After waiting for any news on the series, gamers were starting to get anxious over the fate of the Rainbow Six franchise. While Rainbow Six Patriots was eventually scrapped during the jump to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Ubisoft delighted fans during E3 2014 by unveiling that the series is still on route to return in the form of Rainbow Six Siege. The game presented itself as a five-on-five tactical multiplayer shooter that pits attackers versus defenders in a tug of war over a hostage, but there's much more laying under the surface of this title than may initially appear.
I was fortunate enough to go hands-on with Rainbow Six Siege during a recent trip to Ubisoft in Montreal and quickly found five reasons why I'm excited to get my hands on the final game later this year. With that said, let's jump into my list of the top five reasons to be excited for the next entry in the Rainbow Six series and its closed alpha.
Scouting With Drones
While the meat of Siege's appeal comes in the form of tactical gunplay, having a solid strategy before breaching a plane or domicile is always the best bet – that's where drones come into play. Before the attackers are sent in to rescue the helpless civilian, users will gain control of drones in a bid to mark out their point of entry and determine where the hostage is being held. So while the opposition prepares for the inevitable breach, players can establish where the enemy is setting up shop.
Strategically placing drones is also crucial in order for gamers to help out their team post-mortem, as they can be viewed by deceased teammates and information pertaining to the locations of baddies can be relayed to surviving members of the team. Essentially, taking control of these drones allows users to prepare for entry rather than go in guns blazing, but this is very important because there's...
Death is never finite in gaming. Other blockbuster shooters encourage a very reckless approach to online multiplayer by allowing users to die countless times, and it has become a standard in the industry as a result. While major titles like Call of Duty usually feature a mode that only allows one life, the entire premise of Rainbow Six Siege is that death is permanent. Just like in real life, if players get taken down by gunfire then they're immediately taken out of the equation, and this is where the multiplayer really shines.
Staying alive and taking out members of the enemy faction are the keys to victory, and any small misstep can spell game over for even the most experienced of gamers. This is far from a standard shooter as a result, and it'll take a lot more cunning and strategy to ensure that the user's team walks away with a win. Of course, given the enhanced value of staying alive, there's now a lot more emphasis on working together.
Page 2: Strategy & Destruction
Branching off of no respawns, players will need to maintain contact with one another throughout each and every match to ensure that the bulk of their team survives. Whether establishing a plan of attack for raiding a room filled with player-controlled baddies or helping teammates from the afterlife via cameras, talking to friends and strangers alike makes the difference in any one of the multiple life-or-death scenarios Siege players will encounter.
Being able to map out and assess threats within the map through communications with your team is absolutely essential for winning (that much is clear), but the role that each gamer plays within a match is equally as crucial. Placing explosives and stacking traits together in pairs requires constant chatter and threat assessment, which leads us to one of the most appealing aspects of Rainbow Six Siege – the Operators.
Calling back to older games in the Rainbow Six series, Operators make their full return in Siege. Located throughout the world from any one of five different and highly skilled real-world teams (GIGN, GSG 9, SAS, Spetznaz and SWAT), each and every one of the the 20 different Operators up for grabs hold a unique trait that will aid their team. Whether suiting up as Sledge and smashing barriers with his trusty sledgehammer or keeping attackers at bay with Smoke's toxic clouds of gas, there's a unique way to handle any situation thanks to the signature traits of each character.
Depending on a player's play style, different Contractors will work better in certain scenarios against the opposition. Ubisoft has also ensured that only one type of Contractor can be in play at any given time, meaning that two players aren't able to simultaneously play as one particular specialist. This makes each character feel special, and ensures that team communication and strategy are at the forefront of Siege's gameplay.
Last, but certainly not least, one of the most appealing aspects of Rainbow Six Siege is just how destructible the environments truly are. While it's one things to be able to blow up a wall, Ubisoft has pushed it further to allow gamers to be able to openly traverse the environment however they see fit. Players are able to blow up portions of a cargo hold in the new map Plane, rappel down from the roof to burst through a window in the level House (all while upside-down, mind you), and tear through each and every map to complete the objective.
The level of destruction on any given map ensures that every match will play out in a different way, and being able to work with friends to map out this destruction ensures that there will be a good time to be had. Admittedly, not everything can be blown to smithereens though – such is the case in the aforementioned map Plane – but fans are still able to traverse each environment in a way that appeases them and aids their team at the same time.
Rainbow Six Siege is set for release on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.