Putting a beating heart intense military shooter Rainbow Six Siege
I’ve spent much of my time imagining much more interesting histories for them
Having bounced off the game’s open beta many moons ago, I’d all but forgotten about Siege until strong word of mouth tempted me back. On paper, the core concept of two five-person teams, one trying to break the other’s defenses, was always strong. I love asymmetric multiplayer games, and the destructible environments gave Siege something extra special. Yet perhaps the most interesting thing for me was the diversity of the game’s cast, called Operators. They’re the heroes you choose before each round, dictating your weapons and abilities.
And, goodness, Ubisoft has done it. I adore this game now. With its huge array of heroes, it’s like Overwatch for military nerds—swapping out the fast ride for a harsher slow burner. The game has the tension I’ve come to adore in games over the past few years, but distilled into a smaller scale, where luck feels much less a factor.
That’s a perfect formula for a cracking Tom Clancy shooter, but the thing that’s kept me fixated on the game is that cast. If you like to play games as not-another-white-man then this has folks from all over the world, with a fair portion of them women. It’s quietly inclusive, just lacking in personality. Their in-game character backgrounds are dreadfully plain, but also devoid of detail. As such, I’ve spent much of my time imagining much more interesting histories for them, including inter-team relationships of the queer variety.
My favorite operator is Yumiko ‘Hibana’ Imagawa. A Japanese operative, formerly of the SAT, she’s been raised in archery, traveled to train with various special forces around the world. That’s all Ubisoft gives us.
I imagine her not as a meek, quiet ninja, but a foul-mouthed rogue. Not quite cocky, but confident all the same. She feels like an outsider, never having settled in one place, but as part of Rainbow, she’s found herself opening up to Elena ‘Mira’ Alvarez. Mira’s a wrench monkey, but her time serving on Rainbow has left her homesick. Having never felt anywhere to be home, it’s Mira’s sense of place that Hibana finds solace in. The two have a loving relationship on the down low. Of course, there’s more. The online, long-distance dating between IQ and Valkyrie. Or Frost’s secret past as an escaped convict. Those are the tame ones.
Stranger than fiction
Does any of this matter? It certainly makes me enjoy the game more, playing as characters instead of cogs in a machine. Being in a party of five (the ideal way to experience the game) makes it feel like an action movie about a ragtag bunch of misfits, with down time between shootouts spent fleshing out our characters. The game’s devoid of a plot but the maps are evocative; an embassy in a city during a riot, a favela at night under fireworks. They seem part of a world that at least lets you imagine some context for your daring.
If you’ve been looking for a multiplayer game with a diverse cast that isn’t Overwatch, then Siege might be the slower paced alternative for you. It’s not as explicitly queer as Overwatch has become, but come on… it’s called Team Rainbow.
The maps are varied and each evokes a story of some kind.