On Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 and Being on the Wrong Side of Gaming History

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Posted by Darth_Navster (883 posts) -
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It’s astonishing to think about how far game design has come in the past decade. In recent years we’ve seen an unprecedented blending of genre elements into all manner of video games. Open world games are now expected to have top of class shooting and driving mechanics, all shooters must have some sort of RPG-inspired customizability, and god help any RPG that lacks “tight” controls. However, it wasn’t long ago that this wasn’t the case, and one must only look back to the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 era to see a far more eclectic mix of game designs in big budget titles. In no genre was this most apparent than in shooters, which evolved a great deal from early generation titles such as Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter and Call of Duty 2 to “split-gen” games like Titanfall and Destiny. But during the decade that shooters established now-modern conventions, there were many titles in which “incorrect” design decisions placed them in the dustbin of history. Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 was one such game, but playing through it with modern eyes reveals it to be a fascinating case study in the evolution of shooters.

I can’t really separate out my interest in Vegas 2 from the timing of it hitting the market. Released on March 18th, 2008 (five months after the seminal Call of Duty 4 and eight months before Gears of War 2 solidified its predecessor’s legacy) the game felt like Ubisoft had designed it for a previous era of consumer expectations. That isn’t to say that the game was not warmly received, as it got solid reviews across the board (including a positive, four star review by Jeff Gerstmann). But for a well liked game, no one ever really talks about Vegas 2 nowadays. Not even as a weird curiosity. Why is that?

For starters, the game itself controls oddly and never feels very comfortable. Aim down sights is consigned to clicking the right thumbstick, sprinting is on the left bumper (with your character’s stamina being that of a 60 year-old smoker), and there appears to be no way to melee opponents in close quarters. And for all the praise that the first Vegas got in 2006 about its cover-based combat, Vegas 2’s system never really improves on it. As before, the player must hold down the left trigger near a wall of cover and the game seamlessly shifts the perspective from first person to third person. What’s not so seamless is the act of shooting behind cover. Oftentimes I would find myself behind unobstructed cover but unable to take a shot because the game deemed it so. Worse still were cover points that had my character automatically peek out, exposing her to very lethal enemy fire.

That’s not to say that the cover system doesn’t work, but just that it only works if you’re playing the game within some very rigid parameters. Doorways in particular are very consistent cover points that help facilitate the game’s core “breach and clear” gameplay. Like most Rainbow Six games, the crux of Vegas 2’s gameplay lies in infiltrating and clearing rooms full of bad guys. To that end, the campaign is structured around the specific cadence of your team stacking up against a door, you using a snake camera to see what’s on the other side, and then giving the “go” order to have your guys flash/frag/breach and clear the room. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the planning and execution of clearing a room provides a great rush and adds a layer of strategy to the proceedings. However, like in previous Xbox 360 era Tom Clancy games, it’s too easy to game the difficulty by sending in your revivable team mates to soak up bullets while you pick off distracted enemies. This is exacerbated by the fact that the game seems only designed to have one or two points of ingress per room. Usage of any non-traditional entry points, such as a window, results in some incredible clunky shooting and movement that almost always guaranteed me taking a fatal bullet.

Similar to the gameplay, the game’s story seems to have come from a bygone era. Like the novel on which the series is based, you are an agent of Rainbow, a multi-national coalition of elite soldiers who act as a sort of a worldwide SWAT team. Your team is in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction that conveniently end up in Las Vegas during the events of original Rainbow Six: Vegas. Cue multiple scenes of people frantically screaming “Where is the bomb?!” until the bomb is located. Or was it really? Or is there a second (or third) bomb? Of course it is a bit rote to criticize a shooter for not having the deepest of stories, but even considering that the plot of Vegas 2 remains especially threadbare. There’s very little that establishes the state of the world, nor anything that justifies why Rainbow needs to deal with the situation instead of US law enforcement or military assets. The result is a campaign that grew repetitive as I kept clearing rooms with a story that seemed to get duller by the minute.

The counterpoint to my criticisms is that I’m looking at it through a modern perspective. Of course Vegas 2’s plot can’t compare to the likes of Wolfenstein: The New Order or Titanfall 2, nor can its gameplay hold up to Gears of War 4 or DOOM. But one need not come this far forward to see the game’s deficiencies. Remember, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 came out in early 2008 following a bumper crop of excellent shooters, including Bioshock, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, and Team Fortress 2. Compared to what was already on the market in 2008, the game feels very much rooted in its predecessor’s 2006 design paradigm.

