RAINBOW SIX: SIEGE
Publisher/developer Ubisoft Format PC, PS4, Xbox One Release 2015
The now-shelved Rainbow
Six: Patriots teased an exploration of ethics and morality, but that has been replaced with something even more intriguing: choice and consequence in action. In Siege, Ubisoft has built the foundation for a brand-new generation of Rainbow Six games while staying true to the series’ roots.
“We wanted to get back to what Rainbow Six was,” AI director Jerome Lasserre says. “I think that’s what people want. On the one side you have the defenders, and their role is to fortify the area and build a stronghold; on the other side you have the attackers who are basically experts in demolition, and their role is to get inside by any means necessary.”
Both sides have gadgets to suit those roles. In the minute before each round starts, Rogue Spear’s terrorists will barricade windows, fill corridors with barbed wire, barricade walls with steel panels and lay down portable cover, all in the name of securing their hostage. On the other side, Raven Shield’s playercontrolled drones will enter the building and scout the area, searching for the hostage and probing for weak spots.
When the round begins, the makeshift fortress becomes a shooting gallery where no solid object is safe. Raven Shield players can use breaching charges on any unfortified wall or floor to make their own routes. Rogue Spear defends, the team’s carefully placed traps and surveillance devices giving them the jump on the invading forces.
Ubisoft Montreal’s team has deconstructed Assassin’s Creed’s Anvil engine to allow a level of destruction not seen since Red
Faction: Armageddon. Powerful weapons can punch holes in any wall or tear a door from its hinges, and explosives can bring down walls or collapse ceilings.
“It was an awesome amount of work,” Lasserre says. “We had, on one side, the whole destruction engine team working on the technology; and then on the other side we had the production pipeline building super-simple maps where walls were either ‘on’ or ‘off’ – and that let them tweak map design to make sure it played well. No fuss; only gameplay. Then we brought the two together, and that’s what you played today.”
For now, only the multiplayer half of Siege has been shown, but the campaign will come later. Even so, Ubisoft’s wall-breaching assault on the competitive FPS market that it left behind after
Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 was a show stealer. It’s an exciting return to one spawn, friendly fire, and a focus on tactics rather than a quick trigger finger.
The shield-bearing class is powerful in the tight corridors of a small suburban home, but in a house that can be shredded by gunfire it only takes a smart flanker to put a shot in his back through a wall