Ubisoft's Montreal Studio have produced some great smash-hit video games, such as Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell and Rayman Raving Rabbids to name a few. So when we were invited to visit the world famous studios to play Rainbow Six Vegas 2, all expenses paid of course, we were obviously excited. We sent our very own Luke De'ath to fly the ConsoleMonster kite high. Here's what he had to say:
Me, and four other eager journalists all waited in the luxurious surroundings of the Opus Hotel. Montreal is covered in foot after foot of snow which made it look like a picture postcard. Idyllic, but man was it cold! We were greeted by a lively and excited LevelUp (Ubisoft's Community Developer) and Korina (Ubisoft's Community Manager) who showed us the itinerary for the day, and introduced us to our special HD Camera man, who would follow us around the whole day, filming our journey and capturing our thoughts and gameplay experiences.
Jumping into our taxi we traveled to the studio, being filmed the whole way. Once we arrived at the studio after a funny and ‘interesting’ journey we disembarked the cab, took a big breath and walked through the Ubisoft glass doors. Everything was going well, until the Camera man remembered he had left some of his equipment in the Taxi, who by this time had now pulled away. After a moment of shock, he started stuttering, "Ta-ta-ta-TAXI!!!!" before chasing the fast disappearing taxi down the icy roads. Having realised he couldn't run as fast as a car, he hailed another cab and chased the taxi out of our sight. You honestly couldn’t make up this material, we’re just gutted we didn’t have it on camera for our blooper reel.
Once our camera man returned with his equipment (I know you were all worried) we were sat down to sign our NDA’s (Non-Disclosure Agreements) and taken on a limited tour around the studio. Due to new titles which haven’t been revealed to the general public, we could only see parts of the old but famous building. Once the tour finished we were sat down in front of eight Xbox 360’s, eight Televisions, a huge poster and, of course, the camera man. We were told a little bit about Rainbow Six Vegas 2 then split up into teams of two.
The first part of the game I managed to get hands-on with was the Co-Op Single-player Campaign. Rainbow Six Vegas 2 takes place before, during and after the events of the original Rainbow Six Vegas.
‘ONLY A TRUE LEADER PLUNGES INTO THE DARK WOODS OF DEFEAT AND EMERGES INTO THE LIGHT OF VICTORY’
The first mission takes us back five years in Pic Des Pyrénées – France. You assume the role of Bishop and hook up with D - more commonly known as Ding Chavez. Rainbow Six has always distanced itself from the run-and-shoot titles such as Call of Duty and Battlefield 1942 and leans strongly on an emphasis of team-work, and as you know, there’s no 'I' in team. Terrorists have secured an observatory in the beautiful snow covered mountains which the EU rely on immensely. You’ll have to move fast and silent, making sure not to alert the enemy to your location. This is your chance to show off your new recruit, as you move silently from room to room with great speed and accuracy.
The visual presentation in Rainbow Six Vegas 2 have improved ten-fold, which is outstanding. While there are one or two game sequels on the Xbox 360 that have slightly improved graphics, no title even comes close to the visual gameplay elements found in this beast. Trust me it will blow your socks off!
The main feature you’ll notice is the XP (Experience Points) at the bottom-middle of your screen, which you’ll require for neutralizing enemy units. You can keep track of your statistics via the A.C.E.S (Advanced Combat Enhancement and Specialization) system via your start button. This is split up into three sections;
- CQB (Close Quarters Battles)
In Rainbow Six Vegas 2 you can now take your offline profile online, and vice-versa, earning experience points in both realms - so if you do pick up the title late you won’t be out matched online.
After a short lunch break we’re treated to a head-to-head with four of the game testers for Rainbow Six Vegas 2.
We were also treated even more as J.P – Lead Multiplayer Designer for Vegas 2 – joined our team to even up the sides a little. After being destroyed for the first few games, we started to get into the game and we began to learn from our mistakes. I usually ranked highly throughout, while the other reviewers kindly absorbed the majority of the oppositions' bullets. (Thanks Eurogamer!)
Ubisoft have now added two more adverisary multi-player game-modes added to Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 as well as all your old favourites such as:
- Team Death-match
- Attack & Defend
The new game modes include:
Team Leader – Similar to VIP on titles such as Team Fortress, but with a slight twist. You'll need to protect the VIP while he/she gets to an extraction point across the map. Players will re-spawn as long as the VIP is alive, once the VIP is dead there are no more team respawns, and it turns into a last man standing. The difference here though is that there are two VIPs, one on each side.
Attack and Defend: Demolition – If you’ve played Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare you’ll be well at home with Rainbow Six’s Demolition mode. Pick up the bomb, plant the bomb, defend the bomb from being defused and once the bomb has been planted there's a role reversal, where defenders become attackers and attackers become defenders.
Total Conquest – Three satellites have been placed throughout the map, entitled A, B and C. Once all three satellites have been captured by one team a 30 second timer will count down. If one of the three satellites is taken backby enemy forces the countdown stops, creating a thoroughly fun mode for all.
The new game-modes are very welcome indeed and with up to 16 players via Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold Service this adds to an already intense and fast paced multi-player experience.
Customizing your character plays a huge part in Rainbow Six games and, just like Vegas 1, you’ll be able to re-design your character, add custom camouflage (once 400,000 XP points achieved) helmets, goggles and body armour. While this starts off quite limited, you can unlock a huge array of items just by playing the game and earning XP.
The controls in RSV2 are fantastically easy to use, while many of the button layouts have remained the same as the original RSV so you’ll be able to jump right in to the action with little to no learning curve. You can also change the layouts in the options menu which was pointed as a ‘neat’ feature by Ubisoft.
While I wished I could continue playing on with the Single and Multi-player modes it was time for a quick Question and Answering session with two of the Rainbow Six Vegas 2 developers, which was filmed and will be posted up on Ubisoft’s official site soon along with the rest of the trip.
In closing, Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is an exciting, challenging, single player and multi-player experience which will keep you on the edge of your seats. It has a gripping storyline, new online game-modes, improved graphics, extensive weaponry and more than enough to keep even the most hardcore gamer entertained. It was well worth the wait.
Keep an eye out on ConsoleMonster for a full game review, a HUGE give-away competition, and the HD video filmed on set.