Rainbow Six Siege Review: You’ll Need More Than Bullets Here

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Check out our game review for Rainbow Six Siege.

When a game sequel is created to have a different focus from its predecessors, long-time fans tend to get worried about the new title falling on its face flat. However, if the creators behind it carefully piece together what makes the game unique and use that to put a new spin on popular genres, impressive results can be achieved. To create a familiar yet unique experience sounds like a paradox but this is the best way to summarize Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege on the PlayStation 4.

Personally, I’ve seen a fair share of games trying to make spinoffs on different genres. On average, I wouldn’t say the results were promising. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six franchise had long been known to be an RTS (real-time strategy), so learning that it would be on go to a Call-of-Duty/Battlefield format I honestly had my doubts. Not even a big fan of shooters, I pick up the controller and start looking through the game.

Production (3/5)

  • Graphics look good and realistic
  • Sound is acceptable
  • Music feels minimal
  • Cinematics provide a good feel of the game

 

After some painful patching, I finally get to try the game, looking intently at the graphics I’d have to say that it looked realistic enough to get you into the general realistic FPS game feel. Looking at pieces of the map will tell you there’s definitely some copy-paste going on here, though I believe this is to make the map easier to understand. Gunfire and explosion sounds seem pretty accurate which further sets you into the atmosphere of tactical combat. The additional content also gives you a very direct look into how the game is and how it should play out.

Mechanics (5/5)

  • Solid mechanics
  • Multiplayer experience is where the gold is
  • Game balance seems up in the air, but there’s no outstandingly overpowered class
  • Voice seems to be the only real way to coordinate, which is a problem for SEA players

The game’s mechanics seems to be where the development team put a lot of effort in. The general multiplayer experience will have 2 teams of 5 players take turns in being the attacking or defending team each with opposing objectives. Winning a round scores a point, and the first team to make 3 points wins. The objective can be different every match and the layout can be different every round.

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For example, the Blue Team needs to rescue hostages from a house and the Orange Team needs to prevent them from doing just that. So the Orange Team will try to fortify the house with blockades and traps while the Blue Team will have infiltration tools at their disposal. Aside from having good twitch shooter skills, intelligence and coordination prove to be important assets to have as the location of the hostage changes every round, changing how one might fortify or infiltrate the said house.

Simple decisions like exploring an area or deciding to fight or flee from an enemy can lead to getting into the right position or making yourself an easy target, which can be the difference between victory or defeat. Even if you have the highest level with the best possible setup for that match, a rookie can still easily take you down with a few shots in the right place.

Content (4/5)

  • Good number of well-thought of maps
  • Many specialty classes to choose from
  • Paces you through the complexities of the game through its single player mode
  • Provides additional resources through tutorial mode
  • Cosmetics are for sale
  • DLC coming this February

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Each map in the game feels more like a multi-layered chess-board rather than an arena map. As every time I find more and more ways to move around it. Compounding that with about 20 classes available for you to unlock in-game, it feels like the ways to play a single type of match are numerous and one of them may be a much better fit for you or your team than the rest you’ll discover. You can be a demolition specialist that can basically ignore walls, a trap expert that makes infiltration that much harder, or even a medic that can revive allies instantly.

Those who are new to the game can spend time going through the video tutorials or play through the single player mode called ‘Situations.’ I find this mode very craftily created specially for those who are yet to learn how to play the game. It paces you through complexities of the game one at a time without trying to bore you. First you learn about how to use the mobile camera, next it teaches you how to bust through walls, later how to fortify a room, the list goes on. At the same time, it places you in each of the different available maps, where you’re usually at a disadvantage. So it teaches you not only the tactics with weapons and tools but also with the maps as well at the same time. I’d have to say that the usual minds behind writing scenarios for Rainbow Six really showed their work in here. As it challenges you not only to complete the task, but to do it well.

If the content they come up with for Rainbow Six Siege is always this well-thought, fans are certain to look forward to its DLC expansion this February called ‘Black Ice.’

Features (3/5)

  • Single Player, Coop, PVP modes available
  • Online play is convenient enough
  • Unfortunately no real campaign mode
  • Lacks spectating capability
  • Requires online for everything
  • Matching system seems slow
  • Lack of custom lobby

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The game features several ways to play single player and multiplayer. Where it’s possible to compete against each other in teams of 5 or to cooperate against an army of AI opponents. Somehow, it’s also possible to play online solo, though I don’t see the value behind this. And sorry for those who are looking, but you won’t find a campaign in this game.

Considering the competitive nature of this game, it might have been ideal to have features like reviewing replays, or having a spectator function for people not part of the game. It would give players another avenue to learn and give feedback from.

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One complaint I would have about the online features is how it requires an internet connection to do anything substantial. You can’t even progress in its single player mode without an being online. Which makes this completely unplayable if you can’t maintain a good internet connection. In fact, voice chat seems to be the only real way to communicate with your team, which again requires a well-running internet connection

It’s also a bit of a wonder how the matching system for this game is quite slow, probably partially due to the number of players available, but it doesn’t need to find as many players as its counterparts does. So I think it would be okay to assume that the matches shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, but it usually takes about 2 or 3. On top of that, it seems to just randomly match 10 people that have a generally good response to the server. So you can be matched with or against people who are complete veterans even if you had just started. Leaving you wondering what’s going on and how exactly you died during the second you realized you’re looking at an enemy.

Finally, it might have been nice if it was possible to set up custom lobbies so you can play on specific maps or with people you were really interested in.

Overall (3.5/5)

  • Complex game that presents interesting depth in game play thanks to thoroughly planned content.
  • Would have appreciated class-specific tutorials
  • With many options in combat, many ways of playing is presented.
  • Online is the only way to play this game
  • Not straight up fun out of the box, but can be a rewarding experience for those who like to be challenged. not recommended for casual players.

While the game takes many leaps and bounds attempting to teach you the complexities of  the game in the most painless methods possible, this is no game for the proverbial newbie. The margin for error is extremely small such that the moment you make a wrong move you’re most likely dead. However, the combination strategy and skill required to play this game makes it a very rewarding to figure out, like in your traditional MOBAs. In fact it might not be too far from that idea considering it also follows the 5 on 5 format.

The amount of options you can take to the match presents you with many possibilities of how to deal with your opponent. It would have been nice if there was some way to properly demo and test these classes on their own rather than having to figure out how to use them in actual games. The fact that a constant online connection is required to play anything in the game adds another barrier for people to enjoy the game.
I don’t think this is a game for those who have no experience in modern style FPS games, as they’ll have to understand the basics on top of the unique mechanics presented by Rainbow Six Siege. It’s a bit discouraging to buy a fully priced game when it’s an FPS solely focused on multiplayer as well. But for those of you who want to play something an FPS that presents a lot of depth with the action, Rainbow Six Siege on the PlayStation 4 presents you with a shiny new challenge.

 

Game Rating: 3.7 out of 5

Rainbow Six Siege is available on PS4, XBOX One and Windows.

Review by Allen ‘LenTropy’ Silva

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