We just spent the last hour playing the Rainbow Six: Vegas multiplayer demo, and so far it's pretty damned good. First of all, the character creation and outfitting is surprisingly robust for a demo. There are plenty of faces available -- sorry, no Vision support in the demo -- lots of facial hair options, as well as a few different camouflage options. The amount of weapons and armor is very impressive for a demo. There are multiple types of rifles, machine guns, pistols, grenades, and plenty of armor and clothing choices for the whole body. What's more, there are even some gadgets and custom weapon attachments, too. Finally, the game lets you add a three character prefix to your Gamertag. This is great for those who haven't appended Clan prefixes to their tags (or those who don't want to). Unfortunately, none of these options are saved when you quit the demo, so you may not want to get too attached to your avatar.
Of course, all of these options don't mean much without some gameplay to back them up. Lucky for 360 owners, Vegas has that in spades (spades, get it? Little Las Vegas humor there). It takes some getting used to, especially if you've been playing Gears. There are times when you'll hit the wrong button for cover, or want to dive out of the way. Once you learn the controls, however, Vegas becomes a blast to play. Cover, short bursts, and quick kills are the order of the day.
We sampled the Attack & Defend gametype, which has one team infiltrating a casino to retrieve some top secret data, while the other team (surprise!) defends it. What really makes it interesting is how many options are available for each team. As defenders, do you stay in the basement and try to funnel your enemy, or venture upstairs into the casino and take out your enemies as they come in? For attackers, there are multiple ways of breaching the casino. The fastest is to jump through the skylight on the roof, but it's also the most visible. Elevator shafts, on the other hand, are more silent and provide more cover (assuming no one tosses a grenade into the elevator). If that doesn't do it for you, there are two sides of the building that allow you to rappel and break in through a window. This is the longest route to the objective, but also one of the safest.
Though there is an overall objective, our game was set to no respawns, so wiping out either team would win the match. As such, most of our games wound up as impromptu deathmatches. The tactical, cover based gameplay works well, and you die much faster than you do in Gears. As in Gears, a smart team will work in pairs, allowing them to flank or overpower lone soldiers.
Sure, it's fun to shoot people, but half the fun of Vegas is planning your assault (or defense) when the match starts. Teammates will call out their entrance points, note any hostiles they may have seen on the way in, and hopefully warn the rest of the team in time. Working with a good team is a really great experience and we suggest you give it a try. Go download the demo and tell us what you think.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.