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Platform

Playstation Portable

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Ubisoft

 

Developer

Ubisoft

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

August 2007

 

 

- The lock-on controls for most weapons is nice

 

 

- No squadron command at all

- Awful controls

- Not much Vegas

 

 

Review: Rainbow Six Vegas (360)

Review: Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3)

Review: Earth Defense Force 2017 (360)

 

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Rainbow Six Vegas

Score: 5.0 / 10

 

In the beginning, Rainbow Six was an insanely detailed tactical planning game that was more about strategy and less about shooting. It eventually gained some popularity when Ubi Soft focused more on the shooting part, at the same time adding a more tactical feel by putting you in command of a squadron of commandos. And as Rainbow Six hits the PSP, it's devolved even further - it's pretty much your standard, linear, first person shooter, on a system that just doesn't have the controls for it.

 

rainbow six vegas          rainbow six vegas

 

Like other shooters, the analog nub controls movement, while the face buttons control your view. It's tremendously awkward, but the slightly slower pace of  Rainbow Six Vegas means that it's a bit easier to play than, say, the PSP Call of Duty. The whole thing about Rainbow Six is that it's supposed to be at least somewhat realistic, but the designers realized that the fidgety controls makes it hard to react quickly to enemies, so you can take a good number of hits. However, there aren't any health packs - or ammo resupplies - at all. And since the game utilizes an auto-save system that doesn't replenish either of these, you can screw 

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- Shooter Game Reviews

- Games Published by Ubisoft

yourself over pretty easily. Like the console games, you can take cover against certain walls, but it's activated just by walking into it, rather than using a specific button. It's extremely clunky to duck in and out, and most times you'll just wander into cover by accident.

 

The other main selling point of Rainbow Six has been the tactical

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squadron command.  You control a two man team in the PSP version, although you only control one at a time, as the viewpoint automatically alternates between them when you reach specific parts of the level. In other words, you don't give orders to much of anyone. You pretty much just follow the marker and walk towards it, shooting anything that comes in your way.  In other words, there's no real strategy - your biggest choices revolve around whether you should use the snake cam to see under the next door, or not to use the snake cam.

 

One character, the American named Brian, has an assault rifle. Brian is far easier to play as, because the developers realized that the controls for PSP shooters are awful, and lets you lock onto targets by holding down the L key. The guy, a British chap named Shawn, wields a sniper rifle. In some situations, you'll need to snipe foes at a distance, but you'll also fight them in relatively close combat - which, using a sniper rifle, is completely absurd, especially since there's no lock on. As a result, you have to rely on your weak little pistol, or your pack of grenades, which are difficult to use effectively. Occasionally, your commandos will cross paths, and one needs to provide some cover fire for the other. When this happens, an invisible timer starts, and you need to frantically battle with the controls to get the enemies in sight. If you don't kill them before the timer runs out, you lose the mission and need to restart at the last checkpoint. It's all pretty cheap.

 

rainbow six vegas         rainbow six vegas

 

Furthermore, the title is this game is "Rainbow Six Vegas", but instead you start out in the middle of some desert town. The second stage is an airport. The final stage is a dam. Where's the Vegas? In the end, you're fighting through the same generic locations of every other generic first person shooter, and thus the appeal of fighting through the bright lights of casinos is completely lost. The rest of the graphics are acceptable, but polygons landscapes are prone to tearing. Sometimes the game stops to load briefly right as an enemy pops into view, which is as annoying as it sounds.

 

There are only five stages in total, each broken down into several sublevels. It's still an extremely short game, and the multiplayer - both online and adhoc - just amounts to four player deathmatching. The additional single player mode, dubbed Terro Hunt, just switches around enemy locations and isn't really worth it.

 

There's nothing about the PSP Rainbow Six Vegas that doesn't feel like a cheap cash in, in hopes that some fan of the console games might mistake this for something of the same quality. It isn't even a miniaturized version of the same game - it's a completely mediocre title that's dumbed down to the point where it's not even really related. To be fair, as a straight up shooter, it's more playable than some other first person shooters on the system, but that doesn't make it all that interesting either, unless you're really hard up for games like these.

 

- Kurt Kalata

(October 17, 2007)

 

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