Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
Date: Wednesday, April 16 @ 10:24:01 EDT
Topic: FPS reviews
I liked this game more when it was called Gears of War and had melee combat and gameplay that was more enjoyable than having your testicles removed with lye.
Vegas's story is amazingly high quality - when compared to the rest of the game's production quality, that is. For some reason, it's a mash of prequel and sequel bits to Vegas 1, which had a shitty storyline nobody cared about to begin with. Essentially, you turn up on a snowing mountaintop for some reason, kill some people, and defuse a bomb. Then you're instantly transported to Vegas, where you chase after some mexican guy for stealing tacos and then defuse another bomb, this time on an empty train that blows up ten feet outside the station (yeah, an empty train is one hell of a terrorist target). Later, while doing something for some reason or another in an oil 'facility', some guy I don't actually remember seeing ever shoots some guy in the face and reveals himself as the 'bad guy'. Ooooh, forboding! Then you get exploded.
Soon you're teleported to a big, interestingly-designed mansion (It seems as if it is designed entirely to work as a linear series of rooms in a typical FPS game, rather than designed in a realistic architectural manner) where you shoot more generic opponents and then get attacked by a gunship helicopter. This might sound like an impossible situation, and it probably should be, but you're discounting the way that this game is retarded. You really should stop doing that (and get that rash checked out, too). The helicopter, evidently, is piloted by a dead horse, and randomly sprays gunfire in practically every location you ARE NOT IN whilst hovering nice and low so you can repeatedly pelt it with shotgun blasts and thrown shoes. A few seconds later, you talk with the evil japanese guy and then he flattens. And yes, this compelling, original and intricate storyline will soon be the subject of a hollywood movie.
Scientists have theorised that the gameplay in Gears of Vegas 2 has such a high level of gay saturation that if the game was exposed to an unshielded Richard Simmons, the gayness would cross streams and cause total gaylonic reversal, making every atom in Simmons' body ultra-staight. (NB: Yes, this is a vague reference to ghostbusters. No, I will not marry you.)
Anyone who has played previous Rainbow 6 games Lockdown and Vegas 1 will know by this point that the series' original focus of tactical gameplay that recreated the high stakes and split-second decisions involved in real antiterrorist operations has been eschewed in favor for 'Call of Duty but with modern warfare'. Wait, doesn't that sound familiar?
In any case, the sequel that nobody asked for for the game that nobody with a working brain liked has essentially the same gameplay as its' predecessor, which is focused around standing still and headshotting swarms of moronic terrorists whose only plan of attack is to run headlong into sprays of machinegun fire. Well-suited for this purpose are guns, which I hear you may find in the game if you are a clever person and wise to the ways of the world. I wouldn't know, I'm still trying to figure out how to get past the hideously difficult main menu.
Since enemies cannot comprehend quite how cover works, they will typically crouch down behind trees and lampposts, oblivious to their hugely exposed head, body or vagina which even the most stunted of retards will be able to shoot off. I am told that this is supposed to make the game fair, because requiring the player to use some semblance of basic flanking tactics in a game even as wishy-washy as this one would be far beyond the mental abilities of the average mouthbreathing Playstation 3 player.
To make up for the way the AI was written by gibbons, the AI is given the ability to consistently fire perfectly accurate bursts of fire while running sideways at a hundred metres away; this apparently is why the game has regenerating health, so that when you catch half a dozen shotgun pellets from the feared iraqi sniper shotgun wielding terrorists you don't have to scream and punch a hole through your monitor's face before starting the game over again. Note to game designers: If your AI is so shitty that is can be classified as a form of cruel and unusual punishment, maybe you should focus on improving it rather than making the player some kind of fucked-up regenerating lizard mutant to compensate. For realsies.
Worse with the AI is their sheer dumbness: They possess, at the very best, the intelligence of a DooM Shotgun Guy; bumbling around and randomly bumping into walls until they see as much of a pixel of your body, where they will instantly start spraying their weapon at full-auto towards you until one of you are dead or out of ammo. They don't even come close to behaving like believable terrorists - right down to the way they're seemingly fundamentally unable to perform basic actions like guarding hostages. Their only ability is to charge out, in single file, into your gunsights like a bunch of inbred lemmings with the AIDS.
Your squadmates display a similar level of ultra-genius, often being able to make headshots on opponents they can't even see but at the same time having the healthy habit of taking cover on top of your grenades or being slowly glocked to death by an enemy standing right in front of them that hasn't triggered their detection routine. Sometimes they will throw grenades into each other, killing both of them and netting you a substantial (read: massive) XP loss.
The game has a cover system which feels half-assed at the best of times and allows you to blind-fire around obstacles (note that blindly firing in heavily civilian populated areas with assault rifles probably isn't in the best interest of most counter-terrorist operations), but compared to Gears of War's it lacks flexibility and doesn't really provide the proper level of protection. It does, however, allow you to see around corners, which I'm sure is a completely realistic feature to put in a game that's supposed to be based around vaguely realistic tactical combat and not at all unbalanced when combined with one of the many insta-kill long-range super shotguns in the game.
