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RSV2: In-Depth MP Review

Like many, many other people, I absolutely loved the first Rainbow Six: Vegas for the
xbox360. I put it an ungodly amount of hours into its online multiplayer, so, needless to
say, I was beyond stoked for the sequel. Having said that, I'm going to review this game
from the stance of someone who LOVED the original (and all past Rainbow Six games), so
I'm going to bring up little nuances (either good or bad) that no other reviews have really
touched on.

Terrorist Hunts
Ubisoft added a small amount of respawns this time around, which is an extremely welcome
addition (if you're playing solo, you don't have any respawns still). But here's my main
complaint with these T-Hunts: As soon as you shoot a single terrorist (with or without a
Sound Suppressor), the entire area instantly becomes alerted to your presence, so you'll
have an influx or 7-10 terrorists on your position. If you manage to survive that, as soon
as you get your next kill, the process starts over again. This doesn't really allow you to be
as strategic as you'd like to. You can't do the nifty "room clearing" strategies with your

The Villa level is similar to a T-Hunt level in Rainbow Six 3 that I used to play all the time.
Instead of being able to creep around the entire level, slowly taking out baddies, it usually
descends into a simple strategy of "make a loud noise, wait for terrorists to flood the area,
kill them all, rinse, repeat." I'd rather the AI awareness had been "lowered" (at least if I'm
using silenced weapons! ), so that the overall hunt could be more strategic. I've done
numerous runs through Villa on Realistic, yet I've never even gone up to the third floor of
the house. Or even the roof. As soon as I open any door or shoot any terrorist, the entire
brigade converges on my position. So I'm forced to retreat back outside, and pick them off
from a distance. It's still fun, but not as fun as it should be.

Adversarial MP
The basic formula for the MP hasn't changed at all, but there are quite a few subtle changes
that haven't really been addressed in other reviews. First, Ranked Matches now have
predetermined settings, which usually involve a very small amount of respawns (0-2). If
you get into a ranked TDM, be prepared for it to be a very short camp fest. Luckily, you
don't need ranked matches to earn XP, so unless you're overly concerned with leaderboard
positions or whatever, I'd advise sticking to Player Matches.

Overall, I'm not the much of a fan of any of the new maps on this iteration. Murdertown in
particular is pretty bad, but the maps in general "feel" larger. While their actual size is
apparently actually less than many RSV1 maps, the maps have so much "clutter" that their
never seems to be a true flow on the battlefield. Remember all those choke points from
the old maps? Like the walkways at LVU, the vault at Casino Vault, or that stairwell leading
to the slots at Calypso? So far, I haven't encountered any such iconic battles on the new
maps. Hopefully, as we learn the maps, the action will pick up.

I know RS is supposed to be a slower-paced game, but I played a 20 min TDM and only
registered 13 kills. In the original in a similar increment of time, I'd register 25+. I seem
to spend a lot of time wandering around, trying to find where in the world combat is actualy
taking place. I've played entire matches without encountering anybody on the opposing
team. The maps that Ubi brought back from the original (Streets, Killhouse, as well as
Presidio and others from the map packs) seem to flow about the same as before, but the
same can't be said of the majority of the new maps. Hopefuly, Ubi will release a
Throwback pack of sorts with LVU, Casino Vault, and Calypso Casino.

Experience System
The original Vegas had an extraordinary (and revolutionary) online XP system. The second
one (perhaps also fueled by recent COD4 features) is a lot more streamlined. First, you
earn experience no matter what mode you play, single player or online. You get
experience for every kill (+1 casual, +5 normal, +10 realistic, +10 multiplayer), as well as
the ability to complete A.C.E.S. challenges in categories like CQB (Close Quarters),
Marksman, and Assault. As you complete levels in these challenges, you'll alternate
between unlocking new weapons and earning extra experience. If you max them all out,
you'll earn about 60,000 XP to aid you in your quest to become ELITE. Speaking of which,
attaining ELITE is actually possible without selling your soul to this game this time around.
Last time, you needed 675k to reach Elite, and that's without any experience from single
player/offline modes. In Vegas 2, you only need 400k. With the 60k you get from
A.C.E.S., as well as the experience you earn throughout the game, it's a lot less daunting.
Having played for only a few hours online, I'm already a Sergeant First Class. Getting to
the same rank in Vegas 1 took me MUCH longer.

It's not all good news, however, as the A.C.E.S. unlockables seem to go against basic
weapon progressions. The SPAS-12 and Desert Eagle for instance, took FOREVER to unlock
in the original. I believe you had to become an officer for the SPAS, and a Captain for the
Desert Eagle. In Vegas 2, however, you unlock both these guns relatively early in A.C.E.S.
While this wouldn't ordinarily be a problem, 90% of the matches I played had entire teams
outfitted exclusively with SPAS shotguns. The SPAS is ridiculously powerful and (with a
Laser Sight) is ridiculously accurate, even at relatively long ranges. I did grow tired of
having to deal with that constant barrage, and I wouldn't be surprised if the SPAS will finally
earn a spot on the Restricted Items list in many servers. Ubisoft did, however, make you
max out your assault A.C.E.S. in order to earn the Shield, which was also a frequently
banned item.

General Online Interface
The interface has been greatly streamlined since the original, but it still has nothing on the
likes of Halo 3 and Call Of Duty 4 in this department. After playing those titles all fall,
having to go back to the ol' manually-joining-games-with-friends set-up seems outdated.
For an outdated system, however, it works surprisingly well. First, you can now invite
friends in both ranked and player matches. When your friend accepts your invite, you'll
automatically be matched to be on the same team. Teams don't have to be balanced (as
in, you can launch a game 6v1), which actually proves to make the online experience
better, as it helps in getting all your friends on the same team.

Unfortunately, the "Ready" option still seems to be useless, as the host can launch the
game before anyone is ready. This can lead to teams launching 7v3 (which happened to
me at least twice). Most frequently, however, the host will launch before you've had a
chance to change your equipment. It's a little frustrating, and I wonder what's the point of
a Ready button that does nothing. On the flip side, having a Ready system that required
EVERYONE to Ready up before a match would also be aggravating. So I guess it's the
lesser of two evils. Also, if you enter a match that has Restricted Items, the game will
automatically alter your equipment, but won't switch it back to its previous configuration
after the game. Due to the previously mentioned equipment issue, this can be pretty
annoying. It sucks to have just left a game that has explosives banned, enter a new game
with no restrictions, and get annihilated by grenades because you didn't have time (or
forgot) to switch your equipment back to its default. Again, minor complaint, but a
complaint nonetheless.

Overall, the game still remains unbelievably solid. The MP is a mixed bag of alterations,
but the overall package remains stellar. While some changes lead to annoyances, some
changes lead to a more rewarding experience. Actually being able to attain Elite this time
is definitely good for my morale (I only got to Lieutenant Colonel in RSV1). The maps are a
bit sketchy, but over time I'm sure all will work out. It's just a matter of finding what
modes work for what maps. (I highly recommend Total Conquest @ Convention Center and
Team Leader @ CQB Training or Villa).

Again, my gamertag is: dj fantastica and Ta's is technical ta. Drop a
message if you wanna kill terrorists or each other.
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About brobotsone of us since 7:45 PM on 12.21.2007

we are brobots
we are masters of the universe
we take no prisoners
we feel no remorse
we feel no pain
we are machines
we will have our vengeance
we will quench our thirst

you will feel our wrath

we are brobots


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PSN: technical_ta
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