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is a classic example of mistiming the market. The first Vegas came out early in the life of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and felt sufficiently fresh at the time to establish a fanbase. But as the developers sought to expand on their success in the sequel by making everything bigger and better, they missed the larger trends in the industry pushing shooters forward. That isn’t a slight at the design team, who had no idea what 2007 would bring for gaming, but it does show how a game can fail to capture the zeitgeist despite the best of intentions. Even still, the game’s failure to move shooters forward provides valuable insight as to why modern games are designed the way they are. It may not have the most glamorous spot in the gaming canon, but Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 remains a beguiling artifact of its unique era.

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#1 Posted by CatsAkimbo (791 posts) -

Saying that RS:V2 was on the wrong side of history seems a bit much; it was just kinda doing it's own thing. It felt like Call of Duty 4 was very fast-paced, almost quake-like gameplay that added a little more realism and weight, whereas RS:V was coming from the other side. The older Rainbow Six games were very slow and deliberate, almost ARMA-like, and Rainbow Six: Vegas moved to make it a little more arcade-y, and less punishing. In the end, Call of Duty and Rainbow Six: Vegas ended up closer together.

If anything, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 could've differentiated itself more, and lean back into the tactical side of it, and it seems like Rainbow Six: Siege recently did that, and it's proven be pretty popular.

What always struck me about the Vegas games was the audience for the online side of it. Playing it on 360 at a time when public voice-chat was most prevalent and toxic, the community playing Vegas 1 and 2 was way more pleasant and fun. It feels like it's impossible to re-capture that type of feeling now. Even games that attract a friendly audience aren't the same because party chat is more common now, so it just ends up more silent.

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#2 Posted by Rorie (5613 posts) -

I remember really, really liking Vegas but getting only a few levels into Vegas 2 before giving up...wait, I guess that's entirely not true since apparently I wrote a game guide for it? I don't remember it at all!

Staff
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#3 Posted by notnert427 (2158 posts) -

Saying that RS:V2 was on the wrong side of history seems a bit much; it was just kinda doing it's own thing. It felt like Call of Duty 4 was very fast-paced, almost quake-like gameplay that added a little more realism and weight, whereas RS:V was coming from the other side. The older Rainbow Six games were very slow and deliberate, almost ARMA-like, and Rainbow Six: Vegas moved to make it a little more arcade-y, and less punishing. In the end, Call of Duty and Rainbow Six: Vegas ended up closer together.

If anything, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 could've differentiated itself more, and lean back into the tactical side of it, and it seems like Rainbow Six: Siege recently did that, and it's proven be pretty popular.

What always struck me about the Vegas games was the audience for the online side of it. Playing it on 360 at a time when public voice-chat was most prevalent and toxic, the community playing Vegas 1 and 2 was way more pleasant and fun. It feels like it's impossible to re-capture that type of feeling now. Even games that attract a friendly audience aren't the same because party chat is more common now, so it just ends up more silent.

I had great times with the multiplayer on several of the Clancy tactical games. Rainbow Six 3, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory are the best online multiplayer experiences I ever had. I swear, there was actual teamwork between randoms, very few people threw hissy fits if they lost, I can't recall anyone just saying horrible/racist things for no reason, etc. Also, this sounds fucking crazy today, but the permadeath in SC's Spies vs. Mercs meant that people had to watch the entire rest of the round, and people patiently waited instead of immediately quitting. Those were the days.

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#4 Posted by odinsmana (982 posts) -

I really enjoyed Vegas 2 at the time. While the core controls were maybe not as polished as something like CoD 4 it`s such a different thing. It was part of a type of shooter that was becoming less popular. It was the mix between simulator and action game that I found to be realistic enough to be interesting, but arcady enough to be accessible.

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#5 Posted by CatsAkimbo (791 posts) -

@catsakimbo said:

Saying that RS:V2 was on the wrong side of history seems a bit much; it was just kinda doing it's own thing. It felt like Call of Duty 4 was very fast-paced, almost quake-like gameplay that added a little more realism and weight, whereas RS:V was coming from the other side. The older Rainbow Six games were very slow and deliberate, almost ARMA-like, and Rainbow Six: Vegas moved to make it a little more arcade-y, and less punishing. In the end, Call of Duty and Rainbow Six: Vegas ended up closer together.