The XP system deserves special mention, because of its' sheer utter fucking usefulness. Your level determines what armor, weapons, clothing and colors you can use on your character, and this might sound like a decent progression system (To best honest, I'm not that smart either. Don't worry, bra: tards can have kickass lives too), If not simply for the way that you can get any weapon you want simply by picking it up when an enemy drops it ingame (Low-budget zergling terrorists evidently are well-supplied if they can afford ten-thousand dollar HK G36-based light machineguns and not-available-even-to-most-militaries FN P90s) and you'll keep it in future; and the later armors you can unlock aren't any better than the armors you start with, they just look different. 'Different' in this case is a euphemism for 'Ugly', and 'Ugly' in said case is a euphemism for 'Jesus Christ Fuck My Fucking Eyes Feel Like They Just Got Castrated'.
Your eyes aren't the only thing that the XP system will castrate, either. The XP system is severely broken, requiring something like forty million XP to get to the highest level. Guess how much XP you get for killing a terrorist on the highest difficulty level? 10. 10 XP. Slightly more if it's with a headshot, behind cover, etcetera; but the point stands that the Elite rank is not actually physically reachable as electricity will be made illegal in the great laser karate wars of 2091, several decades before you'll be able to even get half the XP required to get it. Likewise, the 'sub-levels' (Marksmanship, Close Quarters Battle, and Assault) are badly imbalanced; you will probably reach level 20 marksmanship before you even reach level 2 Assault.
Like the rest of the game, the sound in Vegas is of an extremely high quality: at least two times as good as being raped by a herd of camels and over THREE TIMES more enjoyable to hear.
Enemies have an enormous vocabulary of three different phrases: "AIM FOR THE HEAD", "SOMEBODY COME WITH ME", and "GO FOR THEIR LEADER!" (coming soon to a 4chan meme near you), all spoken in exactly the same generic white guy intonation regardless of whether they're generic white guy #5003 or generic black guy #207. Of course, this out-loud chatter pretty much never actually matches up to anything, so if they announce their intentions to flank you they'll probably just spaztically get caught on a tree or park bench and grind against it until they wear the outer layers of their skin off.
Music is forgettable action movie tosh and generally more annoying than anything, as it has a habit of being obtrusive and masking enemies' footsteps, gunshots, and AIM FOR THE HEAD's, so it's best to turn it off instead.
Rainbows of War is very effective at differentiating itself from other newish unrealengine games like Gears of War - the graphic style is completely different from gears, not at all using the wierd plastic-effect filter on every character in the game. Of course, while such an effect might make sense in Gears due to its' cariactured character designs, surely it wouldn't fit at all in a game trying to look 'real world'-ly, so it's great that it's not used. Yeah, I'm hammering this point in like a fucking tack. Don't like it? Tough. In truth, it's only used in some missions, but the effect is fuck-ugly and jarring as hell.
Anyways, on the modelling side of things, enemies in the game have a grand total of one-half of a unique character model, resulting in a constant flood of generic samey-looking enemies that look like they're all cousins of each other. In this respect, the game developers got the feature wrong: When you're developing a game for inbred rednecks, you're not supposed to make them the enemy in the game. Or maybe you are. Fucked if I know.
In general, the textures are low resolution and slightly uglier Rosie O'donnell, probably a side effect of the game being designed originally for consoles. Come to think of it, a huge portion of the problems in this game could be attributed to their console origins, especially the bad AI - it may be simply conjecture, but there is a strong sentiment that the Xbox360 and PS3's architectures suck ass for AI routines, as does the UT3 engine.
To be honest, I can only give this game Three Fidel Castros out of a Stalin. Anything more would be simply beyond the truth.
I was going to save this section for a comment, since it's mostly just extrapolation of just how bad the problems in the game are; however, after playing it for a bit longer, I can safely say the game sucks so hard that it may be damaging to the gravitational pull of earth.
Almost every problem can be placed squarely on the AI. I can ignore shitty sound effects - fuck, I used to play Wolfenstein on a PC Speaker. I can handle bad graphics - I grew up on Zork and A Mind Forever Voyaging. But what could otherwise be at least a mediocre COD4 clone with a slightly heavier focus on CQB is made completely and utterly forgettable shit by the sheer lack of attention paid to the AI.
One of the best examples of this lack of AI is fastropes. The AI doesn't just like to use fastropes, it has a fucking RED HOT SPICY BONER for fastroping and ropelike objects. If you alert an AI to your presence outside a building that contains both fastropes and several doors, you can bet your fucking ASS that the AI will take the fastrope nine times out of ten, as if it's a fucking firestation pole and they've absolutely got to get outside of the building in ten seconds or their balls will rot off. The problem with this, of course, is that the AI doesn't count on the way that using fastropes makes them COMPLETELY EXPOSED TO YOUR FIRE FOR ABOUT TWO WHOLE MINUTES AS THEY CLIMB DOWN THEM.
