After a small hiatus, Rainbow Six returns. Can it keep up in this new gaming landscape?
Rainbow Six: Siege has come along at just the right time if you like your military simulators to be more real world. This year has been the year of fantasy FPS, and some even in a galaxy far far away. So it’s a nice refreshing change to bring things back down to earth. But how does Siege stack up?
The last time we saw Team Rainbow was some 7 years ago with the brilliant Rainbow Six Vegas, a strange hybrid of first person tactical shooter and third person shooting. Since then all we’ve heard of Rainbow Six is the mysterious Rainbow Six: Patriots. Until now that is, Rainbow Six is back and it’s gone right back to its roots. Almost
First and foremost Rainbow Six: Siege isn’t very good value for money, there are only two multiplayer modes for you to choose from, and a slightly run of the mill single player mode which plays more like training operations rather than full-blown story led missions.
The main game you’ll be playing is Hostage Rescue, a game based around a handful of rounds that see teams of five players either defend or rescue a designated target. It’s up the terrorists to bunker down, reinforce positions, set traps and generally make hard work for the incoming rescuers. On the flip side if you’re on the counter terrorist team, you can use your remote control robots to scout the area and find entry points that may have been missed. The levels are certainly small and claustrophobic and have atmosphere dripping from each of them. It’s quite horrifying being a terrorist, sitting there, waiting, hearing the smashing of glass the thud of footsteps from all over, never knowing which direction they’re coming from, it’s very tense.
What adds to the tension is the destructible scenery, usual reserved for a gimmick in most games. In Siege it really adds to the gameplay. You can blow a hole or shoot through any wall that’s not a load-baring wall, if you know what I mean, ceilings, floors, walls, furniture, nothing is really safe to hide behind. It’s an intrinsic part to the cat and mouse gameplay and if you don’t think about it, you’re surely a dead man.
Each of the maps you play has randomised locations so you can’t just find the best spot to hide to protect the package. It’s different each time, essentially making it a new map, so they may be small in size but the replay-ability is right up there. What lets the game down, and it’s not really the game’s fault is the people who play it. Rainbow Six Siege works great, really great if you have a team of friends who are all talking. As is the case these days, if you’re in a team of strangers, no one talks leaving just a random un-tactical mess, ruining all the hard work Ubisoft have done to make this a team game.
Anyway, if you’re in a chatty team or not there are a bunch of different ‘operators’ that you can play as, all having their own unique weapons and equipment. There’s a hammer type guy who can smash through things, a dude with a riot shield, a medic and so on. Of course these all have to be unlocked, which you can do my levelling up by playing either the multiplayer or single player but does take a long old-time. Horrifically though, you can level up as quickly as you like via fucking micro transactions! Vile.
The other multiplayer facet is Terrorist Hunt, which is more you’re run and gun mode and a much-needed release from the tension of the hostage rescue.
The single player, as stated are a collection of what feel like extended tutorials, 10 levels in total increasing in difficulty the more you complete. These levels are perfectly entertaining, if unforgiving, the AI is inconsistent and the terrorists can nearly always see you first even if you’re not in their line of sight. Your shooting also needs to be pin point, because there is no aim in the general head area and hope for a head shot. Oh no, you need to get the head or you miss. Not helped by what seems like recoil that is out of control. I’ve never handled a real gun so I don’t know if this is realistic or not, but seems to be a little on the crazy side. Also, the aiming is a pain in the arse. Although I think this is more down to my DualShock 4 rather than the game, a slight nudge and your reticule is miles off where you’re trying to aim. There are settings to adjust sensitivity so I’m sure there is something there to fit your needs.
Rainbow Six can be a lot of fun if you’re looking for a realistic military sim and have a collection of players that actually want to speak to each other while playing. For the rest of us who are looking for a shooter that’s not set in the future or in space, Siege is perhaps not the one. Not because the game is bad, when it works its great fun, but because it’s not very good value for money for a casual gamer. The game costs around £45-50 with only two multiplayer modes and a short single player experience. Add in the micro transactions and a further £25 for the seasons pass and you’re spending a lot of money on not much of game. I enjoyed Siege, it’s tense claustrophobic and full of atmosphere. For the hardcore you’ll have some awesome squad fun. For the casual gamer, there is little here I can recommend that will warrant the purchase(s).
RAINBOW SIX SIEGE
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Rainbow Six: Siege is available now on PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One and PC
Disclaimer: In order the complete this review, we were provided a copy of the game from the publisher.