If anything, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 could've differentiated itself more, and lean back into the tactical side of it, and it seems like Rainbow Six: Siege recently did that, and it's proven be pretty popular.

What always struck me about the Vegas games was the audience for the online side of it. Playing it on 360 at a time when public voice-chat was most prevalent and toxic, the community playing Vegas 1 and 2 was way more pleasant and fun. It feels like it's impossible to re-capture that type of feeling now. Even games that attract a friendly audience aren't the same because party chat is more common now, so it just ends up more silent.

I had great times with the multiplayer on several of the Clancy tactical games. Rainbow Six 3, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory are the best online multiplayer experiences I ever had. I swear, there was actual teamwork between randoms, very few people threw hissy fits if they lost, I can't recall anyone just saying horrible/racist things for no reason, etc. Also, this sounds fucking crazy today, but the permadeath in SC's Spies vs. Mercs meant that people had to watch the entire rest of the round, and people patiently waited instead of immediately quitting. Those were the days.

What do you think it was that made those games attract that kind of audience? On paper, Counter-Strike seems pretty similar, but they've often been pretty horrible to play online... though I do remember 0.x beta Counter-Strike being pretty friendly and awesome. I've been meaning to pick up Siege to see if it managed to re-capture any of that.

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#6 Posted by SSully (5627 posts) -

I think you really nail it by saying Vegas 2 is a mistiming of a game. Vegas 1 was probably the first multiplayer game (after Gears) that everyone talked about in my circle of friends during that console lifecycle. Vegas 2 was exactly what fans would want (basically more maps, new campaign), but in the aftermath of Call of Duty 4, Vegas 2 felt stale.

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#7 Posted by jszyarto (32 posts) -

vegas 2 always felt like a cash grab to me, I played a ton of vegas but when it came to vegas 2 I wasn't as into it. Now mind you I played hundreds of hours of it but it never captured the same enjoyment I had with vegas. I think part of it was I wanted to see more of the tactical element incorporated into it when playing single player. When playing multiplayer on the ps3 you usually fought with the bluetooth headset more then you played the game it felt like. On the 360 it garnered a really toxic community at first which drove me to ps3. Overall I don't think it was the wrong side of history it was just a rushed product that the community wasn't maybe ready for. Given that COD 4 pretty much owned multiplayer also didn't help as finding a full squad outside of your friends could be frustrating.

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#8 Posted by Spoonman671 (5874 posts) -

I don't know, I have a lot of love for Vegas 2. I was never in the camp that all shooters should play like Call of Duty though. I remember when Killzone 2 was released and there were tons of people upset about the controls, and specifically the fact that aiming down sights was on one of the analog sticks. Eventually Guerrilla added a new controller configuration that included this. I then proceeded to mop these players up in multiplayer because they never realized that 80% of the time it was a waste to aim-down-sights due to how accurate hip-fire was. This sect of players had been so conditioned to use both shoulder buttons every time they shoot that they completely ignored one of the aspects that made the game they were playing interesting. If they released a Vegas 3 today that played more or less the same as the last one, I'd be very happy to make that purchase.

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#9 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

First I will say I really like this game a lot. For me it is one of the better games of this whole generation. It sure is similar to Vegas 1 but if you go back and forth there are a number of very noticeable improvements all throughout, including gameplay. The shift in view is weird but I actually love because as a shooter fan it gives me some of the best of both worlds in an interesting way. The game also had a well done single character progression you carry all throughout 3 different modes which is cool and games don't do. The game also gave you great, repeatable co-op with Terrorist Hunt which was a bit silly and gamey in ways but still challenging and very unique.

I really liked this game a lot and wish it actually would have been more influential. The game also yes has a lighter tactical focus than the series had before but this is about as hardcore and tactical as mainstream shooters have gotten since. For example you just really never see squad mechanics these days (Wildlands is the first I can say I've noticed in a while and from what I hear it is extremely basic). I think the mix of tactical and speed it achieves, with a number of unique features, is really fun if it clicks with you. Maybe it didn't for you and/or the crowds that went to CoD (I'm not sure what you prefer) but I really enjoyed it.

If you expected a large leap then I suppose I get the negativity but at the same time I question what is so different in the CoD games coming out year to year there. I agree the game isn't that polished but I always had a lot of fun with these games and if you did and went back to them, like I did, Vegas 2 was a step up that was noticeable.

@spoonman671 said:

If they released a Vegas 3 today that played more or less the same as the last one, I'd be very happy to make that purchase.

