I think I’ve had about enough Tangos.

Whole mess of “firsts” recently:

I finished Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six : Vegas on the 360…

This is the first “Tom Clancy’s subtitle subtitle : subtitle” game I’ve ever played through. I do own “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell”and “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon”, so I guess I could play those next if I felt like I needed more Clancy in my diet.

It’s also the first “tactical shooter” (I keep hearing that’s a genre, anyway) I’ve finished, and I had enough trouble with it on Normal to have great respect for anyone playing through it on “Realistic”. I also hear that this is “dumbed down” compared to the “glory days” of the franchise, and if that is the case I will be certain never to go back and play any of the earlier games, because I don’t think I need that much humiliation.

I got to experience my first Xbox 360 Disc Read Errors, so I’m probably well on my way to experiencing my first Red Rings of Death experience.

Anyway. It wasn’t my normal kind of game. It’s not at all cute; there’s no cuteness to be had here. It’s also not particularly story-driven, though the OMG! plot twist right at the end managed to catch me off-guard…

It does score some points for having really good AI for your squad mates. I’ve played a couple of squad-based games lately – Giants : Citizen Kabuto and Armed and Dangerous – and both had squad mates that were, well, they were pretty dumb. In R6:V, there were an awful lot of times where I could point them at a room full of “Tangos”, and they would cheerfully go and clear the room for me. I guess the “skill factor” in those cases boiled down to knowing WHEN my squad mates could do all my work for me.

It also gets serious cred for the environments. I will admit, up front, that I’ve never been to Las Vegas, so if it’s laughably bad in comparison to the REAL Las Vegas, please forgive my being impressed with it. I’d heard that it was only six levels long – and, yes, it IS only six levels long – but each of those levels is huge, usually with multiple inside-and-outside bits. It’s not running through rooms full of slot machines for hours on end, which is kind of what I’d expected.

The designers did themselves a serious disservice by putting the “made out of brown” Mexico level right up front. It makes sense for story reasons, but… wow, it’s not exactly suck-the-player-in eye-candy. Kind of like the Statue of Liberty level in Deus Ex, it’s kind of the tough, fibrous shell that conceals the sweet fruity center.

Anyway – over all, a good experience, nice to play something a little out of my normal comfort zone… but I’ve had it with hearing “tango down!” “tracking tango!” “eliminated tango!” for a while. I swear that at one point, when we came under fire, one of my squad mates shouted “we’re being tangoed!”, which I think is not an appropriate use of the term AT ALL.

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