Vegas has an odd grip on the American mind. As Hunter S Thompson put it, before he swallowed the shotgun, "that vision of the big winner somehow emerging from the last minute pre-dawn chaos of a stale Vegas casino... humping the American dream" answers that conceit that in America, anyone can be President, anyone can make it big. Of course, when the winner emerging loot-laden from the casino is a terrorist, that image has an even greater resonance with Americans.
Aleandre Parizeau, producer, talked us through the new Rainbow Six game, set in Sin City, starting by contrasting it with Ghost Recon. "Ghost Recon is all about warfare and open environments with a strong army feeling and support. Rainbow Six is close-quarter and counter-terrorism. We have outdoor levels of course, but it's never a war so to speak. The Rainbow Six guys are an elite unit whereas Ghost Recon are soldiers of the future fighting global warfare situations." So expect this to be even grittier, more tactical combat than the excellent GR:AW and probably even less forgiving.
"It helps having a clear idea of what we intend to have in Vegas too: realism, close-quarter battle and tactics", said Parizeau. "Though you'll see the outside, the focus will be on interior combat. Since we're mostly in one location, we can increase the tension, ramp up the pressure on the player, and ensure there're no more menus between the missions." So that's shooting carbon-copy criminals with 40-plus high-tech weapons across the craps tables and through the Bellagio's fountains. How about the locations? Is the city recognisably Vegas? "You will recognize the city, but you'll never see Freemont Street and the Strip in the same way ever again." Until the next Vegas game, that is.