In a second. I have wanted it really bad for a long while now. I really enjoyed Terrorist Hunt in particular and like I mention in my post this game's mix of TPS and FPS is a bit odd but just really fun to me.

What you would hope for now is just bigger levels and that kind of thing. I would love to see what they would do with that single character progression and mix of modes today. And a game with the ability to direct a squad again would be cool as a guy who was always a fan of games like that (this, Freedom Fighters, Brothers in Arms, etc)

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#10 Edited by jrodrz (230 posts) -

I get what you're saying. I played both Vegas 1 and 2, and I remember being really on the fence about buying Vegas 2 at the time, because it didn't look like it improved on the flaws of the previous game, but was just more of the same: same controls, same mechanics, same characters, same weapons...

@artisanbreads said:

The game also gave you great, repeatable co-op with Terrorist Hunt which was a bit silly and gamey in ways but still challenging and very unique.

Terrorist Hunt is my best memory of this game. I remember playing this a lot with my best friend and having a blast every time, even when we knew where to go and where the enemies would normally spawn. It was a very arcade-y and fun way to play the game, and I think it was the only enjoyable way, since the story was pretty forgettable and I never played multiplayer since I didn't feel attracted to it. The character progression and ACES systems were kind of neat, though simple and not adding much to the game.

I'm glad they waited 7 years to release R6: Siege. From the looks of it, it seemed that Patriots, the canceled entry, would have been more of the same, and I find those game mechanics to be outdated and boring. With Siege, I think Ubisoft managed to do 2 things really well: capture the essence of a breaching situation (sure, still kind of unrealistic, but raising the stakes compared to the Vegas games) and provide a thrilling gaming experience. The tension, adrenaline and emotional exhaustion you can get from that game really took FPS to another level for me, made me feel emotions I've rarely felt while gaming, and I couldn't be happier that Rainbow 6 took that direction.

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#11 Posted by shorap (418 posts) -

@rorie said:

I remember really, really liking Vegas but getting only a few levels into Vegas 2 before giving up...wait, I guess that's entirely not true since apparently I wrote a game guide for it? I don't remember it at all!

If it had puppies in it you'd remember!

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#12 Posted by mems1224 (2494 posts) -

The one thing I miss from last gen and the one before is shooters that had some sort of strategy. Rainbow Six, GRAW, Brother in Arms, hell, even that mediocre Xcom game all had a bit of strategy and it made for some really memorable and fun encounters. Siege is my favorite shooter this gen and Wildlands looks like hot garbage that I wish I had time for to play with my friends but I miss having a proper Clancy shooter campaign.

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#13 Posted by Darth_Navster (883 posts) -

@catsakimbo: @notnert427: I can't speak to the Vegas 2 community seeing as it's 2017 and it has no community, but I absolutely can concur that previous Tom Clancy games were islands of civility in the toxic swamp that is online voice chat. I suspect that it's because these games tend to attract a more patient type of player who is less likely to get frustrated in a match and start hurling epithets. I found Rainbow Six 3 on the Xbox to be particularly welcoming.

@rorie: If the guy that writes a walkthrough for the game can't remember playing it, then I think I'm pretty vindicated in saying that it was a bit of a snoozer. :-)

@ssully: I can absolutely relate to what you're saying. I adored the first Vegas, which felt like a smart next-gen follow up to the excellent Rainbow Six 3. And then comes Vegas 2 and I couldn't even muster up the interest to rent it.

@spoonman671: I wasn't arguing that all shooters must ape Call of Duty, just that Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 in particular missed the whims of the market. I mean, this was at a time when franchises like Halo and Bioshock were thriving, so clearly there was an appetite for non-Call of Duty shooters. I just wanted to see why Vegas 2 is not considered to be in the same company as those games.

@artisanbreads: @jrodrz: I remember loving Terrorist Hunt in the first game, but unfortunately the online community was too sparse currently for me to play a round in the sequel. Still, you guys make a fair point. And I definitely need to give Rainbow Six Siege a shot!

@mems1224: You make a fair point that a lot of shooter campaigns nowadays lack any sort of squad based strategy. The industry as a whole is certainly moving away from that type of shooter design, though there are one or two bright spots. Halo 5 actually had a pretty decent squad system, though I regard that game higher than most.

