Rainbow Six Siege: The Tactical Sandbox

Game: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Developer: Ubisoft

System Reviewed On: Xbox One

Available On: Xbox One, PS4, Microsoft Windows

Steam Link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/359550/

 

With the release of the much anticipated Ghost Recon Wildlands, I wanted to take a critical look at the previous game in the Tom Clancy series, Rainbow Six Siege. I remember playing some of Rainbow Six Vegas 1 and 2, and the series’s roots are still firmly in-place. The Rainbow Six series is about an international counter-terrorism unit titled “Rainbow.” In the Vegas games, the game presented a brand new take on the first person shooter genre, with tactical gadgets, rappelling, breaching, and slow, methodical, realistic pace mixed with twitch shooting. Rainbow Six Siege gets this all right.

The main draw to this game is the multiplayer. Everyone gets a pool of either default or DLC characters they can choose from, each with their own unique equipment, abilities, and armor and speed rating. Two teams switch off either defending or attacking a building with the defenders somewhere inside along with the objective. At the beginning of each round, the defenders must fortify their position, set up traps, and manipulate the environment to gain a tactical advantage over the attackers. Meanwhile, the attackers start off in small remote control scout drones. They can’t fly, they roll around, and they’re hilarious to screw with the defenders with, as they’re obligated to destroy any enemy drones they see. They’re just really, really hard to shoot sometimes. One character has a drone that can shoot a taser round that lightly damages enemies, destroys cameras and gadgets, and is hilarious in its own right.

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Now, the round starts, and your heart may already be pumping. Nowadays, people like to go up to the windows at the beginning of the round looking for easy kills from the approaching attackers, so approaching the building is already a tense situation. Once there, you can enter from the windows, doors, or even from the roof using your rappel. You can peek in with your weapon equipped while rappelling, which is just so bad-ass for some reason, right? Once inside, if you’ve already learned your lessons, you’ll be slowly crouching around to dampen your sound output while searching for the baddies. Defenders can do this too, and certain characters are better at “floating” or moving around the map a lot while on defense. To compliment this very cover-driven gameplay, the game implements a very intuitive “leaning” system that’s activated by pressing either the left or right stick down whilst aiming. Veterans to other twitch shooters like Call of Duty and Titanfall may find this unnecessary, but it actually does a lot to minimize your concealment and visibility, and honestly, you just feel like a bad ass using the lean feature whilst clearing out rooms and checking for attackers.

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Oh, I forgot to mention: THE ENVIRONMENTS ARE DELICIOUSLY DESTRUCTIBLE AND SATISFYINGLY SO. Bullets go right through wood and drywall, and explosives can destroy walls and floors, and you can shoot through wooden floors and breach them in certain spots where there are no studs. This allows for very creative use of the destructible walls, as you can create what are called “kill holes” which are just spots for you to peek out and surprise your approaching enemy with gunfire from a sneaky hole in the wall, created by shooting the wall in a certain fashion or repeatedly hitting holes in it with your melee attack. I’ve seen my teammates on a couple occasions make some educated guesses on where enemies are, only to shoot through the wall and get the kill.

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With all the game’s different characters, abilities, and gadgets, there are going to be some balance issues. Right now, the DLC character Caviara dominates in the defender team composition. Her entire focus is stealth and wandering the map somewhat quickly to flank and surprise the attackers. She has a quiet run ability she can use, plus an interrogation ability she uses on downed attackers to reveal where all their teammates are for about ten seconds. I have no doubt they’ll patch her at some point, as Ubisoft seems to be a caring developer for their multiplayer title, but do expect to be frustrated sometimes at the other team’s picks.

One other thing me and my friends found somewhat annoying is that no matter your armor rating, the bullet’s caliber, or the distance from the shooter, head-shots are always a one-shot kill no matter what. This can be especially frustrating when you believe you have a greater or equal tactical footing than any given opponent, and they get a “lucky head shot” and kill you even though you’ve landed three or four bullets center mass. It’s unlikely they’ll fix this, but the time-to-kill in this game is incredibly quick, so you may not notice or care, but this game requires accuracy and preferably a headset so you can preempt your enemies approach with their footsteps and other noises.

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So, that’s about all I have to say about the multiplayer in Siege. In short, it’s tense, communication-based, audio intensive, and pretty realistic. That leaves the games two other modes, Terrorist Hunt and Situations. Situations serves as the game’s “singleplayer” but is really a set of solo missions you can partake in to learn the game’s different weapons and what scenarios you’ll be put in in the multiplayer. I’ve had the game for over a month and I still haven’t gotten around to finishing the rest of them. There’s really not much to say about them except you can do them by yourself. Terrorist Hunt is the game’s “co-op” mode and pits your team of five against a map full of white-masked terrorists. The AI on these guys is pretty good, they mostly just stick to their rooms and use cover pretty minimally, so your success is basically limited to your exposure and accuracy. Not much to say about this one either. It honestly seems to serve as a “Are you getting a little to pissed off at the multiplayer? You can just play terrorist hunt, my dude.”

So, there. A bit of a longer post, but this game’s multiplayer is so good I just had to gush a bit about it. If you’re looking for a very intense, methodical, realistic tactical shooter, look no further than Rainbow Six Siege. Even better if you have some buddies to play and communicate in-game with. A very raw, player-driven experience.

I give Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege a 9/10.

 

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