Rainbow Six Siege Review
Rainbow Six Siege is a part of one of the most successful (and famous) franchises in video game history. Rainbow Six series had come a long way. From the start it was a hardcore tactical FPS, in which one mistake would make you go to the game over screen, loading the game, starting again, carefully trying to avoid past mistakes. Over the years the series has watered down, with Rainbow Six: Lockdown being the worst one in the series, having arcade style gameplay, greatly different from its predecessors. Lockdown threw Rainbow Six down the well filled with numerous failed attempts that tried pivoting successful franchises into arcade games market (Splinter Cell Conviction and Dragon Age II being just a couple of said titles). A change was made, and with Vegas and Vegas 2, Rainbow Six finally managed to settle into the niche between arcade style shooters and hardcore tactical simulations. Ubisoft planned to release Rainbow Six Patriots as a sequel to Vegas series, but something went wrong along the way, leading to the game being canceled. Siege rose from the ashes of Patriots, giving players a new Rainbow Six game, this time, centered on multiplayer, the first in the franchise.
Unlike with other games from the series, Rainbow Six Siege focuses on multiplayer modes. There’s no single player campaign (except a tutorial situations mode mainly there for the purpose of introducing new players to the game), the complete emphasis is in 5 v 5 matches where two teams switch between roles of attackers and defenders, and the first team beating opponents three times wins a match. It’s simple, effective, adrenaline boosting and very addictive.
While relying on just five potential rounds seemed like a bad decision (SC: GO, for instance, has 15 rounds even when playing casual modes), it’s actually a pretty good idea. Rounds end fast, there’s a constant action going on, and there’s not a moment of idle walk during the rounds. While defending, you’ll be on the constant lookout for enemies, trying to barricade just one more wall before opposing team breaches into the room bringing hell with them; when on attacking side, you’ll either go for the objective, trying to perform a perfect entry, or will search for it battling against the clock, always on the move.
Maps are basically made out of one big object (whether that is a bank, police station, or an embassy) and it’s near surroundings. Attackers start outside of the object, and during the first, recon phase, they must search for the objective with the help of wheeled drones. This is the most exciting part of the round, everyone is looking for enemies, and spotting an opponent is very rewarding since the objective must be in their vicinity. If failing to locate objective, attacking team must rely on their quick sweep through the object, on certain operators capable of spotting electronic devices (like IQ) or just using drones available for every operator.
Operators, playing characters in the game, are divided between attackers and defenders. Each one has a unique ability, a different ratio of health and speed of movement (low health, high speed; low-speed high health, and medium speed and health) and a couple of choices between primary and secondary weapons. Some operators (like the sniper-wielding Glaz) have just one primary weapon, but most can choose between two or three types. You start with all operators being locked, having to earn some renown points (which are earned by completing matches, challenges, and other stuff) in order to unlock them. Before venturing into multiplayer, it’s wise to spend a couple of hours in situations mode, earning some renown for which you’ll unlock a couple of operators.
There are 24 operators in total, 12 attackers and 12 defenders, all are members of the one counter-terrorist unit from around the world (German GSG9, Russian Spetsnaz, English SAS, Canadian JTF2, U.S SEALs, French GIGN and U.S FBI SWAT). It’s crucial to unlocking at least two attackers and two defenders before going into multiplayer since there can’t be duplicate characters in either team. Rounds are fast, relying on mutual cooperation and high coordination between team members. Rainbow Six Siege shines brightest when you play it with friends since communication is the key to victory. Playing with random people can be fun, but you’ll see a million scenes in which one team member ends up doing something utterly illogical, ending up dying and leaving you one member less.
When playing on defending side, Rainbow Six Siege can feel a bit tedious because, after the preparation phase, all you have to do is to find a perfect camping spot and wait for attacking team to reach your position. Although this can be adrenaline-pumping experience, it will get rather tedious after a couple of weeks of playing the game, except if you’re one of the people who love camping. But when enemies start knocking on your door when charges start to explode and all hell breaks loose, and the wait is over, Rainbow Six Siege becomes a frantic tactical FPS where every shot counts and where positioning has incredible value. Lots of map elements are destructible, leading to a cacophony of explosions, wall shattering and window cracking when attackers start breaching.
Because of that, you’ll end up dying early until get familiar with the maps, no matter if playing as attacker or defender simply because you must learn maps in detail before having any chances of being deadly to opponents. Rainbow Six Siege is an unforgiving game where being a millimeter outside of cover means a clean shot for the opponent. Since maps are basically big buildings with lots of rooms, stairs, hallways, and multiple levels, learning them will require at least a dozen of days. Until that, reflexes are your only ally, along with a smart choice of operator. One huge problem with the game is players leaving during mid-game, since having one member less will probably lead your team to lose the match, and there are no bots to fill up waiver’s shoes.
Another problem is the lack of maps and game modes. All maps are small, and after you learn them, they become rather stale and bland, offering no hidden paths, secret areas from which you can break in, or in which you can hide while defending. Simple, when you end up learning all of the maps, you’ll play the game in which you know every nook and cranny, yearning for something new. All game modes require for attackers to either disable the device guarded by defenders (a bomb, or toxic canister) or save a hostage. And in 95 percent of cases, round ends up when either side is eliminated, making it basically a 5 on 5 team deathmatch.
Graphics are nice, but not revolutionary, textures are rich, environments packed with details, and models are highly detailed. Another big problem which plagued Rainbow Six Siege for a long time was the number of cheaters in ranked matches, but since Ubisoft incorporated Battle Eye, highly reliable anti-cheat software into the game, cheaters become a very rare sight.
Rainbow Six Siege is a solid multiplayer tactical FPS, bringing a breadth of fresh air in a world filled with Call of Duty clones, and a couple of Battlefield games. Along with CS: GO, ARMA, Red Orchestra 2 and Insurgency, Rainbow Six Siege is the best choice for tactical FPS fans. Not without bugs and downsides, it is an enjoyable game, although it might get tedious after some time unless developers include more game modes. Oh and make sure to read our Rainbow Six Siege guide, it should be helpful.