It’s hard for a company to stay true to the core of a franchise when shooters in general have evolved over the last few years. With a title like Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft had to balance old and new to create some sort of a hybrid to bring in new players while still catering to their old fans.
Ubisoft wasn’t keeping the latest installment in the Tom Clancy franchise under wraps as Rainbow Six Siege has undergone quite a few betas and closed alphas to gather and test feedback from the community. This is incredibly important especially when the game fully focuses on multiplayer as Rainbow Six Siege campaign missing making it a multiplayer only affair.
It’s not surprising however to see Ubisoft go all online multi-player only with Rainbow Six Siege especially in this day and age, shooters primary selling point has been its shoot real people rather than play by yourself. So how does Ubisoft create something that sells itself just on this standalone mode?
The main component of Rainbow Six Siege is its multiplayer 5v5 mode where two teams take on each other on a map to complete or defend an objective. There are different modes such as bomb defuse to hostage rescue set on a variety of maps which is randomize when matchmaking so you won’t know what to expect when you join the game. Each team takes turns at attacking and defending with scoring in a best of scenario. The layout is very competitive and creates quite an eSports vibe even when just playing with friends and randoms.
The other part of the main multiplayer are the operators (characters) which each player gets to choose (if they’re unlocked) at the start of each round. Operators play an important part of how each round is shaped. There’s a unique set of operators for each side: Attacking & Defending and with each operator comes a unique ability. Take for instance Ash, an FBI S.W.A.T operator that has a unique grenade launcher which allows her to break down barricaded windows and doors at a distance. On defensive side, we have Mute – an SAS soldier that can jam electronic devices within a certain radius preventing people using drones. While the abilities seems overpowering to an extent, the developers have done a great job balancing the game and there’s always someone able to counter.
Another part of Rainbow Six Siege that plays a major role in strategy is the maps. Maps are to a certain percentage destructible. If you’re breaking through the front door in Rainbow Six Siege, you’re doing it wrong. The game is all about how you approach each individual situation and because of the many entry points, no two rounds play the same. It often compares to tower defense as once team sets up barricades and the other tries to break through, with minimal time and limited defense assets – the attacking team always have a chance to pull through. Again, this comes down to the balancing and it seems the developers have nailed this concept really well.
While the multi-player is the core factor of this game, Rainbow Six Siege does come with a variety of other modes. Contrary to the things you’ve read – Rainbow Six Siege is package with singleplayer offerings but they may not be at a level deep enough to call a campaign. You have situations which feels like a hyped up tutorial mode which introduces the variety of operators and well ‘situations’ you’ll encounter in the main game. This part is voiced by Angela Bassett with an intro that sets the what the tone of the tutorial mission. The greatest thing about Situations is the level of difficulty. It doesn’t hold back throwing you, the lone wolf operator in the areas where you must plan and adapt on the fly. The concept of Situations works well and it’s probably the first ‘tutorial’ type mode I actually enjoyed playing and feel satisfied at the end.
You’ll also have the return of Terrorist Hunt, a co-op mode that pits you (lone wolf) or with a squad of friends against a set number of bots. The bots are generally hard and there’s many types to throw you off like the suicide bomber one. Terrorist Hunt is great to jump in if you fancy liberating houses and establishments of bad guys rather than shooter other operators. The problem with Terrorist Hunt is however the nature of the mode which can get stale if you just play by yourself – so it’s highly recommended you play with others.
The core gameplay modes of Rainbow Six Siege are great and offer enough to keep the game above water until the next content drop which Ubisoft have already stated will be free to all owners so you’ll never be behind or segmented from the community if you’re not willing to spend extra money. This includes operators which is probably the right way about going if you want to keep the game alive for an extended period of time.
The things that will throw people off are the micro-transactions and glitches which seem to have carried over from the beta. The game is quite micro-transaction heavy in areas and certain content like skins are exclusively locked to real world money. Some are unlockable via credits you earn in-game called Renown but they’re really high and you would rather spend money on attachments or new operator unlocks. In a way, the skins help support the lifespan of the game but it flaunts itself a little too much which I often seen in free-to-play titles.
Glitches are the worst things about Rainbow Six Siege and prevents it from being the killer multiplayer title this year. The issue with clipping is still present which has been carried over the beta which creates unfair kills. When you legs clip through the wall if you’re going prone or your arm through a ballistic shield – the enemy have the opportunity to take advantage of the shot. For a game that’s all about minimal body exposure and cover – clipping shouldn’t be present.
The developers have taken note of the issues present and working on them as this review is being prepared. The good thing you can take from this is the fact they’re looking at faults with the game and improving it with the community which is a must for any title heavily focused on online only. Despite these issues, Rainbow Six Siege has delivered above my expectations with a brilliant core gameplay that’s both competitive and challenging with enough content to go through. If you want something more real world and deeper in your shooters then Rainbow Six Siege is right on target.
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platforms: Xbox One (Reviewed) / PS4 / PC
A review code was provided by the publisher.