So that’s how the game works, but how much fun did we have with it? Our hon­est opin­ions are NOT open to ne­go­ti­a­tion...

XBox: The Official Magazine - - FEATURE | RAINBOW SIX SIEGE -

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”

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