Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Reviewed on: PS4
Distributor: Megarom Interactive
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: 1 December 2015
First person shooters are a lot different that they used to be a few years back. Before you would be stuck with competitive matchmaking against people on the Internet in one blood bath till death.
Nowadays, we have the cooperative games. Rainbow Six Siege has no merged co-op, with competitive to produce a rather intense shooting stand off that is best played with friends, and with friendly people in general. Yes, Rainbow Six Siege is all about team work. Most of the time, you will fail without it, especially when put up against a team that are communicating.
Rainbow Six Siege plays out in a 5v5 arena where one team is on the attacking stance, and the other team are set to defend the objective from the attackers. Attackers are given the opportunity to plan ahead by scouting the area with a RC camera, with this they spot enemies on the map, and eve the objective at hand. This way, the attackers can plan ahead before they head into their area of objective and know exactly what they are up against, and how they head in.
On the other hand, the defenders are given a few seconds to setup their operations too. This includes barricading walls, shooting the attacker’s RC camera, and placing down booby traps such as bob-wire and explosive trip lasers. This preparation phase all depends on the game mode you are in, this will vary accordingly. Team Death Match for example lacks a proper preparation mode, as targeting enemies with the RC Camera only records their last position, and with enemies moving so often, this feature becomes useless. It is however useful when targeting hostages and bombs in the other two modes, so it kind of has some use after all.
A typical match in Rainbow Six Siege would revolve around you preparing the area, or scanning the area of objective, and then either defending it using all your tools and specialist abilities, or attacking it by breaching barricaded walls and doors.
Again, this is all about team work and I cannot stress enough that it is vital that you play with a few well-organized friends who know their guns and abilities well. This will result in a better match and hopefully victory. There is a Ranked Match mode that unlocks after reaching level 25, and this all helps by easing the player into the game and letting the player learn everything there is to learn before making the dive into the hardcore playing field.
Rainbow Six Siege is unforgiving. There are no respawns, and damage is realistic. This means that you cannot go in guns blazing, this is not Call of Duty. This is all made better with a great team, although I did lose a match after killing all my friends with a shotgun, while trying to shoot all the RC cameras in the room. But that is the way the game is made, you learn from your mistakes by either not doing the same thing, or finding another way to get the job done. How you go about your breach or defend is completely up to you. Exploding walls to kill enemies through a hole you created, or just running in with a shotgun, it’s open to diversity, but that does not mean it will always work.
Each encounter is approached differently as you take on the opponent you are facing. Planting C4 explosives in a room, hoping that an enemy comes in through that window is a risk, but this is realistic. As you sit and wait for the enemy to breach and all you hear are footsteps in the distance, makes for a fear-enduring experience across each game mode. It is all about atmosphere as the game has no soundtrack while in match, so all you hear is the sound of a real-life scenario, if there were any. It also gives you the feeling that you are important, and that your death could cost your team the match.
Rainbow Six Siege includes an Operator feature that lets players choose from 20 character with their own unique skills and weapons. Only one of each are playable in each match, so do not get attached to one in case another player chooses him or her first. These Operators are unlocked using Renown, the in game currency that you earn during matches. Each Operator is fairly unique in their own way, and boasts their own one special ability. Sledge for example uses a Breach Hammer to break through destructible walls, and Thermite sets exothermic charges that destroy enemies walls. There are 10 attacker and 10 defender operators to choose from.
While not playing online, there are a few modes that you can consider to brush up your skills in the game. Situations are offline missions where you play through the 11 maps, each time with its own objective and challenges that once completed, earn you Renown. This is by far the best way to earn Renown early in the game, and I recommend doing this first as you can get a few character before you jump online. There are a few in-game purchases that require real money, but they are just to help speed up the unlock process, or purchase a new gun skin. They DO NOT in anyway prevent you from progressing in the game.
Then we have Terrorist Hunt, which is basically an online or offline mode that pits you against A.I bots. The bots cannot be replaces with online players, and which makes this mode more of a training course for your team that you have assembled before you jump into online matches. Sure this mode lacks a decent AI, but it lets you explore the maps and objective placements, so it kind of serves it purpose.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is a great shooter that surely sets itself apart from the rest of the industry thanks to its merge of co-op and competitive matchmaking. It could be frustrating at times when playing online alone, and things will sometimes not go your way at all. But in the end, patience, and a bit of practice makes the game so much more rewarding. It is meant to be played by people who know what they are doing, and when this all comes together, it is a remarkable experience.