Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas
Rainbow Six: Mexico?:
"We began the game in Mexico, largely for narrative reasons and to tell the story of the terrorist organisation, but we were trying to do a few things too. We wanted to introduce the team to the player and then take it away again - we wanted that to be an emotional experience. Second, we wanted to make a really distinct contrast between the dusty streets of Mexico and the glitzy glamour of Vegas. I think perhaps, the Mexican missions went on a little longer than we intended, but we also wanted the player to explore and get used to the game before they got to the 'money shot', as it were."
"RainbowSix has traditionally been about multiple teams of four, so it was a tough decision to reduce that to just three guys. We wanted to improve their characterisation, to make them feel like humans, and having only two team-mates made that a lot easier, and let us put a lot more into their Al. The context-sensitive command system was a huge effort right across the team - just from the programming side, we had one guy from start to finish developing all the info we'd need in the game to allow us to do that. We went through half a dozen different iterations, trying again and again until we got something we were happy with."
Viva Las Vegas:
"We sent three of our artists down there for a week, and they took thousands of photos and gave us really amazing reference material that the level designers could work from. Las Vegas is a very well publicised place - people know what it looks like. We could use the exteriors of the buildings - the shape of them - but we couldn't use the names of the casinos and hotels, or anything copyrighted. However, a lot of what you see is what's actually there in Vegas, apart from the stuff we blow up, which is our own invention."
Good For The Health:
"The heart of the Rainbow Six experience is that it's super-brutal and unforgiving, so moving to the new health system was a tough sell. The real driving factor was that we were producing this 24-esgue continuous experience where you spend the night in Vegas, and to do that with only three health points wasn't really feasible - it would've made the game extraordinarily hardcore. There was no way we were going back to the health pack mentality, so we went with the idea of the bullet just grazing you rather than hitting you in the heart, and it proved the best solution. It also leads to some really intense moments, when you've got your screen darkened out and you're under fire."
"This actually happened really early in development. Two-and-a-half years ago we decided to have this cover system, and from then it was just what it was going to be and how flexible it was. There was a lot of fear from fans earlier on, especially the multiplayer crowd, that it wasn't going to allow for balanced games and so forth. We were looking at forums and they were saying 'It'll destroy Rainbow Six' but we were like, 'Don't worry - it's all under control'!'"
"It was absolutely crucial to get this right for the PC game. FPSs live or die by their multiplayer mode, and it's always been integral to and a big focus of the Rainbow experience. Personally, I'm a big fan of co-op, so I really wanted to make that work well. We wanted people to have fun going through the casinos together - it's always a really powerful experience when you gather your friends together, and instead of competing against each other, you're working together against the Al. It's great fun and I'm aiming to put co-op in all my future games.''
"A lot of it is just real Spec Ops, what they actually use. We looked at teams around the world, but unfortunately it still boils down to a very limited range of weapons. So we had two focuses - the Rainbow weapons and the terrorist weapons, which can be more varied but are mostly things we know are really common out there. Of course, we wouldn't work on Rainbow Six if we didn't have a certain fascination with weaponry, and we all have our personal favourites - mine is the Raging Bull handgun. There are certain manufacturers we're not allowed to work with though, because they're very protective of their IP, which is unfortunate for us because we'd like to put those weapons in."
The snake cam is my favourite gadget. I love the experience of just sitting there, peering under the door, watching the guys chatting away with each other and marking a couple of targets for my team-mates. We spent a lot of time getting that whole room entry stuff right - the snake cam ties everything together for the player really well and gives you some great moments."
Just For Laughs:
"We had some great funny moments during development, including some unbelievable stuff from the Al such as turning themselves inside out, growing 50ft tall, or bouncing around like the Crazy Frog; but that's development for you. Also, I'll never forget our animation director Aaron Gilman, who did the mo-cap for our main bad girl, Irena. Aaron's a method actor, so for a while he was actually walking around the office as Irena. Having this bloke prancing around as a psychotic chick was pretty weird for a while! He's mostly back to normal now, with only the occasional flashback..."
Download Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas
I, for one, welcome our realistic shooter masters. I've been waiting for Rainbow Six Vegas ever since its announcement, and it is better than I could've hoped. Playing through Vegas is a dream come true. Go buy this game right now. If you're still here, let's discuss some of the finer points in the game.
There's something wonderful about taking cover behind a slot machine. Each engagement area is full of detail and depth, and usually offers vertical movement to boot. The developers didn't skimp on the game play either. Not only is it easy to command your team, Vegas is designed to let you design certain encounters on the fly. Anytime you need to breach a room or take an objective, some simple tools let you designate targets and attack each target simultaneously. For those times when you have to rely on good old pin and flank tactics, you can take cover behind whatever item you'd like. Borrowing the idea from earlier titles like Kill.switch (horrible game but incredible use of cover), Rainbow Six Vegas makes it necessary but also very easy to take cover wherever you like. This highlights one of Vegas' only flaws though. Sometimes the game doesn't always pick your position that well, so you've got to be careful how you control your character.
Special attention should be paid to Rainbow Six Vegas multiplayer. Although it is reportedly a tad buggy, especially with the audio, it does offer a wide variety of game and character options, and stands up as reputedly 'awesome'.
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. The single player storyline in this game rocks. Vegas is awesome, especially when you're storming it with an MP5.