Oh, and while we're on the subject of squad mates, their banter is well-scripted, but the voice acting is rotten like a month old carton of milk. Just where the hell is your new squad mate Michels supposed to be from? His accent is part snobby Brit, part Texan, and part Australian, and it drains all atmosphere out of what are supposed to be emotionally meaningful scenes, like a fart on a first date.
ENEMY OF THE GREAT
In stark contrast to that, the terrorists are frighteningly convincing. They all display emotions like fear, curiosity, camaraderie, and even anger; and because they're so believable this adds an extra layer of creamy atmosphere to an already rich game. In fact, it's all the small details, like this, that make Vegas such a cracking experience. Glass cracks and shatters realistically, the noise of bullets hitting empty oil drums or thudding into walls is spot-on, wooden panels splinter and break, slot machines spark and spit coins when stray rounds slam into them. Atmosphere? Vegas has it in spades.
Another thing the new Rainbow Six is stuffed with is multiplayer options. The series' trademark online options have been carried on from Lockdown, including the fantastic, but sadly overlooked, PEC (Persistent Elite Creation - or Online Career to you and I) mode. Expect a full-fat playtest next month, when we've headshot, bombed, and cowardly blindfired our way through the ranks. If you're not connected to Live (get involved caveman), or if you fancy luring round some mates for some hot 'Six action, there is the traditional split-screen Terrorist Hunt mode to dip into. And it's as mind-bendingly tough as it ever was. Enemy locations are always random, and there are plenty of maps to play through (including a handful you won't see by playing through the single-player game), and this makes it ideal for a quick bite of terrorist-mauling if, by some crazy reasoning, you don't fancy ploughing through a full Story mission Frankly, any way of packing in 'just one more game' of Rainbow Six Vegas is fine by us.
Whether it's in the explosive story, the sweet online modes, or the split-screen terrorist hunts, though, this is a quality game and a welcome return to the big time for a series down on its luck. Alongside Gears of War, it stands out as one of the year's best shooters, fusing gorgeous next gen visuals with thrilling gameplay, making it one £50 gamble that will pay off.
In the most manly way possible, we're in love with Six's granite-hard genius once again. A truly wondrous shooter.
- A refreshed brilliant return to form
- A true next-gen graphical showcase
- Absolutely polished and rock hard