Aka "My Thoughts on R6V1 Since it is Free on Xbox Currently"

I'll admit it, I have a soft little niche in my heart for everything Tom Clancy. I've enjoyed reading nearly every book he has published, playing just about every video game franchise or game, and watching the movie adaptations with Harrison Ford and other special folks. I love it all and lap it all up like some sick, twisted dog. Therefore, when I saw the opportunity to reacquire a copy of Rainbow Six Vegas, for free, I took it. Six point six gigabytes and two hours later, I had acquired a digital experience that should be just as memorable as the original one, even if the controls do feel a bit weird now at times. Now, Rainbow Six is actually a very long series, spanning all the way from when the book itself came out in the mid-nineties to nearly present day. Rainbow Six Vegas is actually the sixth game in the series, but the first of two Rainbow Six Vegas games- which turned the tactics and combat more towards the Ghost Recon point of view.

Rainbow Six Vegas changes the ball game in several ways, and it wasn't until I started playing it again, that I really remembered how it had been the first time I'd played R6V1 and R6V2- it's much more successful and entertaining successor. The game has some gameplay elements that are now standard amongst most shooters, and some that haven't really been seen since. This unique combination of gimmicks and elements consists of, but is not limited to, checkpoint systems replacing saves, rappelling from almost any vertical surface- while maintaining your ability to fire your weapons, regenerating health, blind fire, team commands, and environmental damage. Rainbow Six Vegas is a game that was truly ahead of its time, and despite a few tough changes from today's controls to R6V1's, it is still pretty up-to-date and advanced for a seven year old game.

Though I fear this will spoil things for you, even though the chances that the story has been spoiled countless times over the seven years between release and now, I am going to discuss a little bit of the story in a short plot synopsis here, along with my thoughts. If you wish to not have the majority of the campaign ruined, then I suggest you either turn back or skip this particular section. Just a heads up.

Rainbow Six Vegas does not in fact, start of in the American sin city of Las Vegas, but instead in a Mexican border town nearby. Three Rainbow operatives, Logan (your player), Gabriel, and Kan, are attempting to detain Mexican terrorist Irena Morales before things start to go awry. The first portion of the game finds you fighting your way solo through the Mexican streets before hooking up with your squaddies, freeing some hostages, and heading towards an abandoned mine where Irena is said to be. This of course, goes horribly wrong, and your squadmates are abducted, leaving you with only a pistol and a ton of bad guys between you and your ticket out.

After escaping by helicopter, you are redirected towards Las Vegas for your next mission, where you hook up with two new team members- Michael and Jung. After clearing out a casino, rescuing more hostages, and finding a NATO weapons researcher, your team moves on to the next casino in order to locate a missing reporter. After some miscellaneous little "small stuff", your team flies out to the Vertigo Spire and defuses a micro-pulse bomb, whilst saving a second arms researcher as well. Seeing this immediate threat as neutralized, you are sent to locate your kidnapped colleagues Gabriel and Kan.

You manage to find and free Gabriel, however, you are eventually ambushed and your other squad mate, Kan, is fatally shot. However, in truly dramatic fashion, he manages to reveal that the Las Vegas attacks were mere distractions, and that the real problems are going on at the Nevada Dam, which turns out to be a secret weapons facility as well. After defusing not one, but two micro-pulse bombs, saving more hostages, and containing the flood waters of the dam in order to keep it from bursting, you soon enter and realize there is a missile prepped to launch from the dam's top.

Logan (you) manages to kill Irena Morales, then he and his team destroys the missile atop the dam. Everything proceeds fine until Gabriel sends you a little goodbye message, letting you know that he was Irena's mole all along, and that he has stolen a helicopter and killed its pilots. He attempts to escape, but is either shot down or crashes the copter- depending upon your reaction. Either way, you are sent off to see what you can dredge up on the terrorist organization that Irena was affiliated with, and it becomes known that Gabriel's body was never recovered- prompting a 'To Be Continued' message to pop up, and for the story to pick up with R6V2 a year and a half later...

Now that the story is over, let's talk a little bit about the multiplayer side of things, which is the true shining point of the game, despite its quite interesting story mode. You have a multitude of multiplayer modes to choose from, which I won't bore you with the plethora of names and other details about each. Essentially, most boil down to frantic and frenetic death matches and team objective based hostage situations or other ideal encounters. However, all modes are supported quite well, or at least, were anyways, as I haven't tried them now. The multiplayer has a pretty standard system by today's standards, but is quite ahead of its time in terms of customization and content. In fact, I'd say its a strategic version of Modern Warfare essentially, with a little more gadgetry and oomph here and there.

But anyway, that's my little piece for the day, and my little thought process on a game that is particularly enjoyable, even if it is seven years old. Rainbow Six Vegas is a pretty good game to get for free if you don't already own it, and you have six and a half gigabytes to spare of memory space on your Xbox harddrive, so be sure to download it while you still have the chance, seeing as the next game for gold comes out October first. Anyways, as my 30/30 for September is slowly wrapping up here, I'll see you guys soon once more, with Day Twenty-Six coming up... Adios!

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