The long awaited next entry to one of Ubisoft’s core franchises, Rainbow Six Siege finally makes its return. With slow paced, tactical multiplayer and a lack of singleplayer, is Rainbow Six Siege a relic of the past? Or maybe a refreshing change of pace for a stale genre? Read on to find out!
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: December 1st, 2015
Platform: Xbox One
Copy purchased by reviewer
Rainbow Six Siege is nothing like Rainbow Six: Vegas. It needs to be said outright. Siege is a slow paced, tactical shooter. While Vegas was a slightly faster paced cover shooter with multiple game modes, Siege takes its namesake to heart. The gameplay is completely surrounded by the ‘Attack and Defend’ mentality. While it may seem like a shortcoming in an age where multiplayer shooters are expected to have multiple game modes (and arguably it is), it’s also Siege’s saving grace.
Multiplayer matches are played five-on-five, with the attacking and defending teams swapping every round in a best of five game. Unlike nearly every other console shooter in recent years, Siege almost demands teamwork from its players. Not only do players only have one life, but the games Operator system means everyone has a different role to play.
There are 20 different Operators to choose from: ten attackers and ten defenders. Each Operator has their own background, weapon options, armor/speed stats, and a special ability. These slight changes can drastically alter the style of gameplay depending on which Operator you choose. Sledge is equipped with a sledgehammer that can knock down walls in one swing. Thermite can take out reinforced walls that are otherwise impenetrable. Rook drops an armor pack for his teammates. Bandit places shock wire which electrifies allied gadgets. Each and every single Operator has a unique ability such as these that not only makes for great gameplay, but also replayability.
Each match starts with the Defending team fortifying their defense to protect a bomb site, biohazard container, or a hostage. Some defensive capabilities depend on selected Operators, but they generally include boarding up door frames, windows, reinforcing walls, laying down barbed wire, and more. Defenders also have the benefit of utilizing security cameras placed around the map to try and pinpoint the Attackers location.
The Attackers begin the match in small RC drones in an attempt to locate the Defenders position. Knowing the exact location of your target makes a huge difference when planning your assault. Once this preparation stage ends the real match begins. Each match in Siege has a three minute time limit with the Defenders claiming victory if the Attackers do not succeed in their object in that time frame. However, if one team is completely eliminated (with the exception of a planted bomb) that team will lose. The matches in Siege are some of the most tense games I’ve experience in years. With the threat of having to sit back and watch if you get killed, there is a sense of fear around every corner. One of the coolest features in Siege that seemingly does not exist in any other shooter is the small scale destructibility. The walls, windows, and boarded doors can all be shot out to open up a hole large enough for you to shoot through. There is nothing more satisfying than shooting a hole through a wall to find a defender camped behind it.
The game launched with 10 multiplayer maps, but Ubisoft has outline a plan to release FREE post-launch content that will include new maps and Operators. The biggest flaw of Siege isn’t the lack of singleplayer, it’s the structure of fan-favorite Terrorist Hunt. In previous titles T-Hunt was setup where a team had to go in and simply eliminate all of the enemies on a map. With Siege, the multiplayer Attack and Defend style carried over and players instead have to attack or defend an objective. While this doesn’t make the game mode completely terrible, it’s hard to not see it as a multiplayer match with bots.
Rainbow Six Siege is a breath of fresh air in a genre full of copycats, rehashes, and scared-to-do-something-new developers. While the lack of a true singleplayer and the changes to Terrorist Hunt may put some off, the multiplayer more than makes up for it with its pace, style, and unique gameplay mechanics. If you haven’t been completely taken over by the Halo/Battlefield/Call of Duty formula, treat yourself to Rainbow Six Siege. You won’t regret it.
+ Refreshing style of gameplay
– Terrorist Hunt changes