Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and Xbox parties

I’m not usually a big fan of the realistic anti-terrorist shooters, but Rainbow Six Vegas 2 for the Xbox 360 (and other systems) is growing on me. My cousin has always been really into the Rainbow Six series, and he convinced me to buy Vegas 2 this week and attend an Xbox party with him and a bunch of his Xbox Live friends on Saturday.

It was a blast. Xbox Live already has voice communication going for it, but it’s so much more fun to actually be in the same room with the people you’re playing with. There were a bunch of people at the party (about 14-15 playing Vegas 2 at any given time, and a few others doing their own thing for whatever reason). Definitely more fun than hooking up to matches with total strangers who all too often turn out to be idiots (or twelve years old).

As for the game, Vegas 2 seems like a pretty standard entry into the tactical shooter genre. It only takes a few shots to kill you, taking cover behind walls, boxes, and so forth and peering out as you wait for an enemy is a standard tactic, and half the time when you get killed you have no idea where it came from (thanks to said hiding and peeking around corners). Normally I find these kind of games really frustrating; I was introduced to shooters (specifically online multiplayer shooters) playing Aliens vs. Predator which was filled with claustrophobic maps where your best survival tactic was to simply never stand still, so retraining myself to approach the map one room at a time is difficult.

The controls for Vegas 2 also threw me off. They’re quite different from most shooters I’ve played, and vastly different from Call of Duty 4 (which I’ve been playing recently).

Where Vegas 2 stands out is the variety of multiplayer options available. The entire campaign can be played through cooperatively, either via Live or split screen, and the various multiplayer gametypes are quite fun. Particularly appealing is the fact that if you can’t find enough people to pull off a good team deathmatch, you can do a “terrorist hunt” which allows you and up to three friends to fight bots on the multiplayer maps. I really enjoy coop games and the occasional bot fight, so the variety of options available in Vegas 2 is great.

I’d definitely recommend Vegas 2 if you’re looking for a good tactical shooter with great multiplayer options. It might not be anything special in the sub-genre of realistic anti-terrorist shooters (I wouldn’t know), but it’s the first one that I’ve been able to get into, and is a lot of fun to play with friends.

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