Ubisoft's tactical shooter Rainbow Six: Vegas launches for PC today, so what better time than now to sit down with producer Stephane Roy and bombard him with questions on the version for the platform where R6 all began...
To kick off with, could you give us a quick overview of the plot/scenario for Rainbow Six: Vegas?
Stephane Roy: Sure! The game starts where Team Rainbow is chasing an international terrorist group. You don't know who exactly or what their final goal is but Team Rainbow is redirected to Las Vegas where a terrorist strike is unfolding. A major attack could kill the city's entire population, thus heightening the tension and emphasizing the need to act quickly and decisively. Chaos in the Sin City is just about to start...
Is Vegas on PC identical to the 360 version? What are the major differences, if any?
Stephane Roy: Yes, both versions are similar. We believe that the experience we created with Vegas was great for all the platforms. Therefore, we went for the same tense and involving experience game.
Are there any significant changes you've made to the core Rainbow Six experience, or have you stuck to tradition to deliver a hardcore, tactical squad-based first-person shooter? Are elements like the pre-mission planning stages intact, for example?
Stephane Roy: The team behind Rainbow Six Vegas worked on Rainbow Six 3 too, so it gives you an idea of what to expect. But instead of focusing on action and shooting like other shooters do, we went for what the franchise is known for: tactics, tension and realism. You'll have to make sure your OPA (Observation, Planning and Assault) is done right; you can't burst into a room guns blazing and expect not to take some punishment. You're dealing with lethal enemies that are set in close-quarter combat scenarios. Your team and your state-of-the-art equipment give you an edge over the bad guys, as long as you use them intelligently.
What's new, in terms of gameplay, to Rainbow Six in Vegas on PC?
Stephane Roy: With Rainbow Six Vegas, we introduce numerous changes in terms of gameplay, going from the take cover mechanics to the squad control. The Cover system adds a lot to the experience since it gives you more options and visibility of the action. It's also a great way to plan ahead with your team mates. We also have revised the way our order system works so that you can better control your team when you are not right next to them.
In Rainbow Six 3, you could give orders on the fly thanks to the zulu system, but it was based on where your reticule was pointing. Now the available orders are based off where your team is. It sounds like a simple change, but it really makes it more powerful, because now you don't need to be right next to your team mates and see what they see to give them orders.
We've also brought back the rules of engagement, and linked them with the order system. So on top of the Rules of Engagement controlling when your team is allowed to engage the enemy, your available orders are different if you are in RoE Infiltration or Assault.
Also, we added brand new moves that increase the tactical feel of the game - rappelling and invert-rappelling give you complete control over the situation if well used and it also adds vertical gameplay elements which is new. The new tagging system is also adding a lot; it helps prioritise the targets for your team mates. No more random shots and kills, now you're in control of what your team will shoot first.