October 21st, 2015, 19:22 Posted By: Metareview
The Rainbow Six series is sort of the antithesis to many modern shooters. It values teamwork, patience, and careful decisions over showmanship and guns-blazing heroics. And while Ubisoft’s upcoming entry to the series, Rainbow Six Siege, takes the game in a new direction, it is still very much a Rainbow Six game in all the best ways.
What really sets the Rainbow Six series apart from other games is the tense, heavily teamwork-based missions, and Rainbow Six Siege keeps all of that intact. This is not a game where each player can do their own thing; you need to work together to complete missions. Communication is key, and during our recent play session, every member of the team was constantly chattering, scoping out locations, requesting backup, and keeping teammates posted on the situation. Even with a group of strangers, you’ll likely find yourself adapting quickly to the scenario... and it’s amazing what a bonding experience it is to work so intensely as a team.
There are two major things to know about Rainbow Six Siege: It’s challenging, and it features a cast of 20 distinct characters that you need to know your way around in order to be successful. The single-player Situations mode helps with this; you play as a specific character, dropped into a scenario that plays to their particular skill set. In one Situation, we got to control a team member called IQ, who uses her electronics tracking device to find bombs and carefully navigate enemy strongholds. In another Situation, we took the role of Thatcher, who’s armed with EMP grenades that can disable electronics – rendering both traps and potentially deadly enemies (like a bombsuit-wearing terrorist) useless.
The various Situations work really well as a training tool to learn the mechanics of the game, and more specifically, to learn about the different characters you can control... as well as what makes each of them useful and special. This becomes quite valuable in every other mode that Rainbow Six Siege has to offer.
We’ve seen the titular five-on-five Siege multiplayer mode before, wherein one team tries to infiltrate a stronghold being secured by the opposing team. But Rainbow Six Siege also features an excellent co-op scenario mode, pitting you (and four other teammates) against a set of enemy terrorists, similar to the Situations.
In multiplayer, each character can only be selected once – so there’s no doubling up. Knowing not only what characters you’re most skilled at, but also which characters synergize in different scenarios, is crucial to winning any multiplayer mode in Rainbow Six Siege. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to grab multiple shield-toting characters if it means foregoing a character who can disable traps or heal teammates. And there are a lot of tough choices here: The options among various characters’ skill sets make for 20 extremely distinctive characters.
Having only played Rainbow Six Siege for a couple of hours, we’re definitely still learning – but we’re having a ton of fun with our teammates. By the end of our first session, our ragtag squad has already started to gel; we’ve figured out our strengths, and how to effectively communicate with each other. The level of satisfaction that comes with improvement is without equal in this sort of team-based game. If you put in the work – and are lucky enough to have a team that feels the same – Rainbow Six Siege will be one of the most rewarding games that you play all year. It hits Xbox One and Windows 10 PC on December 1.
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