Games developers are sounding more and more like political parties these days, what with all the talk of going "back to basics" flying about. Driver maker Reflections used the phrase to define Parallel Lines, while Tomb Raider chaps Crystal Dynamics went back to the drawing board for the latest Lara adventure. And so it is with yet another long-running series, Ubisoft's 'other' Tom Clancy cash cow, Rainbow Six. It aims to replace the insipid whimpering of the last couple of titles with something decidedly more BANG-like.
Sticking with the political theme, the latest outing for Team Rainbow is set to be a sleaze-sozzled trip to Las Vegas as the boys decide to celebrate Ding Chavez's impending marriage by filling slots left, right and centre and gambling the night away. And not necessarily in that order.
What's that? Stop talking out of our what? Alright then, it's not a stag do but a terrorist threat - surprise, surprise - which brings the lads to Sin City. There's a new team to get to know, and a new emphasis to the gameplay that concentrates on making everything as exciting and as tense as the first games were.
The game's story-arc is set to a taut 12-hour timeframe - possibly the result of a terrorist ultimatum - and while objective-led gameplay can be expected, there will be a certain amount of flexibility to how each task is approached. What's really interesting, though, is the way the game focuses more on protecting the public first rather than actual terrorist blasting. Through the newly cut-scene-free gameplay, Rainbow Six: Vegas will try to make you all emotional. The plan is you'll end up feeling an affinity for all those innocent (albeit drunken) tourists.
We're expecting proper hardcore action in Vegas, like abseiling down the side of a hotel, crashing through the window SAS-style, then clearing the room with sense-battering flashbangs and whatnot. Logan Keller is the new leader, and backing him up are tech-geek Jung Park (hacking hotshot) and Michael Walters (brute force expert), with Ubisoft promising much-improved intelligence for them and the enemies. The game is looking spectacular, even now, and for the first time in a while we're genuinely excited at the prospect of another Rainbow adventure. Let's just hope it keeps up its promise and doesn't flop and underwhelm like PS2 Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter did. The signs are it won't.