Breaking Through

Not many people are happy when Ubisoft announced that the upcoming tactical shooter Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege won’t have a single-player campaign but you can clearly see what the company is going for here after getting hands-on with the game. Ubisoft wants to appeal to the competitive market and that’s what they have done with Rainbow Six Siege.

The first thing obviously that’s been heavily marketed is the fact Rainbow Six Siege has a whole line-up of characters or operators in this case. Each operator is unique in their set of abilities and statistics. Similar to competitive titles like League of Legends, DOTA and even the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, the introduction of Operators is basically pushing into that competitive zone. This helps the game create it’s own set of meta talk by pushing it’s own characters rather than just normal operators.

The operators are a great move for Rainbow Six Siege as all of them have strengths and weaknesses which in return creates somewhat of a balance and unique gameplay. Take for instance, IQ – she’s an GSG 9 operator whom specalizes in detecting electronics through the wall or Sledge – the British SAS who can pretty much destroy barricades instantly with his wall hammer. If you have ever watched competitive eSports, you can see that selecting the right characters to counter enemies as well as creating the best squad line-up will help determine the performance of the team. This is what Rainbow Six Siege is pushing and it pushes more strategy than the traditional first-person shooter.

rainbow-six-siege-a213Another part of Rainbow Six Siege I found very interesting was the actual maps and gameplay. Before a round begins, the attacking team is allowed some allocated time to locate and find the enemy and objective while the defending team preps themselves for the incoming attack. With so many ways to approach the situation, the game doesn’t feel the same every round and often provides this tense, edge of your seat gameplay because every corner could be your last. This is where teamwork and slow yet precise play becomes key. The game requires you to work as a team, utilise one another’s ability and communicate through each segment of your attack. This is one of the strongest points of the game and easily something that won me over other shooters.

While the core mechanic of the game is superb, Rainbow Six Siege isn’t perfect and the closed beta has showed some things that needs to be addressed. With the single-player component missing from this game, Rainbow Six Siege really needs to keep standing on two legs for it to work. Relying on multiplayer can be quite tricky if the game is plague with network and matchmaking issues. When the closed beta launched, it wasn’t stable and it was kind of expected but you could see the frustrations from the community – people wanted to play but they were not willing to wait 30-40mins like I did. It’s a deal breaker and if Rainbow Six Siege suffers from this issue the community will die. The game also needed lots of fixes and improvements. Again, it is a beta and these things will be hopefully addressed when the game launches.

 Another thing that worries me is the actual price of the game. While I don’t like to compare the price with what the game offers, it needs to offer more either at launch or post straight away. Rainbow Six Siege is competing in a dangerous holiday period and it’s a game that’s pushing at full retail for multi-player only. Most games which are popular and competitive is available for free or at half the retail price. This is where Rainbow Six Siege will be a hard sell, while I enjoyed the closed beta – this lingers in my mind. If people are put off by the price and content the game is offering, it could very well destroy the community instantly.
Ubisoft has communicated well with the community before and during the closed beta. They’ve addressed issues and from what I’ve read, the game has been vastly improved since the alpha but is it enough? Personally, I’m still looking forward to Rainbow Six Siege even though they’ve dropped the single-player component, this game has lots of potential and wouldn’t mind to see it hit the competitive circuit and become an Esports title. It’s got that feel to it but with lots of things at stake here, I hope they address the faults before release.
Rainbow Six Siege launches December 1st, 2015.