RAINBOW SIX SIEGE THE MISSION DEBRIEF
So that’s how the game works, but how much fun did we have with it? Our honest opinions are NOT open to negotiation...
Rainbow Six Siege is being marketed as a spiritual successor to tactical shooters such as Counter-Strike and (yes!) the early Rainbow Six games – a sub-genre that, Ubisoft Montreal tells us, we just don’t see much of any more. Well, that may be true, but it’s a very modern take on the genre – filled with modern genre clichés such as killcams, melee kills, monstrous amounts of ammo, sprinting and – yikes! – hit markers. All of these elements should, by rights, be huge red flags to old-school Rainbow Six fans, who might feel disenfranchised by what they feel is a ‘ CoDification’ of their beloved series.
But here’s the thing: it’s actually rather good. While it’s got the same ‘feel’ of most other modern first-person shooter games, Siege is an altogether more methodical, strategic affair. The lack of health regen, coupled with the emphasis on close-quarters combat, means that engagements are sudden and lethal, and with no respawn until the end of the round, the harshness of Siege’s world discourages players from pelting around the arena spraying bullets out of their mouths like they’ve got rabies.
There’s also an accountability that’s rare in team-based shooters. The small, intimate five-on-five setting, coupled with the ability to see x-ray outlines of your teammate’s positions, makes it easy for players to get an overview of what the overall situation is on the map, and what they should be doing next. If your team fails, they fail together, and it’s clear to everyone who was to blame. On the flipside, co-ordinated teams succeed together, too. You’re definitely stronger together than individually, and that should discourage anti-social ‘lone wolf’ play, as without back-up you’ll quickly get overwhelmed by clusters of opposing soldiers.
The only major question right now is one that isn’t for Ubisoft Montreal to answer: will the community play Rainbow Six Siege in the spirit it’s intended? It’s a bold design choice to build a multiplayer engine around a specialised game mode, and it’s one that’s backfired on Ubisoft Montreal before. (Remember Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood’s fantastic-in-principle multiplayer mode, where you had to blend in with NPCs in order to get close to your target? It was great during preview events – but once it was in the wild, it was wrecked by roof-hopping idiots.)
The absence of an XP or unlock system should pay dividends in convincing players to work as a team rather than chase personal glory. But here’s hoping Siege has a substantial single-player campaign as a fallback option – preferably one that leverages the fantastic ideas that are being implemented in multiplayer.
“it’s a more methodical, strategic affair than other fps games”