Hailed as a spiritual successor to the cancelled Rainbow 6: Patriots, Rainbow Six Siege looks to fill Ubisoft’s void in the competitive multiplayer scene. With Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft will take aim and look to defuse online shooters such as Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefront this year. The Siege beta gave us a look at what we could expect come December 1st, but Ubisoft Montreal will have a lot work to do before Rainbow Six Siege can storm the front lines.
The Importance of Tactics and Teamwork.
The Rainbow Six Siege beta offered two modes, Terror Hunt and Multiplayer. Terror Hunt features a set number of enemies for up to five players to eliminate. Depending on what difficulty you play on, these enemies can be as docile as a house cat or as fierce as a full grown lion. On realistic difficulty, there are more enemies and they are relentless. Survival on this difficulty isn’t guaranteed, but planning a head and using communication can make things manageable. Keep an eye out for suicide bombers. These enemy types have long range rifles, they sponge hits and can explode your life away if they get too close. It’s a fun and exhilarating mode that can prepare you for PvP modes.
Multiplayer requires a bit more strategy and teamwork. Each of the two multiplayer modes features Attackers and Defenders. Defenders are given a bit of time to fortify their enclosure while the attacking team uses camera drones to locate their objective. Before each match starts, Defenders select one of three or four areas they would like to defend, while the attackers pick their spawn location. Defenders are then given roughly forty five seconds to reinforce walls, barricade doorways, and prepare for the incoming attacking team. Attackers use this time to locate their objective via small camera drones that the defending team can destroy. These camera drones play an important role for not only finding their objective, but marking targets, observing points of interest and they can be set up in places for later use.
It’s a welcome new strategy to multiplayer that actually has you feeling like a tactician. Teamwork in these modes are key for success more so than any other shooter. Fallen teammates can still mark enemies using either their camera drones if they’re attackers, or camera’s placed around the map for defenders. Marking and calling out enemies in tandem with utilizing specific class abilities will almost always ensure victory. Of course, picking the right operator will also help your chances, but who should you pick?
Selecting an Operator.
The Rainbow Six Siege beta showcased several operators to choose from. Both Attackers and Defenders were given operators with specific class abilities, weapons and gadgets. For example, Sledge could wield a sledge hammer that could break through door barricades and open up huge holes in un-reinforced walls. Thermite received two thermite charges that could blow through reinforced walls, opening up areas the defenders thought sealed off. Each Operator comes with an ability that could effect the way the attackers and defenders, well…attack and defend. In my time with the beta, Thermite and anything with a riot shield stood out more than others, but they were mostly all viable. As for defenders, Rook among others offered extra armor, drone jammers and electric reinforcements that would make all the difference. Unfortunately, Attackers had a clear advantage over Defenders in what would be the bane of this game’s existence, riot shields. How they decide to balance this, if at all remains to be seen.
The Shield’s Mightier Than the Sword, But Why Not Both?!
Here’s where the gameplay becomes a bit one-sided. First off, a couple of the Operators have specific riot shield classes, with specific riot shield perks. For example, Blitz can carry a shield that contains up to five flashes. This wouldn’t be such an issue if the shield wielder couldn’t play both defense and offense. Operators with a shield can fire their pistol while protecting themselves…seriously. Basically, I could walk up to another player firing my pistol while remaining completely protected from the front. Now, imagine a full team of riot shields and there’s almost no stopping them. It feels like a really unfair advantage, especially in game types where one is only required to stand in a certain room to win the round. I’ve had instances on more than one occasion where I was the last one up against a riot shield. If he rushes me, I can’t really do much other than attempt to get behind him. Oh, did I mention one bullet headshots are a thing? If he can manage to hit me in the head once, I’m dead. These riot shields wouldn’t be so over-powered if they were unable to shoot their pistols while protecting themselves, similar to Call of Duty riot shields.
To Connect or Not To Connect, That is the Problem.
Keep in mind, this was a beta test for Rainbow Six Siege launching on December 1st, so connectivity issues could be a problem; as they were. Finding matches with others in your party became a chore, one that would fail more often than it would succeed. It became more of an issue the closer the beta got to finishing, which didn’t make much sense. If anything, the constant server issues would have become less apparent towards the end of the beta. Again, these are minor issues considering the game was in beta form. You could almost expect this to be an issue for Ubisoft, considering this will be one of their first primarily online games, ever. When the game did connect, it was a lot of fun barring minor issues like drones falling through the map, getting stuck on ladders and players lagging so bad, their fps came down to roughly 15 or 20 during an online match. Ubisoft Montreal will have their work cut out for them in the next couple of months, but I have hope.
Overall, the game needs some work, but its core premise can be a blast with friends. I can’t tell you how much fun I had playing with a full team. While the game can be challenging and tactical at times, it’s hindered by a number of bugs and some balancing issues; mainly just the riot shields. Other than that and some server issues, the game can be a ton of fun, but the lack of an overall single player experience may end up hurting more than helping. Rainbow Six Siege will require more maps, more gametypes and more operators for it to stay relevant against juggernauts like Call of Duty, Halo and Battlefront this year. They’re certainly headed in the right direction, though.
What did you think of the Rainbow Six Siege beta? Will you be picking this one up day one? Let us know and follow us on: Twitter: @WTFGamersOnly / Facebook: WTFGamersOnly / Instagram: WTFGamersOnly. You can also follow me personally on Twitter: @MasZiv3DynAmiC and Instagram: Masziv3