By Neil Schneider
Vivaaaaaaaa Los Vegas! Vivaaaaaaaa Los Vegas!
I’ve played my share of first person shooters (FPS), but this is the first one I have played based in Los Vegas. Rainbow Six Vegas by Ubisoft is on one hand a visual masterpiece, and a somewhat missed stereoscopic 3D opportunity in the other.
You play a brand new Rainbow team leader named Logan Keller. Given the benefit of a loyal squad, you are on a mission to capture terrorists with the latest in ground combat technology. You get access to everything including a snake camera that lets you look under doors to size up your enemy, a wide selection of guns and silencers, enhanced night vision goggles, and a choice of hand grenades.
After capturing your first stronghold, the tables are turned when your first team is captured and taken away hostage; and this is when the real adventure begins. With Las Vegas as the backdrop, you must infiltrate a wide selection of casinos, rescue hostages, and disarm bombs all over the city.
This isn’t a “jump in the room and shoot everything to pieces” kind of game. You need to think things through and look before you leap into action. Maybe you want your men to blast a door open with plastic explosives, throw a smoke grenade to confuse everyone, or just run in shooting. Be careful, though. If one of your men gets hit, you only have a few seconds to revive him or you lose the game.
The health system is very similar to Call of Duty 2 where your screen goes all crazy when you are getting badly hurt, and when you stay hidden or out of the line of fire, you recover back to normal.
One of the maneuvers that makes the game interesting is being able to hug the wall with your back and peer out the side to shoot. You can even shoot blindly from a 3rd person point of view if the threat of getting hurt is too high.
In stereoscopic 3D, this game proved to be a mixed bag of success and disappointment. Using the iZ3D 1.07 drivers, I can have all settings on full with 100% of the post processing effects.
The most visually stunning parts of the game were the sequences where your team is being flown from one part of Los Vegas to another in a helicopter at night. Having been to Vegas, the city’s bird’s eye view in stereoscopic 3D is breathtaking. The developers even captured the colored shimmer that surrounds the buildings when they are lit at night.
The casinos had that authentic Vegas feel to them, and every room had a slot machine of some kind – just like Vegas! The bleeping, the tones, the flashing colors – they were all there. To add to the variety of scenery, Rainbow Six Vegas had its share of city street and behind the scenes levels too. Samples include theater stages, tunnels, generator rooms, warehouses, and more.
This had the makings of being the perfect stereoscopic 3D game. Unfortunately, nothing is perfect and Rainbow Six Vegas wasn’t the exception. All the guns and hand weaponry is poorly rendered in this game. Instead of being placed in 3D proportion to the other objects, the weapons are all too close in the Z axis. I suspect they were added on after the main rendering was done.
What does this mean? Well, I like to get a good sense of depth and a moderate amount of pop-out. While the interface and scenery renders perfectly, the gun and the scopes are all much too far apart. With the settings I want, the right eyed image of the gun can slide off the screen! I either only see the gun in one eye, or the separation is high enough that my brain tunes the second eye’s gun out of perspective. The game plays much better than I’m making it sound, but this anomaly does undermine the game’s otherwise successful stereoscopic 3D effectiveness.
I am hopeful Ubisoft will patch Rainbow Six Vegas so the guns are rendered proportionately to the rest of the game because there is a lot of visual potential here. Maybe Rainbow Six Vegas 2 will fare better? We’ll find out!
There is a multiplayer component too, and at last check I was not getting kicked by Punkbuster. However, it’s the single player campaign that makes the game memorable and interesting.
I think you will be pleased with the speed in this game. I was able to play R6 Vegas on a 7900GTX with shadows set to medium, and an 8800GTS 512 with everything on full.
In our gallery section, you will find images from the game and an anaglyph movie sample of a Rainbow Six Vegas helicopter flight. We are awaiting updated NVIDIA drivers before reviewing this title on additional stereoscopic 3D solutions. Post your thoughts on this review and your opinion on the game HERE!
Stereoscopic Effectiveness iZ3D
Stereoscopic Effectiveness NVIDIA
How Memorable Is This Game