We weren't very happy with Ubisoft. Rainbow Six: Vegas was easily one of the best games of 2006, but the ending left us hanging and, no matter how much we pleaded, they simply refused to tell us what happened next. The main villain, Irena, had been introduced to the wrong end of our gun, but hopes of a happy ending flew out the window when it was revealed that our former partner Gabriel had turned traitor. Despite downing his chopper during Vegas' conclusion, Logan was unable to stop the ex-Rainbow member - who dramatically escaped the wreckage, no doubt to continue with his nefarious deeds. After hours of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages it was clear that Vegas was a much safer place than before, but the war was far from over... which is why we're happy again with Ubisoft.
Because, in March, we can finally pick up where we left off and see what happened after those dreaded words, 'To Be Continued'... Er, can't we?
Previously in Vegas...
Well, no, actually, because Vegas 2 doesn't begin straight after Vegas. In fact, it doesn't begin after Vegas at all. It starts in 2005, a full five years before the events of the first game. "Our story defines a whole new conflict that will have a profound effect on the events of Rainbow Six: Vegas and its sequel," explains Game Designer Philippe Therien. A few questions later and we discover exactly what that means. "The first mission is set in the past, and you'll get to understand why Gabriel turns traitor. Then you'll see what happens while the original team is in Mexico. You'll finally go beyond the original timeline and see what happens after Gabriel escapes the crash." Of course, most of the story takes place in Vegas again, so Michael Walter and Jung Park will be returning to back you up. But because Logan's busy getting ambushed across the border there's a new team leader. Step forward... you. No, don't look behind you, we mean you.
To be precise, you're Bishop, but beyond that, the character is whoever you want him - or her - to be. You decide Bishop's gender, looks and equipment in the same way that you create a multiplayer avatar in the first game. It's even possible to use the Vision Camera again to map your own personal face onto Bishop. The decision to use one character across all game types isn't just for cosmetic reasons. It's because every action you perform, regardless of what mode you're in, will be registered and duly rewarded.
The Persistent Elite Creation (PEC for short) system - as seen in Vegas' multiplayer - returns, but it's now been expanded and applied to the single player campaign as well. Increasing Bishop's rank will unlock new items, and to do so you must earn XP. An (optional) experience bar has been added to the HUD, so you can monitor Bishop's progress, and filling this bar will unlock higher ranks and the visual modifications that come with them.
Customisation isn't simply about visual mods, and so new weapons will be made available to those that have earned them. The Advanced Combat Enhancement and Specialization (ACES) system is responsible for handling the scoring, and is split into three categories: close quarter combat, marksmanship and assault. Every move you make fits into one of these categories, and you'll gain the relevant points depending on your playing style.
Nailing a successful headshot from range will earn you some marksmanship points, while taking out multiple enemies with a grenade will gain assault points. Eventually you'll accumulate enough points of a certain style to unlock an appropriate weapon, such as a new sniper rifle for marksmanship.