One time on a Terrorist Hunt map, I found an easily defendable area with a pair of fastropes attached to a big building obviously full of terrorists. By making a bit of noise, I managed to coax TWENTY SEVEN TERRORISTS down those two fastropes. Not a single one even managed to get a quarter of the way down to the ground before I plugged him in the head. What this resulted in was a fucking MOUNTAIN of dead bodies and pistols lying at the bottom of the fastropes.
Related to this, and worse still, is the AI's sheer lemminglike fucktardery when it comes to things like this. Any reasonable human being, having seen their allies being KILLED TO FUCKING DEATH from trying to climb down a fastrope might instead seek an alternative route. But no - SURELY IF I DO THE EXACT SAME THING THE OTHER TWENTY SIX GUYS DID I WON'T GET MY FUCKING ASS RAMMED FULL OF CHUNKY HOT LEAD SUPPOSITORIES.
The AI's worst moments by far come with their use of grenades and flashbangs. I have NEVER seen the AI use a grenade or flashbang to any positive benefit whatsoever - but I have seen the AI stop shooting in the middle of a firefight without any cover around them so they can throw a flashbang at you. The result in a very dead retard. (That is, the AI, not you.). Sometimes, the AI will actually fuck up to such a ludicrously high level it needs to be seen to believed - once or twice I have seen them flashbang themselves or grenade themselves to death.
Then there's further problems again. Due to being ported from consoles, Vegas 2 has a habit of 'spawning-in' AI enemies as you kill off existing ones so that it doesn't need to handle the CPU load. This is, of course, completely unneccesary on most gaming PCs which can run far more graphical/CPU intensive games with far more AIs (CrySis, etc.) than an Xbox360 or PS3 ever could come close to. However, what could be handled in a responsible, well-handled manner instead once again shows off the shitty production values of this shitty game: You will often see enemies literally spawn right in front of you, then be instantly killed before you can even react.
Also, when the AI begins to 'cover fire', the cheating of the AI becomes even more pronounced - by either wallhacking or simply using the 'see around walls' ability of using the cover button, you will see the AI's supressive fire cleanly following your character, even if all it's doing is hitting the side of a building.
For some reason, the AI is also different in the main campaign than it is in terrorist hunt mode, apparently because the game developers fucking hate the idea of anyone actually enjoying 'skirmish'-type modes. The AI in the main campaign exhibits all of the problems above but will generally have subhuman reflexes, making killing them not such a problem as long as you see them first. The AI in terrorist hunt, however (at least on realistic mode. I always play games on their hardest difficulty level because I am better than you at them. This goes double for games that're supposed to be extremely hard even on the easiest difficulty level, especially Ninja Gaiden Black) is able to shoot you the instant your hitbox is exposed. Yes, hitbox, not player model. I can't count the number of times I have actually been killed by an enemy that WAS NOT EVEN VISIBLE who has shot me to death. Sometimes, the end of the enemy's gun will clip through a wall, and then he's considered to be on the other side of that wall. This is great fun, of course - having to somehow figure out how to kill an enemy whom is able to shoot you to death instantly, yet you can't even hit back.
AI also have super-human senses, able to hear your footsteps from about 50 metres away when you're walking while crouched, and instantly alerted the moment a single terrorist is killed even if no other terrorists see this and that one terrorist is miles away anyway. Thus, silencers are practically useless outside of players-only deathmatch. Not that they matter, anyway, because I've never seen a terrorist kill a hostage even if there's a trio of specops right in front of their damn face.
As I mentioned in my review, your AI teammates also exhibit these idiotic traits, with a few differences. One, they will sometimes not actually respond at all to somebody shooting them, even if the opponent is right in front of them. This leads to having to babysit them constantly, as one opponent can rapidly end your game this way. While you can heal them, for some reason healing a teammate takes FORTY TWELVE YEARS, resulting in you almost always dying the the omniscent AI terrorists who will converge on you the instant you start healing your teammates.
However, Teammates are also blessed with tank-like endurance - they seem to be able to take a dozen shotgun blasts to the head before they die, which makes them amazingly good bullet shields. Speaking of teammates, the game also features the most uninspiring team gameplay ever. In many levels (mostly terrorist hunt), the only acceptable modus operandi is to send your teammates ahead into them room before you - given their extremely high durability and magic aimbot aim, they typically do a far better job than any human could. This is also helped by the way that every terrorist in the game will make an instant beeline for you as soon as they detect hostiles, perhaps ignoring a pair of machinegun-armed teammates who are jamming the doorway they're trying to get through.
To sum it up...
"Fuck Rainbow 6: Vegas 2. Fuck it."
(Yes, I got that line from Seanbaby.)