Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege Review: Blowing The Doors Off The Shooter Genre

In a holiday season absolutely brimming with shooters, Ubisoft has dropped one of the most unique in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege. In keeping with the spirit of the franchise — a franchise that’s been around since the late 1990s — Rainbow Six takes a collection of counter-terrorism specialists from different nations, and mashes them together into the ultimate anti-terrorism unit. While the premise of the game is relatively simple, the beauty of R6 comes from the fact that planning missions is just as important as executing them, and using the right operative for the right job is paramount. Also, there are no life packs, or shields, and damage is just that: damage. You get one life bar, and when it’s depleted, your game ends. Lastly, dead is dead. If you lose an operative in a mission, that person is gone for good (and has to be repurchased with renown, the currency of the game).

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege continues that tradition. Siege starts the player off with 10 Situations, which serve almost as tutorials for the various game modes, but also lets the player try out different characters/operators. There are five nations represented here, each with six operatives to unlock/purchase — three attackers, and three defenders. Each operative has an extensive roll-out of skill-based items/weapons to use, including remote controlled wheeled cameras, door busting explosives, and primary and secondary weapon roll-outs.

Rainbow Six: Siege Review

As in most of the game modes, the way to accomplish the goal is entirely up to the player. There is o right way or wrong way, as long as the mission is completed. Ingresses and egresses are made on the fly, and Ubisoft has done a wonderful job creating a sandbox-like experience in each map.

Each situation has objectives that earn stars, and completing each earns renown to be used to buy CTU members and outfit your team. These situations are perfectly designed to ease players — old and new — into the R6 experience, and I know that I came out of the experience better-suited to play Siege’s other game modes: Multiplayer and Terrorist Hunt.

Rainbow Six: Siege Review

Multiplayer is a 5-on-5 scenario where teams take turns being the attackers and the defenders. The game randomly creates the maps and basis of the game, and each game is laid out in a series of rounds. Communication with your squad mates is extremely important here, and I will say with 100 percent confidence that players must have a headset to effectively play this mode. Not only to communicate and enjoy the battle, but also because Rainbow Six has some of the most dedicated players I have ever seen in a shooter game, and if you get on a team with some veterans and you are not prepared, it can and does get ugly — from experience. And I’m no rookie to the Rainbow Six franchise. I’ve been playing R6 games since the Sega Dreamcast.

Using the correct operative as they are meant to be used is so very important. Don’t take an explosive expert into a gun fight. Sometimes, the player’s role is just to open doors and provide support. A team of five heroes is a disaster. As The Rock used to say in WWE, “Know your role.”

Rainbow Six: Siege Review

Luckily, Ubisoft has included a hefty tutorial section (and scenarios can be played and replayed over and over) to get those skills up. Don’t let this intimidate you from playing R6: Siege‘s multiplayer, just be aware going in that this is not a Call of Duty or Battlefield game, and running and gunning will get you — and your squad — killed. And again, dead is dead.

The last mode in Rainbow Six: Siege is Terrorist Hunt. Here, players group up into teams of five and take on computer controlled enemies with very specific objectives. To me, this is the bread and butter of Siege, as planning and communication really matters, with planning taking center stage. Terrorist Hunt also features a “lone wolf” mode so players can tap into their inner Jack Bauer and take on a whole squad of terrorists solo. I’ve probably played Terrorist Hunt the most of all the modes, as solo, or with a group, my actions seem to matter more than is the willy-nilly of 10-person multiplayer. Besides, I don’t like getting yelled at in French.

Rainbow Six: Siege Review

Graphically, Rainbow Six: Siege is easily one of the best looking shooter games out there. The destructible environments are actually a feature, and blowing holes in walls for better views of the enemy, or even destroying floors and ceilings is a strategy here. Ubisoft has done an amazing job bringing a level of realism to the franchise, and the power of the new-gen systems really helps to make that realism shine.

Rainbow Six: Siege Review

This realism has always been what has separated Rainbow Six from other shooters, and I can’t help but marvel at the things that Siege does to make this game feel life-like. And the stinging feeling of losing a well-trained, well-equipped operative is real as well.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege is a fine addition to the Rainbow Six franchise. While a narrative/story mode has been omitted, the emphasis here is shifted more into online group play. Don’t get me wrong, multiplayer is fun, and winning a match is very satisfying, but just be warned that there are fans of the franchise that go back to the days of LAN parties in 1999, and these veterans do not suffer poor play from even their weakest link. If that intimidates you, Terrorist Hunt and the scenarios still offer amazing gameplay opportunities, and if the one-life, dead is dead feature is too much for you, there’s always Splatoon.

Rainbow Six: Siege Review

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege is available for the PS4 and Xbox One. This review is based off a copy of the Playstation 4 version, provided by Ubisoft.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Preview
out of 5

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