Rainbow 6 Vegas is by far one of my favorite games for the Xbox 360, so naturally, I was eager to try out its sequel - Rainbow 6: Vegas 2, a fantastic tactical first person shooter.
R6V2 follows the same story as R6V, giving it more background and telling it from a different point of view. It eventually leaves the original story to tell what happens with a different team. The story mode of game play is actually very good and a definite improvement over the last game. You can choose to play by yourself, with a friend using vertical split-screen, or online with a friend. You are also given options for difficulty - casual, normal, and realistic. I have only played on realistic, which has been challenging at times, but never too difficult. The story is 7 chapters long, with plenty of check points along the way, saving your progress automatically as you go. Regardless of whether or not you play the game with someone else, there will be two A.I. players along for the mission. They can be helpful at times, but they aren't the smartest and can occasionally be frustrating. For example, in one scene, the enemies are shooting at us and one of my A.I. players knelt on the ground with his back to the enemy. He remained that way for the duration of the fight. Other times, the A.I. can be quite useful. One of their best uses is to send them ahead of you so they act like canaries, letting you gauge where the enemy is before you're in their line of fire.
Rainbow 6 Vegas 2's best game mode is called Terrorist Hunt. This is the game mode that has me and my fiance hooked, coming back for more and more. In this mode, you can once again choose the level of difficulty, but you can also choose to play alone, to play with the A.I. unit, or to play with between 1 and 3 friends over Xbox Live. The object each time is to eliminate the terrorists. The terrorists are far smarter than the A.I. unit and they constantly flank you and run from your bullets or grenades. They are much smarter than the previous game. T-hunt can be played on 14 different maps, some of which have been in previous Rainbow 6 games, and some which are brand new. It's a great selection, overall.
The graphics leave something to be desired, and often you'll notice that textures take a minute or two to load. The weapons choice is expanded, so there are plenty of new toys to play around with and try out. There are a couple great additions to this game, namely the sprint function and bullet penetration. Sprinting can save your life when an enemy suddenly pops out, though you can only go so far before your character gets too tired to continue. Bullet penetration affects both players and enemies because now bullets can pass through wood and other flimsy cover, killing the person hiding behind it. This can drastically change tactics because you now have to be much more careful about where you hide.
Parents should note that the game centers around violence, which is quite bloody. There's also quite a bit of swearing and the game has a Mature rating.