copy of the game was inserted in the PC's disc drive and prevent the game from loading if it detected no disc. While this was not an issue for players who purchased a physical copy, the anti-piracy update also carried over to the digital copies sold through IGN's Direct2Drive service. Anyone who purchased a digital copy was locked out of the game. The anti-piracy patch was so hard-coded into the game and even Windows that Ubisoft couldn't fix the problem when they were aware of it. These problems were finally rectified with update version 1.03. But when a user imported the update into a Hex editor, it was discovered that Ubisoft's "official" patch solving the problem was a No-CD crack ironically taken from a pirated games website and re-released as an official patch. They did not even remove the hacker's credits in the line of code.
The game received generally positive reviews from critics. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 83.56% and 81 out of 100 for the PlayStation 3 version; 82.77% and 82 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version; and 78.39% and 78 out of 100 for the PC version.
In the April 2008 issue of Game Informer Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 was given a review of 9.25 out of 10. IGN gave the Xbox 360 version an 8.4 out of 10 and the PlayStation 3 version an 8.2 for the original version, and an 8.4 for its Limited Edition, where the main criticism was that the game was too similar to the first, and citing slight frame-rate issues on the PS3 version. TeamXbox gave the game a score of 8.4 out of ten and said it was "definitely worth a look-see, but don’t expect much more excitement than the first time you plopped Lockdown into that fat, black console."
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