Rolling the Dice of Death
Review: Vegas 2 is essentially the same game as Vegas is. You'll go from checkpoint to checkpoint (in the single-player campaign) relying on either heavy AI assistance from your two teammates, or merely letting them tag on behind you and take bullets. Of course you'll still encounter hostage situations and so forth, which'll make you tred more carefully. Once that's over though, you'll be back to either run and gunning like Duke Nukem, or continue slinking around like Sam Fisher. Vegas still includes all the great features from the first game - rapelling down the side of buildings is still a big plus, especially when you find yourself upside-down taking out the opposition before they can even move an inch. Fast roping is still here as well as strangely satisfying door breach manouvers.
Co-op mode has been revamped, this time making it worth playing. Instead of playing with three other friends max through insanely mind-numbing shortened missions, you'll be able to hook up with one of your friends and two AI partners. The host will play the squad leader, meaning he'll be able to control his AI counterparts, while your friend is merely tagging along with the inability to do anything except shoot at the enemy and revive the AI teammates.
Not only is the co-op mode made easier by having a teammate with a hell of a lot more sense (generally), but it's also made easier by only failing the mission when both of the real players die, as within 10 seconds after death, you'll find yourself stood next to your buddy. Like i've just said, AI teammates are still revivable, and like in the first Vegas, if you don't get to them quick enough, it's game over. So unlike the single-player, you can actually run through the entire game in co-op tossing empty magazines around like there's no tomorrow.
The Story mode will be pretty much pointless if you haven't played through it's prequel. It starts off with one mission 5 years earlier than the first game's events, giving you only a little backstory, and the rest of the game plays through the original Vegas events from a different perspective. But all this is made up from the fact you can breach into rooms, and generally kick some ass. If you're into that sort of thing.
The only real change to the controls is the addition of a sprint button (Left Bumper) while everything else remains the same, except for features like the tactical map, which have been moved over to someplace else.
Beyond the story mode, there is the famous Terrorist Hunt mode, and nothing has really changed since the first game. This is a good thing. Choose your map, AI difficulty, player slots, and enemy density, and you're off for quite a bit of fun.
Multiplayer contains a revamped rank and unlock system compared to Vegas'. It includes the new A.C.E.S. system. In short, depending on what type of kill you make (whether it be a headshot, or a kill through cover) you will get points in three different categories. Marksmanship, CQB, and Assault. Long range kills, blind fire kills, and grenade kills, all come into these three categories, and you unlock the many weapons in the game that way. Equipment like armour, clothing, and camouflage patterns are unlocked via rank-up instead of A.C.E.S. This, combined with the variety of gametypes available (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, along with objective based gametypes) keep the multiplayer alive once you've finished the Story mode.
All in all, if you liked Vegas, you'll like this. The only real addition is the sprint function and A.C.E.S. If you played the first game to death, then you'll be happy with Vegas 2, but you'll find yourself playing it a lot less.