This is not Rainbow Six. Well, it’s not what Rainbow Six fans expected, anyway.
Siege, Ubisoft’s latest game to feature the Tom Clancy franchise branding, doesn’t have a single player story-based game. It doesn’t even have any tactical planning before you finally get into the action. It does, however, have an intriguing online multiplayer that lives or dies on the strength of the team you have with you.
For those hoping for a single player campaign, Rainbow Six Siege only has a set of ‘situations’. These are really just tutorials that take you through the strengths and weaknesses of the characters you can play in the online game. While they’re no substitute, these levels really are necessary to get to grips with each character and work out the best grouping for the multiplayer. They also provide you with credits that unlock these characters and weapon skins.
The game isn’t big on modes outside of single player, either. Terrorist Hunt mode may sound familiar to fans of the 2 Vegas games but it’s only really related to those in name alone. In this version, multiplayer maps are used from the main game mode and groups of online players are pitted against the game’s AI.
The main mode is pretty much the bread and butter of Siege. Multiplayer gives you a setting; warehouse, boatyard, offices etc, then a task from protecting or rescuing a hostage to bomb disposal and simple elimination of the enemy. Your team need to work together, using their different skills, to achieve the goals against the opposing human team.
There are some strategic elements in play, despite this being much more of a shooter than previous Rainbow Six games. The snake cam of old is replaced by a remote controlled drone that rolls across the floor, noting enemy positions and finding hostages. It helps in planning out a siege before you go in with the guns and the noise.
Destructible walls and floors give you new ways to plan an attack and on the defence side you can set up barricades on doors or trip-wires. It’s fun to shoot through a wall, hitting a surprised enemy but equally shocking to be on the wrong side of the same attack if you find yourself standing too near a thin wall.
The issue is that this game lives or dies on the strength of the team you have. Having played games with teams who just won’t talk over the mics it can be quite frustrating when you stumble around without a plan, but get a good team together who really want to help each other and work together and the game suddenly feels like it has some of the strategy ebbing back into it from previous titles in the series, frantic exchanges being passed back and forth as enemies lay in wait or sneak around for the best vantage point. In fact, it feels a lot more like Counter Strike than traditional Rainbow Six and that’s not a bad thing, just not something you expect in a game with the Rainbow Six logo so largely prominent.
All that said, this is a difficult game to put a score on. It really depends on what your expectations are, whether you really can’t live without single player campaigns and on whether you can get hold of a good team that really want to work together. I’ve been fairly lucky on the last count but I do miss that campaign.
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