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#14 Posted by notnert427 (2158 posts) -

@notnert427 said:
@catsakimbo said:

Saying that RS:V2 was on the wrong side of history seems a bit much; it was just kinda doing it's own thing. It felt like Call of Duty 4 was very fast-paced, almost quake-like gameplay that added a little more realism and weight, whereas RS:V was coming from the other side. The older Rainbow Six games were very slow and deliberate, almost ARMA-like, and Rainbow Six: Vegas moved to make it a little more arcade-y, and less punishing. In the end, Call of Duty and Rainbow Six: Vegas ended up closer together.

If anything, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 could've differentiated itself more, and lean back into the tactical side of it, and it seems like Rainbow Six: Siege recently did that, and it's proven be pretty popular.

What always struck me about the Vegas games was the audience for the online side of it. Playing it on 360 at a time when public voice-chat was most prevalent and toxic, the community playing Vegas 1 and 2 was way more pleasant and fun. It feels like it's impossible to re-capture that type of feeling now. Even games that attract a friendly audience aren't the same because party chat is more common now, so it just ends up more silent.

I had great times with the multiplayer on several of the Clancy tactical games. Rainbow Six 3, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory are the best online multiplayer experiences I ever had. I swear, there was actual teamwork between randoms, very few people threw hissy fits if they lost, I can't recall anyone just saying horrible/racist things for no reason, etc. Also, this sounds fucking crazy today, but the permadeath in SC's Spies vs. Mercs meant that people had to watch the entire rest of the round, and people patiently waited instead of immediately quitting. Those were the days.

What do you think it was that made those games attract that kind of audience? On paper, Counter-Strike seems pretty similar, but they've often been pretty horrible to play online... though I do remember 0.x beta Counter-Strike being pretty friendly and awesome. I've been meaning to pick up Siege to see if it managed to re-capture any of that.

It's funny; I was pondering that exact thing on my way home from work yesterday. Darth_Navster kinda beat me to what I was going to say (great thread, BTW), and I'll +1 that Rainbow Six 3 on the OG Xbox was indeed a terrific multiplayer experience all-around. I'm not typically big on generalizing, but I'm about to in order to posit my theory on some things, so fair warning, everyone.

I think the very nature of those games kept out much of the riff-raff. I imagine that those who said "fuck this" the moment they were expected to do something stealthy and/or tactical are quite often the very same people who are assholes online. The reason being, patience is a trait that, IMO, largely goes hand-in-hand with maturity (and vice versa). In other words, those games inherently excluded the "instant gratification" types and appealed to the "adults" of the gaming world (not necessarily speaking in terms of actual age there). I've noticed that a bunch of people seem to completely reject this entire genre (which is ridiculous), and it's likely why no one really makes proper stealth/tactical games like the old Rainbow Sixes and Splinter Cells anymore. The excellence of HITMAN (despite its silliness) seems to have breathed some much-needed life into things, though, so I've got my fingers crossed that we see a resurgence.

Counter-Strike is kind of a different animal. For one, it's a good bit more fast-paced in gameplay than the Clancy games were, so it's probably appealing to many of the people who found the Clancy games "slow" or "boring". Also, in my experience (I'm sure I'll piss people off here), PC communities are typically more toxic. I'm not about to pretend that console communities are remotely angelic or anything (hell, ten minutes of CoD is enough evidence that vitriol there is as bad as anywhere), but I think it's simply easier to say awful things behind a computer. Interestingly enough, I think it has a lot to do with setups. PC gaming is typically done on some kind of desk in a room that's not a common area, whereas console gaming is often done in more public areas like living rooms, game rooms, etc. It's possible for no one you know to hear a tirade in an upstairs bedroom with the door closed, but not quite as simple to go off with the family in earshot. FWIW, I in no way think that console gamers are some "better class of gamer" or some shit, I just think they're presented with less opportunity to anonymously spew hatred, as history sadly shows that people will frequently be horrible to each other if given the chance to do it without consequence. Moving on.

I'm glad Siege exists. I feel like it was Ubisoft dipping their toe back in the water to see if there was any interest out there for that type of game, and I'm happy it seemed to have found success in certain circles. Still, it's not quite what I was looking for from the series. Assault a small building/defend a small area horde-style feels like something that should have been a game mode, not an entire game. It's a step in the right direction, and it was great to see anything from the series after a seven-year hiatus, but I'd like to see it get back to its roots. Rainbow Six 3 was where the series peaked for me. It had a great campaign, a proper terrorist hunt mode, and incredible multiplayer. I enjoyed the Vegas games for what they were, but they started trending in an arcade direction and got somewhat away from what made the series great, as did the later Splinter Cell games that became more of third-person shooters. My hope is that Siege/HITMAN (even though it's not a Ubi game, you can bet your ass they noticed it) convince some bigwigs to take the risk and greenlight a full-fledged stealth/tactical game like the awesome Clancy games of the early 2000s.

