Title: Rainbow Six Siege
Version Tested: PC
Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Genre: Turn Based Strategy, RPG
Official Site: Rainbow Six Siege
Release Date: 12-01-15
If Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Battlefield 4 had a baby, this is the game you would get. It’s been a long time since the last Rainbow Six game, and this is the first time it has been created primarily for multiplayer. Released this week, the Ubisoft Montreal-developed game shows great promise.
I found myself being taken back to Sierra On-line’s SWAT series of games, on the fundamental elements of the game these two games are kindred spirits. Of course, SWAT 4 was released a decade ago in 2005, a long enough period for another to pick up the gauntlet. There are huge differences, of course, Rainbow Six Siege is a game I would describe as a challenge to all other current AAA games, and Ubisoft knows it.
Over the years, I have poured countless hours into first person shooters. The aim is always to capture arbitrary objectives or simply kill the other team. Rainbow Six Siege has complicated matters in this respect slightly, where there is nothing new in the way the game goes about this. You can certainly win a game by just killing the other team, however, it is more about the way you plan and strategize to defeat your enemy.
Rainbow Six Siege reminds me of several different genres of games all rolled into one neat package which, incidentally, makes perfect sense. For my sanity, and yours, I will now lay out how a casual or ranked match generally plays out. If you have watched or played an MOBA genre of game, like League of Legends or Dota 2, then you know how important this stage is. Part of this is the strategic picking of different operatives, twenty in total, ten on the attacking team and ten on the defending team. Each operative has their own unique set of gadgets and equipment each from one of the top counter-terrorist organizations in the world, the SAS, FBI SWAT, GIGN, SPETSNAZ, and GSG 9. From shock drones to laser-tripped C4 traps each operative has different equipment. In this game, the difference between casual and ranked games is that teams will vote on a deploy and defend points on their respective teams.
The next stage of the game depending on which side you are on is like a home improvement show or a Garry’s Mod game of Prop hunt. The defenders will begin reinforcing their defending point with steel walls, electrified barbed wire, and various gadgets to make attacking a nightmare. The attackers, however, send in drones to scout out the location of the hostage or bomb point. They are small and mobile, and the defenders have every incentive to destroy or disable these, making for sometimes a hilarious game of cat and mouse.
The bread and butter of the game is the next stage, the siege. If they failed to do so in the search round, The attackers must find the defender’s strong room and either kill or complete their objective. This could be accomplished by rescuing a hostage, capturing the room or defusing a bomb. The defenders must use their defensive setup to hold the attackers off for a three minute period or kill them.
All three phases of the game I found to be very enjoyable. There is not a moment when you don’t feel tense, because if you die in a round there is no respawn, that’s it! You must watch the rest of the match offering intel from drones and cameras that are provided to your team around the map.
The game does have in-game voice communication. I found this to be useful, however very buggy. Numerous players throughout my time playing Rainbow Six Siege had problems with not being able to silence their own microphone. However, this only seemed to conflict with other voice communication programs like Skype and TeamSpeak.
Rainbow Six Siege is a beautiful looking game. I understand that it runs on a relatively old engine (but upgraded), Anvil, however, I could have mistaken it for Battlefield 4’s Frostbite 3 engine. I couldn’t find a bad texture in the game, not actively looking I might add after twenty hours of gameplay I found nothing that stood out like a sore thumb. Maps are huge and complex with every map having its own hidden secrets. Some of these secrets include noisy floors, as well as, floors you can shoot through to surprise your opponent. The game sounds are excellent, from footsteps to gunfire and screams of pain, this game has it all.
The game also includes some single player elements called situations. Situations are clearly designed to teach the game instead of having a tutorial. Rainbow Six Siege assumes that you know the basics of first-person shooters, which, in this day and age is not unreasonable and throws you straight into the action. These situations are also not a huge waste of time. Each situation provides different challenges which you are rewarded for at the end of the match. These rewards are the exact same that you would receive from playing a multiplayer match. The points earned from multiplayer games, casual or ranked, and situations can be spent on new operatives for your team but in order to do this you will need to unlock all twenty.
Gun modifications and skins also need to be unlocked. There are microtransactions in the game, however, they seem to be limited only to gun skins and point boosters and offer no real advantage. The cut scenes for each unlocked operative are entertaining, wonderfully made, and get you excited about the new operative you just unlocked. Being a Brit, I squealed with joy on unlocking my first operative from the SAS ‘Smoke’. If you are looking for a first person shooter game with a storyline, this is not the game for you. However, if you love multiplayer games and the Tom Clancy series then look no further than Rainbow Six Siege. The game has a season pass, where developers intend to release ‘four seasons’ of content throughout 2016. These include eight new operatives, four new playable maps, new weapons and new game modes.
This game has the potential to create huge professional competition especially against popular titles like CS: GO and Call of Duty. I highly recommend this title, it’s a near perfect first person shooter for what the game sets out to do, and it does it superbly.
- Gameplay: Rainbow Six Siege offers the best counter-terrorism and siege based modern shooter on the market to date, hands down, no questions asked. Offers a twist on the modern first person shooter.
- Graphics: The game looks and feels great, Ubisoft have created a beautiful looking game with huge and complex maps, and detailed characters, sleek menus and loadout screens.
- Sound: Great sound effects, nice soundtrack but underwhelming, falls down a little with the occasional bug.
- Presentation: Rainbow Six Siege is a true AAA release title, it accomplishes what it set out to do and has done it well.
- Great gunplay
- Rewarding First Person Shooter Experience
- Casual and Ranked play
- Buggy voice communication
- No storyline or narrative
From London in the United Kingdom.
Games and technology journalist.
PC / IOS / Xbox 360 / Nintendo 3DS