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Rainbow Six Vegas 2 - single player hands-on

The setting's the same. The story's the same. The good guys and bad guys are the same. Most of the weapons, armor and gadgets are the same. You're still in Vegas. You're still with teammates Michael Walter and Jung Park. You're still rappelling through windows and snaking cameras under doors. Heck, even the time and day haven't changed.

What, then, makes Rainbow Six Vegas 2 - the anticipated follow up to 2006's tactical terrorist shooter - a real sequel? What makes it truly new? Based on our recent hands-on time with the single player campaign, the differences are in the details.

For example, you may be fighting the same war, but you're not fighting the exact same battles. The action in Vegas 2 starts several hours before the original's, then runs parallel for awhile and finally pushes forward to conclude the cliffhanger left in the previous game. You'll see how the city first fell under siege to the terrorists. You'll see how a separate Rainbow Six squad fought to protect it. You'll not only see what happens to the traitor Gabriel, you'll see why he defected to begin with.


Above: Watch footage from the first two campaign missions.

Vegas 2 also introduces a new hero - you. Although Logan leads a few prequel missions, the sequel's primary protagonist is Bishop, a fully customizable avatar. His face can be personalized using the Xbox Live Vision camera to resemble your general likeness. This option was available in the first game's multiplayer, but transforming yourself into the star of the actual storyline should be much more immersive. His outfit can also be edited with new armor and gear as he unlocks it. Oh, and we should probably stop using "his" and "he," because Bishop can now be a woman as well.

Bishop's style can be customized, too, depending on how you play the game. A newly implemented Rewards system pays attention to your combat preferences and doles out upgraded weapons and ranks accordingly. Like creeping up on a guy before you waste him? Vegas 2 will recognize this and award you with a better close quarter arsenal. Love nailing a head shot from a block away? Vegas 2 will give you snazzier sniper rifles.

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