Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 20 (Head over to our review - text and video - for our full verdict on the game), but if you own both consoles, which version should you buy? Read on for our verdict on which version looks the best, has the best online functionality and more. If you only care about the graphics, head straight to our comparison screenshots.
Rainbow Six Vegas 2 looks great, with some brilliant lighting, plenty of next-gen effects and for the most part a solid frame rate. The two console versions do have a few differences though. The Xbox 360 version runs at a slightly faster frame rate at points, while the PS3 game offers greater bloom effects, making for a more exciting looking game. Texture work on the two is nearly identical, but when running side by side the 360 version has the slight edge on texture quality.
The original Rainbow Six Vegas looked considerably worse on the PlayStation 3, but the sequel is a far more optimised release. Faced with the choice of the version with a generally smoother frame rate or the game with some brighter lighting, we'd have to go with the smoother frame rate. Xbox 360 takes the win in the graphics section, but only by a whisker.
You can see a direct comparison of the two games running side by side in our RB6 Vegas 2 Xbox 360 Vs PlayStation 3 image comparisons. PS3 screens were taken from the final retail game over HDMI with RGB Full. The Xbox 360 footage was taken from the final retail game over Component with the Reference level set to Expanded.
Onto page 2 for a sound comparison.
With the Xbox 360 and PS3 both supporting excellent surround sound audio there's usually very little difference between multi-format releases in this category, and Vegas 2 is no different. Both games feature the same brilliant directional sounds and superb ambient effects that really immerse you in the game.
This one's a dead heat. We listened to both games back to back, repeatedly, and we couldn't hear a clear winner.
Onto page 3 for a gameplay comparison.
Both versions of Rainbow Six Vegas 2 feature the same control set-up, so you're unlikely to have issues with one over the other. Until we get the Dual Shock 3s in the UK though there's not going to be any rumble in the PlayStation 3 version. Something that adds to the experience is the ability to play through the game using your own face, mapped onto a member of Team Rainbow. Both console games feature the same face mapping functionality.
Until we get Dual Shock 3s in Europe the Xbox 360 will always have a clear advantage in the gameplay section. The rumble makes a big difference to the feel of the game and PS3 gamers are missing out at the moment. Other than this the two games play equally well and key gameplay features are the same in each. Because of the rumble, though, the Xbox 360 game has the edge.
Onto page 4 for a multiplayer comparison and the final verdict.
Finally, there's something to talk about that's more than a trivial point. The Xbox 360 game supports up to 16 players online, whereas the PS3 game only supports 14. Both games seem to function as well as each other online, so there's no reason to pick one or the other thinking you'll get a smoother online experience. Co-op is for two players only on both versions and all the game modes are identical in each.
Although two extra players might seem like a minor thing for some, it does give the Xbox 360 the slight edge in the online functionality. With online performance and all other multiplayer game modes and functionality being pretty much identical, it's this player limit that gives the Xbox 360 the victory.
Once again, it's an incredibly close contest, but the Xbox 360 game comes out on top. With a slightly smoother frame rate, rumble support for all and two extra player slots in online games, the Xbox 360 game is the version to buy if you have the choice. Xbox 360 Achievements and an all-round better online service in Xbox LIVE are the icing on the cake.
Read on for a series of comparison shots of the two versions side by side.