Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 Impressions

Yesterday being a Saturday, I couldn’t help but to go get a new game. Seeing as the current “hot” title appears to be Rainbow 6 Vegas 2, I got that. Remembering how pathetically Assassin’s Creed ran on my 5 year old rig, I had some reservations. However, after reading the requirements, I got it anyway. My rig still passed the “minimum specs” and was slightly above it.

After installation, the detection software ran, just like it did in Assassin’s Creed. Again I passed all the minimum requirements, and in this case, just barely. The minimum spec says Pentium 4, 3.0Ghz and I have just exactly that!

Since the game ran on the Unreal Tournament engine, I was actually relieved. I could play GRAW2 fine, and it was on UT engine too. I played Splinter Cell Double Agent pretty ok too, and that was also on UT engine. So this time, I guess I should have a smoother gameplay as compared to Assassin’s Creed.

When the game started, I couldn’t find the Options panel anywhere, to set up the graphics. At the very least, to see what it has auto-detected. I had to start a new game and have it running before I can access this option. The game automatically set resolution for 1280×1024 (the maximum my monitor supports), 4xAA, Motion Blur on at LOW quality, Shadows at Medium, Textures at Medium.

I turned off Motion Blur, didn’t like it. I also removed the Anti-Aliasing, since if it’s running at 1280×1024, the jaggy edges are almost invisible to me. There appears to be no difference in performance whether I have it at 1024×768 or at max res, so I left it at maximum. Also, I turned shadows down to LOW, and it doesn’t seem to help framerates much.

The first thing I liked about Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 (henceforth to be referred to as R6V2) is that they tried to make it a little bit more RPG-like. You get to select the gender of your hero, and you even get to choose his face, whether he has facial hair, or camouflage paint on his face and so on. You can even outfit him with weapons and armour, just like an RPG.

However, that is as far as it goes with the RPG stuff. The initial character makeover has almost zero impact on the game itself, because during the game you can re-equip your team before the mission starts, as well as at those green ammo lockers that are common to Rainbow 6 series of games.

The only thing I don’t like about contemporary games, especially FPSes, is the ridiculous “ragdoll physics“. When you kill bad guys by shooting at them, they collapse pretty naturally- most of the time. That’s good. However, if you blow them up via grenades, you see them fly and then their limbs get contorted into various positions that are impossible in a real human body – like their legs bending forwards past the knee for example. The only way a real human leg can do that is if you break his knee joints. Sometimes, this even happens if they are running and you shoot at them and kill them mid-stride. They will collapse and their legs buckle under them in un-natural ways.

If you’ve played the first Rainbow 6 Las Vegas, the controls and weapons should be familiar to you. Honestly, I didn’t complete the first game. I got stuck in the stupid concert hall with all them commandos coming at me and I kept dying. I gave up at that point and didn’t bother to look for cheat codes nor trainers to help me get past that stage.I hope this game doesn’t have any of those super-tough scenarios too!

For those that have no clue what the Rainbow 6 series is all about, think of it as a “SWAT team simulator”. I remember getting the original Rainbow 6, and it was cool that we had a map and we could position team members at different locations and tell them to wait for a “go-code” before breaking down the door and clearing out the rooms.

From there it slowly evolved till what it is today – a First Person Shooter with elements of tactical planning. You still get to tell your team mates to “stack up” on a door, and to clear the room. In fact, it’s very close to another game – SWAT 4, except that in that game you had non-lethal weapons in your arsenal, and you get penalised if you kill people. Here, in R6V2, every weapon is lethal, and you don’t arrest any bad guys. You kill them.

I guess my new addiction for now is Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 *grin*

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