Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rainbow Six Vegas (X360)

Just finished the demo on the Dec 2006 OXM disc
- graphics remind me a lot like GRAW. They're pretty good with a lot of nice lighting and smoke effects. I think they over do some of the motion blur effects.
- Frame rate is ok most of the time but it can get choppy when there is a lot of smoke, you have night vision on, and there are many tangos in the room.
- Controls are really well done. The cover system is excellent and more action oriented than graw. Aimed firing, blind firing, and grenade tosses from cover are all very well implemented. Giving team orders are really intuitive thanks to all the context sensitive actions. Just a great mix of action and tactics all tied together with a good control scheme.
- You only get part of one level in the demo and it's pretty darn long. There are checkpoints within the level which seem to be pretty well placed so far.
- I usually like to send my team members up front since you can heal them if they go down. If you go down well then it's back to the last check point.
- Team and enemy AI seem really good. They both make good use of cover and will even blind fire.

This seems like a really great game so far. The only thing that worries me a bit is the sometimes uneven frame rate.

UPDATE: 12/13/06
- framerate seemed fine in the final full version of the game
- FINISHED single player on normal. Just an amazing game. The difficulty ramps up quite a bit on the last level though. I few more check points would have been nice. Trying different tactics is critical to cracking a tough room. Some tips on some tough parts (potential minor spoilers):
- Nevada dam hack into the floodgate control computer:
I just rushed out on to the dam and to the little house and told my buddy to hack the computer as soon as possible. Then immediately I head back out side and move back the direction I just came from and took cover on the right side. My buddy took cover behind a crate on the left. I kept shooting and covering the direction where we came from and my buddy covered my back. I think I only once had to turn around and help him out. Switch to single fire (because there are a LOT of bad guys to shoot) and zoom in. Got past it on my second try. As soon as he finishes hacking you get another save point.
- I think I picked up a terrorist weapon (sig 552 or maybe a famas) by that time since on this level you will eventually run out of ammo.
- I bring up the map quite often to find out where all the baddies are. This is what tipped me off on my first attempt when I died that they appear behind you. I was like WTF where did they come from.
- Single fire does sound awesome and I do use it in select scenarios where you face overwhelming numbers at a good distance (like the above). You really can make a clip last a lot longer and take down guys on average in 2 shots. That reload time even on short bursts can really let the enemies close in.
- I had more difficulty where you storm a dark room full of crates and shelves that is two levels with two different entry ways. It felt like there were 20 guys in there all using incendiary grenades messing up your thermal goggles. I tried it LOTS of times. Eventually I stuck my buddies outside the far double doors but did NOT order them in or clear the room (instant death for them and no way to get to them). They were there just to cover my flank and draw a bit of fire. I then went to the other double doors and stood outside, peeking in and taking pot shots, and luring them out a few at a time until I finally thinned them down enough to let my buddies storm in and clean up. Now THAT was a tough room.

- I played a round 2hrs of multiplayer last night. I started with team sharpshooter (infinite respawn team deathmatch) which is a good way to get the feel of things without a lot of waiting around. It was fun but a bit grenade heavy for my tastes. They seem a bit too powerful. I still love single fire mode on the UMP for medium to long distance targets.
- I takes a long time to "level" your character. I still haven't been promoted yet.
- My digital avatar looked better in game.
- Story mode co-op is fantastic (almost but not quite as good as gears co-op). You basically get to play through the single player campaign with up to 4 players minus some story elements. Good times...until my x360 locked up solid...and I was the host.

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