Rainbow Six: Vegas is a solid example of a good, squad based FPS.Â It combines excellent teammate AI with deadly enemies, turning you from gung-ho hero into a team member.Â You are a part of this team and in many cases *you* are the weak link.Â This is a very different feel from your average FPS, where you can run out and do anything.
It is also very different from simply playing on a high difficulty.Â Being killed easily here is not the same as a cheapshot from a random soldier who only shoots at you on COD4’s Veteran difficulty.Â It is because your tactics fell apart and you were flanked (similar to the excellent Brothers in Arms series).
Let’s not mess with a bad thing: compliment sandwich time.
+Fun extra mechanics.Â As you can see in this picture, you can rappel.Â When rappelling you can flip upside down and shoot people with the pistol, jump down faster, control where your men move with simple D-pad interface, or crash in through the glass.Â There are also various ladders, fast ropes, and door breaches.Â You can order teammates to perform these tasks, or you can do them yourself.Â Often, you will be doing them in tandem: having your teammates prepare and descend one side while you do the other, then remotely order them to crash in the moment before you crash in yourself.Â The sheer polish on each of the different encounters is just plain fun.Â Once the encounter begins, it falls back on solid cover-driven gunplay.
-Cheap spawns can ruin encounters.Â Halfway through a firefight, it is not uncommon to have enemies do the exact same thing to you.Â Random fastropes and glass shattering, or previously “just part of the wall” doors explode open revealing a small army of opposition storming the room.Â They will then kill you if you happen to be next to them.Â As they say, it’s fun to give, but not always fun to recieve.
+If you have access to cover, however, then you can use the greatest cover system in Video Game History.Â I can imagine the Gears of War designers dropping their jaws when this game hit.Â Pulling Left trigger sticks you to cover; letting go detachs.Â While on Cover, moving the Left stick will allow you to pop out in whichever direction.Â Blind-fire is easy.Â It is impossible to accidentially take cover, and rare you will stick to cover you didn’t intend to (the wrong side of an inside corner).
-You can’t be brought back to life like your teammates.Â Your teammates can go down with a few well placed shots, and you can then order the other teammate to heal them.Â Or *you* can run up to heal them.Â If you wait too long then they will die and you will lose.Â These are tense moments and add to the fun in a firefight.Â If you go down, however, it is Game Over.Â This can be a little frustrating since some deaths are cheap hits from the last guy on the map.Â You *know* the game should just let you get up again as he is taken down as you are still hitting the floor.Â Republic Commando had the best behavior here: When you went down you had the option of ‘asking for help’ or ‘Loading the checkpoint’.Â You could just quit, but if you waited a bit your team could often clear the remaining room and heal you.Â You just had to lay there and look at the ceiling a bit, watching the firefight from the corner of your eye.Â If all 4 of you went down, only then it was Game Over.
+A well placed shot can take you out.Â This may sound bad, but in actuality it is one of the strongest points.Â I played a lot of Rainbow Six (the first one for the PC) which was the first ‘single hit to chest’ FPS.Â Before Rainbow Six was Quake, where it took an entire rocket to take you down.Â I went into the R6V demo expecting another generic Swat FPS.Â My first encounter: I peeked over the top of a crate and was shot a single time.Â “That’s different.”Â And different is good in the Xbox360 world of every 2nd game is an FPS.
+A spray of not-so-well-placed shots can take them out.Â Everyone suffers from this newfound “bullets are lethal” rule.Â Spray and Pray often works to your advantage as you really only need to hit them once or twice to take them out.Â Panic doesn’t always equal death, just an empty clip.
-Multiplayer doesn’t adhere to the same great rules of singleplayer.Â Cover is usually a death sentence as someone just strafes around or shoots you as you come out of cover.Â Granted: Multiplayer is still incredibly fun and exciting, just dissapointing it can’t incorporate the excellent cover mechanic you are reliant on in Singleplayer.
That’s it for now.Â I think I’m more than halfway through the game, so given just a bit more time I can finally jump into some R6V2.