For being such an emblematic representation of everything great about the Tom Clancy video game brand, it comes as a surprise to reach the realization that RAINBOW SIX SIEGE marks an end to a six-year hiatus. In a sense, the re-emergence ticks off everything fans of strategic shooters have been conditioned to expect, from a 10-scenario extended single player tutorial campaign that combat-tests and refines rappelling, cornering and various weapon-type comptencies to a much richer online experience.
More importantly, it proves the franchise hasn’t missed a trick in its absence.
The “Renown” XP that completed Situations accrue eventually unlock various Operators, two attackers and two defenders each from five special forces factions such as SAS and Spetsnaz, that become playable online with respective unique loadouts with limited customization options and especially useful gear. There’s one possible downside, but it’s a product of the developers badly wanting players to dip a toe into each class: buying additional Operators after the first from each class costs at least double the Renown of the original. To ease into the game, we recommend tackling the “Terrorist Hunt” Player versus Enivronment (PvE) missions, which throw you into either a hostage-rescue or bomb-defusing mission as one attacker in a five-person team.
The Terrorist Hunt gameplay stresses tight, disciplined cooperation and the freedom to invite friends along for the mission. The most successful teams will balance out their skill sets with strategically selected Operators whose advantages suit the mission parameters. Keep shield-carrying Operators handy where you expect to move forward into tight spaces under enemy fire constantly, but keep someone close by to fire a powerful, accurate gun that offsets the shield-carrier’s fairly ineffective handgun. Being revived by squad members restores half an injured-but-not-dead player’s health, just to drive the camaraderie home.
Verdicts may vary on RAINBOW SIX SIEGE’s multiplayer emphasis lending a more frantic run-and-gun feel to the five-on-five, four-round matches pitting a team of hostage-taking, bombing or hazardous waste-guarding terrorists against an attacking assault squad looking to neutralize them. Terrorists get razor-wire, reinforced metal walls, C4 devices and proximity bombs, but attackers bring wall-burrowing grenade charges, flash-bangs and EMP grenades to the party. There unfortunately isn’t a proper planning period pre-match for reviewing any of the 12 maps, but that just makes keeping a clear head amid all the chaos that much more admirable a skill.
Overall, RAINBOW SIX SIEGE is an effectively addictive rebirth of the franchise, even without a deeper single-player campaign. It definitely stands out among the more futuristic bent that other first-person shooters have adopted as a more grounded motif, that just makes it the more refreshing and challenging.
Image Sources – Gamespot