There’s no denying that this game was as highly anticipated as any big franchise title on the Xbox 360. And judging by the look of my friends list on release day, quite a lot of people worldwide were eager to play the next Rainbow Six game. But alas, after the momentum has died and the excitement has given way to anticipation followed closely by realisation; I have begun to notice the numbers online slowly dwindling.

Don’t get me wrong, so far I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Vegas 2. But whether or not I’ll continue to play the game is questionable at this stage. I am not one of those die-hard fans of the franchise and the only other Tom Clancy game I have thoroughly enjoyed (and still own) to date is Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2.

The main problem facing Vegas 2 won’t have so much to do with the game itself but with the community of gamers as a whole.

Contending for the hardcore audience is always going to be an issue with huge online franchise titles such as Vegas 2 (and Halo 3, Gears of War and Call of Duty 4 preceding it). Most of the gamers who play these games (I say most, not all) will more than likely follow suit online and play whatever major title is du jour because that’s what everyone ‘on their friends list’ will be playing. Vegas 2 I fear is now suffering from this dilemma.

Call of Duty 4 has unknowingly taken hold of the same group of online gamers that would normally flock to Vegas 2, and it’s the subtle differences between the two games that is the deciding factor as to whether or not the game will continue to be played by the masses on Xbox Live. Even though Vegas 2 is an FPS, it’s very much a Tom Clancy game first and foremost, making it the type of shooter that requires just a little more tact, a little more patience and perhaps a different approach than most shooters.

Probably the most noticeable difference between Vegas 2 and Call of Duty 4 is the considerable drop in frame rate from a 60 FPS (frames per second) game to 30. This type of impact on the overall gaming experience is quite substantial when you're used to running around and shooting down anything that moves with unlimited movement and speed. In my experience, that can sometimes make or break the popularity of a game online, and this frame rate drop coupled with minor bugs means we can't rate Vegas 2 as high as it might otherwise deserve.

The coop campaign mode is extremely challenging and fun to play, yet the best experience to be had with games like Rainbow Six Vegas 2 still resides online in the 16 player lobbies via multiplayer. This is undoubtedly where the true test of your skill will take place (and in some cases, your patience as well).

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