In their latest update, Penny Arcade informs the world that they have switched from Gears of War to Rainbow Six Vegas as their game of choice -- though Tycho admits he was against the idea. The reasons for the switch are about what you would expect: Vegas is what some would call more "hardcore." Kills are near instantaneous, weapon choices are numerous, player counts are higher, the cover system is (arguably) more flexible than Gears, and Vegas has a robust persistent online structure. I had a feeling after playing the Vegas multiplayer demo that it might become the hardcore game of choice, much like Rainbow Six 3 was on the original Xbox.

However, just because it's more hardcore does not mean that it will be more popular. If that were the case, Halo 2 would have been knocked from the Live top spot long ago. Will Vegas topple the new Gears behemoth? Well, no. No it won't. There are many reasons for this, but the main reason is that Vegas simply isn't as accessible as Gears. Even if pressing "A" can have undesired results in Gears -- diving from cover instead of rolling around the edge for instance -- it's still a more friendly setup for the masses (compared to Vegas' use of the left trigger). Also, the weapons of Vegas can be daunting to the uninitiated, as the advantages of one machine gun over another may elude the average gamer. And of course, there is the quibble that Vegas looks nowhere near as good as Gears, despite the fact that they run on the same engine. It seems minor, but graphics alone were enough to turn many of our readers off of the demo, despite how fun it is to play.

What are your thoughts? Will the hardcore, fast tactics of Vegas lure you in, or do you prefer the polished, simpler destruction of Gears?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.