Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege PS4 Review
Publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Genre: FPS Players: 1-5
Age Rating: 18+ Other console/handheld formats: Xbox One
It’s been seven years since the release of the last Rainbow Six game, and in that time we saw the cancellation of one game in the series (Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Patriots) and the birth of another in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. With its little hole in the marketplace left vacant for so long and not filled by another game, I’m pleased to say that Rainbow Six has come back to regain its niche, and the newest game in the series also introduces some satisfying additions to the series.
Firstly, let me get one thing out of the way, Rainbow Six: Siege sadly doesn’t have a campaign mode. It has an 11 mission situation mode for the single player, although this doesn’t amount to anything more than a short mode that gets you familiar with how the game plays and also introduces you to some of the playable operators. Saying that, it’s not a bad mode, and there’s fun to be had as you get to grips with the game, preparing yourself for the main event that is the multiplayer mode.
Another mode that can be played in single player is the returning Terrorist Hunt mode. Terrorist Hunt has you hunting down and killing a set amount of AI-controlled terrorists or seeking out bombs. In typical Rainbow Six style, the best mindset to go into the game is one of caution, as the game is a lot more brutal than other FPS games on the market, with death not leading to any respawns, meaning that playing it safe is definitely the best course of action to take in each and every mode. This obviously means taking it slowly and keeping your eyes open at all times, with the game calling for quick trigger fingers, as one mistake can result in a very quick death, even when playing against the AI on the easiest difficulty level. Terrorist Hunt can also be played online with up to four other players, with teaming up making the mode even more enjoyable.
Speaking of which, it’s easy to see that the 5 vs 5 multiplayer is where Ubisoft have been their busiest, and it’s also where the most fun is to be had. Outside of Terrorist Hunt, there are three modes, which include Hostage Rescue, Bomb, and Secure Area, which have you either accomplishing the task at hand or wiping out the opposing team. You begin each mode by choosing an operator, and, regardless of the mode, you’ll take it in turns to attack and defend. Before playing the multiplayer modes, you are encouraged to have unlocked at least five defenders and five attackers, as only one player can play as each operator in each game, meaning you may find that someone beats you to selecting the operator that you originally had your eye on in a game.
As for the above mentioned operators, there are 20 of these in all; 10 attackers and 10 defenders. You unlock operators using currency (Renown) that you earn in the game through various actions, which includes everything from winning matches, killing opponents, reinforcing, reviving allies, completing challenges, and even viewing the three brief tutorial videos. The operators each have their own unique skill, which makes them distinct from one another. Blitz carries a ballistic shield for example, IQ has a gadget that can find hidden electronic equipment, Doc can revive allies from further away than other operators thanks to his Stim Pistol, Ash can blow open a door or wall from a distance, Pulse carries a heartbeat meter, which is handy for spotting enemies in the area, and so on. The operators also have customisable load-outs, and it’s possible to purchase attachments and skins for their weapons with the in-game currency. There’s also Microtransactions, and, in some ways, it’s like Ubisoft are begging for your cash, as each time you purchase an operator, the next one in the team becomes more expensive, meaning it takes a lot longer to unlock the operators through the in-game currency than it would do if you were to go down the quicker route that are the Microtransactions. Still, if you have patience on your side, the Microtransactions can be easily ignored.
Back to the game itself though, and Rainbow Six: Siege’s most unique feature is definitely being able to reinforce the area around you as the defending team, while it’s possible to lay waste to walls and floors as the attacking team. At the start of each mode, the defending team are given 45 seconds to set up defences and traps, while the attacking team send in their drones in an attempt to find the hostage or bomb, and if they are successful, the game gives them a handy marker as to the location before the game begins proper. Returning to the defending, there are only 10 maps (including a presidential plane, a club, a bank, amongst others) included in the game at launch, but the defences do give you lots of potential, allowing games to play out differently for both the defending and attacking teams, with an unlimited amount of flimsy barricades being set up for windows and doorways which are easily destroyed but still offer you a little protection from enemy eyes and gunfire, while certain walls and areas on the floor can be reinforced, although, unlike the barricades, each defender can only do this twice. There’s potential for lots of strategising between team-mates as you work out where to fortify or where to attack from, blowing up walls and even killing through little peepholes, and it’s also satisfying to make use of your chosen operator’s unique gadgets to make your mark on the game.
Saying all the latter, with only 10 maps and three modes, the game does feel a little lacking for a full priced released. In good news though, Ubisoft have promised that all future downloadable modes and maps will be free, with some new content available within the next 12 months. This makes a rather bitter pill easier to swallow, but it’s still a shame that the game doesn’t have more content straight out of the box.
As it’s a full priced release, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege could have offered more value for money straight from the off and could have ignored microtransactions entirely and included a proper single player campaign mode. But in spite of what has just been said, the game is still a most welcome return for a series that has slept for too long. There is lots of depth and excitement, the fortifying and encouragement of strategising makes the game all the more unique, and the 20 operators have their own unique gadgets, which all comes together to make each game different from the last one.