By Philip Dunkley
Before I get nailed again for reviewing a game with a high score, I would just like to clear things up. I CANNOT HELP THE GAMES ARE GOOD AT THE MOMENT. That said, I would like to introduce you to the grimy world of Vegas, again. I took a specific view on this review, and I decided that I was going to play the whole single player campaign through, and try all the facets of the multiplayer before I even try and rate the game. I’m very glad I did, as sometimes a game can get a lot better as time goes by.
To start with, this game felt more like an expansion to the original than a completely new experience, but not in a bad way. There was something about the first Vegas game that captured the magic of Sin City, and it was a fantastic experience all round. I enjoyed the glitz and the lights, and the mood was captured better than I could have expected. The second outing takes more of a back alley role, as the bulk of the action takes place in warehouses and Industrial settings, rather than the glitzy front end of the town. That said there is still a fantastic level that spans a casino and theatre, which is one of the best levels I’ve seen in a game for a while.
When I first started the game, it felt remarkably familiar, with the only difference to the core gameplay was the addition of a sprint button, which works really well and ups the tempo of the game dramatically. I was also a little disappointed with the game, cause I felt that it was just way to similar to the original, and it just wasn’t capturing the gameplay like before, and it was starting to feel a little dated, but as time went by, I realised that this is what I loved about the first game, and I was once again the leader of finely tuned special ops team, and the more I played, the better this game got, in fact it got really good at the end, with a solo mission really testing the skills.
The overall experience was just as satisfying as the original, and the story seemed to be a little more in-depth than the first game. This time you play in a totally different unit as a fictional customisable character know only as Bishop. Logan is out; he’s on some other city threatening mission, so this adds a new angle to the story. Without giving too much away, the twist is good, and fits in nicely in with what happens throughout the game.
The AI in the game is pretty much the same as well, with the occasional moment of madness and the blatant disobeying of an order here and there from your Co-op team. It’s fine though, It won’t affect too much of the gameplay.
Graphically the game is just as good as the first, if not a bit sharper, with textures looking particularly good. The controls have not changed a bit from the last, but it works very well, and feels very responsive, although I did miss the rumble on the PS3 version (Note to self: Must order Dualshock 3 ASAP). I did notice a few framerate issues on the PS3 version, with a tiny pause every now and then, that actually did affect gameplay, especially when you have someone in your sniper sights, and the glitch hits and the target has moved. Annoying to say the least. I don’t understand how this is possible, and I know everyone says it’s just so difficult to develop for the PS3 etc etc, but after playing GT5: Prologue this weekend, it is absolutely proven that a game can run at unbelievable frame rates and still maintain the most amazing visuals. Sorry, back to the main story here.
You also have the ability to build you character up across all modes in this game, unlike the last where it only happened on the Multiplayer side. This adds a really nice feel, as it unlocks some cool weapons and clothing for customisation purposes. Also, these achievements in rank are carried across all modes in the game.
This brings me to the multiplayer side of the game. This once again is another strong point of the game, but again I seem to have some serious lagging issues, and you can only see the latency once you have joined the server. Then again I did have some intense multiplayer duels with a specific group of players that I actually did really well in (Third Place, out of 12, if you have to know, this is a big milestone for me, but they could have been 4 year olds!!). Another change this time is that you can only play with 2 players in Co-op for the story, when the last one was 4.
Overall, this game is a great tactical shooter in its own right. Maybe the flaw with the game is the fact that it seems too close to the original, and it misses the WOW factor that the first game had, even though it gets really cool towards the end. I enjoyed it immensely, and have been playing it solidly for 3 days. If you enjoyed the first, you’re going to enjoy the second, and if you’ve never played the first one, go and get the first one from the bargain bin and buy this one too, they will bring you many hours of enjoyment.
Graphics – 85%
Playability – 85%
Originality – 60%
Tilt Factor – 85%
Overall – 80% (A good sequel, but could have been great with a few new ideas)
Last Updated: April 1, 2008