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Rainbow Six Vegas

We had the distinct honor of entering Ubisoft's San Francisco offices last week for a little bit more hands-on time with urban military shooter Rainbow Six Vegas, and we scored a grip of media to fling at you. First off, you'll want to click the Movies tab above to witness the Tron -like conversion of your humble gaming servant Gabe Graziani as the wizards at Ubisoft digitize his image into Rainbow Six Vegas' new Persistant Elite Creation 2.0 system. Then you must check out our exclusive video of the Las Vegas University (or LVU) multiplayer level (also by clicking the Movies tab above), because you've never ever seen it before. But for now, let's get on with the brilliant progress that's been made with Rainbow Six Vegas.

We got to try out a plethora of multiplayer levels including the Rainbow Six 3 redux of Streets, the recently revealed pueblo of Mexico and the stark bank vault/office cubicles of the LVU. All of these levels had a fantastic diversity in their environments, and each provided plenty of opportunities for thinking vertically (and employing the fast-rope and rappelling techniques appropriately).There was alsothe occasional nest of tight corridors ideal for shotgun work (or as our video guru Joe "Spawn-Camper" McNeilly likes to call them: Shotty McBlastblast).

Overall, the new (though still pre-release) version we played was notably smoother than what we had seen just a few short weeks ago. Indeed, the frenetic multiplayer action at least matched the single-player game, which you can try out yourself if you pick up the December issue of OXM. While there wasn't much time for using gadgets like the snake-cam, we made heavy use of the cover system (which had the slightly disturbing effect of showing off my character in third person - giving me a good stare at my ugly mug).