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#15 Posted by sammo21 (5962 posts) -

I liked the idea of what Rainbow Six Vegas 2 was doing: having you create a character that is yours across both the single player campaign, the co-op, and the competitive multiplayer. Other games have done this too, like Halo: Reach. However, the overall game just didn't click with me like the original Vegas did. I played quite a bit of the mp in the first Rainbow Six Vegas and I maybe put less than 10-12 hours into Vegas 2.

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#16 Posted by cikame (2693 posts) -

I can't talk about these games much anymore because they're hard to dive into again on a technical level, with the passing of time the PC versions would stand up best having better frame rate etc... except this was a time when PC ports were hopeless, i'm assuming one or both of them are using Games for Windows Live, probably have no FOV options, i know that the second game has more technical issues than the first, a quick glance suggests people are having issues making accounts or something, Xbox pads not working for some people, mouse issues, something about the game "running out of cd-keys", it puts me off wanting to attempt to play the games again.
If they were re-released on PC in better condition i'd love to play them as they are brilliant games, but i'm fairly sure there hasn't been 1 re-release in the history of the Tom Clancy franchise... I'd have expected to see the original Rainbow Six or Chaos Theory by now.

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#17 Posted by Darth_Navster (883 posts) -

@sammo21: You bring up a great point about having a consistent character through all modes being both awesome and rare. I can see how it can be a logistical nightmare in game development, as without that feature you can more easily segregate campaign and multiplayer design. But man, what Vegas 2 and Reach did with persistent characters was super cool and I hope that it makes a comeback with modern games.

@cikame: It sucks that a whole generation of games is basically unplayable on the PC until Steam got its shit together in the late 2000s. Luckily Xbox 360s and Playstation 3s are still cheap, but from a game preservation standpoint it would be much better to have them functional on PC.

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#18 Edited by sammo21 (5962 posts) -

@darth_navster: I could have my timeline messed up but I feel like Good Old Games was really the first PC platform that was getting older games running well on anything. Developers seemed to follow suit on Steam way after.

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#19 Posted by Darth_Navster (883 posts) -

@sammo21: Yeah, you're probably right about GOG leading the charge with older games on PC. I was meaning that Steam reestablished the PC as a viable gaming platform (at least to the major publishers) which led to a significant reduction in janky ports.

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#20 Posted by Willza92 (378 posts) -

After repurchasing Vegas 2 on Steam a while back, I found much comfort in returning to the old Vegas Casino map in terrorist hunt mode and trying to get through Realism in solo. You are right that the controls are a hurdle now as a post CoD gamer, but it kind of makes the game a sharp looking roguelike tactical shooter. Unfortunately the AI tends to just run towards the gunfire, making stacking up on a door with an LMG a very easy, cheap exploit, but I had a lot of tense fun with the game in the "modern era" of video games.

I can't speak to the story, as I don't remember it (which perhaps says enough for itself) but I do remember Vegas 1 being one of the first games I ever finished with that cliffhanger ending and being very annoyed.

Anyway, it's a little bit of a gem in the right light in my opinion. The obtuse controls manage to force the player to think a little bit more about what they want to do and how they should do it, which ties into what the player is enacting. Because it isn't a twitch shooter with fluid controls, it ends up feeling, although entirely unintentionally, like Dark Souls. You have wind up animations on peeking out and taking a shot. You need to be wary of your surroundings and what's around you and you go down quickly if you aren't playing well.

However, @darth_navster is totally right in that it isn't a great feeling modern shooter, which is what it was going for at the time (with left over tactic mechanisms from previous games).

Nice write up, duder.

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#21 Posted by Falconer (2124 posts) -

I friggin love the Vegas games. I put so many hours into them. I was so consistently good that I honestly thought I could have played the game competitively, which is something I never say. (I can hold my own in Halo, but I'd get trashed by pros.) I also loved that it's the only game that I could make my guy into a Stargate team member.

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#22 Posted by moondogg (360 posts) -

One of my favorite games. Does have its issues though.

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