Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege review
I’ve been trying to write up my thoughts on this new Tom Clancy game for a while now. Rainbow Six Siege is a really unique experience, it’s small, more methodical and way more intense than anything I’ve played in a long time. Yet I still find myself struggling to quite describe how I feel about Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. So here goes.
Rainbow Six Siege’s competitive multiplayer is a simple round based shooter, attackers have to either complete their objective or eliminate the entire opposing team to win the round, defenders have to hold out and prevent the attackers from completing their objective or wiping out the opposing team to win.
I’ve only been playing Rainbow Six Siege with friends, largely avoiding playing entirely with random people. It’s a teamwork focused game that is built around cooperation and communication. At the start of the round, defenders set up barricades, reinforce walls and prepare for an assault from the opposing team. While the defenders prepare, the attackers scout out the area using drones to locate their objective and build up an image of what the defenders are doing.
Then the round starts, and this is where it gets intense. Defenders anxiously lie in wait for the attackers, who slowly sweep through the building. Moving room to room, both teams holding the trigger tightly on their weapons. At any moment gunfire will break out. It’s that slow build to the combat that generates an incredible level of intensity. This is before the fighting even begins.
What heightens this feeling is the phenomenal sound design
When it’s dead quiet, as a defender you sit there. You’ll then hear something breaking, they’re breaking through a barricade. They’re coming, then there’s an explosion. They’ve used a breaching charge, they’re coming. Those footsteps start getting louder, they’re nearby. Maybe you think about just popping your head out, but someone could be right around the corner just looking for a reason to pull the trigger. The build-up is intense, maybe more so than when the gunfire breaks out.
When that happens it’s hard to know if your cover will hold up, wood doesn’t stop bullets very well, that table probably isn’t bulletproof. That drywall isn’t much better, but a barricaded wall might hold up if Thermite isn’t on the other side. If you’re hiding behind your metal barricade then you’ve got some decent cover but the downside is that it stands out and odds are someone knows you’re behind it.
Attackers have it hard though too, they need to get into that room. They need to rescue the hostage, or catch the container or defuse the bomb. Either way, they need to get in that room, regardless of who is in there. But if your attacking, Charging in guns blazing is incredibly risky. It’s likely that someone has got eyes on the windows in the objective room and someone’s got eyes on the doorway or someone’s probably punched a hole in the wall and made a little murder hole. Usually someone else is lurking around in rooms away from your objective, waiting for an opportunity to ambush you when you’re already occupied. There is a lot of strategy involved in Rainbow Six Siege.
This isn’t everything though, operators shake up what is already an intense game. Attackers have riot shield operators, Montagne brings a special riot shield that can extend out even more providing more protection to the user, or perhaps Blitz. His riot shield has a bright light on the front that can blind any poor sod that’s caught in front of him. If you bring a shield, bring a friend too. As the shield, you get shot at. Call the location of your shooter so your friend can move up and take him down. It’s called teamwork and it’s what you’ll need to win in Rainbow 6 Siege.
Attackers have more than just riot shields though, Thermite brings a special breaching charge that can blow a hole in walls that the defenders have reinforced. The drawback is that the defending team get a very clear notice that the charge about to blow up their reinforced wall. But a defender playing as Mute can place a jammer on the ground that will prevent Thermite from activating but an attacking Thatcher can use his EMP grenades to disable Mute’s jammer. Each operator works with or against another. The castle has reinforced, bulletproof barricades for windows and doors that are much harder to destroy with standard weapons, but Sledge can use his sledgehammer to smash the castle’s barricades down instantly.
The map design it fairly simple, each map is centered around a single building or object. Maps include the Presidential Plane, Chalet, Bank, Oregon, House and Clubhouse, a SAS training facility in Hereford, the French consulate and some others. The designs can vary but the house is most likely the smallest of maps while a map set in a coast guard station on a deck serves as a much larger map. Make no mistake though, all the action in Rainbow 6 takes place inside. Defenders can’t leave the building during the preparation phase and during the actual round they’ll get clearly marked if they’re outside for too long. The battle is confined to the often tight, closed off corridors or the slightly more open rooms of the buildings.
That being said, walls might not mean much and there’s a unique destruction element to it. Wooden or drywall aren’t bulletproof and players can shoot or blow up through them creating their own doorways. The same goes for wooden floors, players can blow up sections of it to open up new views into rooms below, trap-doors can be destroyed to give players a way of dropping into the room. It’s fairly clear which walls are destructible and which walls are not. The barricades for doorways are the same too, you can punch and shoot small chunks out without destroying the whole thing. Unless you’re sitting behind a metal barricade it’s hard to know if your cover will hold up and even if it does there’s still a chance someone can get through another way and shoot you. You’re never truly safe in the end.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege still has it’s fair share of problems, the netcode can be fairly inconsistent and I’ve seen one too many instances where I’ve shot someone a bunch of times only to find myself still getting killed in fewer shots. Matchmaking can be troublesome and connection issues can result in players finding themselves trapped in a loading screen because one player’s connection is taking longer than others.
Terrorist Hunt also makes a return in Rainbow Six Siege however this time around it works in different ways. Players can play in a variety of different ways, sometimes it’s just a simple kill them all scenario, or defending a hostage from attackers. Sometimes you might have to defuse both bombs in a game which can be varied and pretty fun as a distraction from the highly competitive multiplayer experience.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is already a superb game and an excellent experiment in pacing and tension. The balance between operators is holding steady and whilst some weapons are a little questionable Ubisoft is committed to the longevity of this game. They know it’s something special despite Rainbow Six Siege having a season pass, all DLC maps and operators will be free and can be obtained without spending real money. Ubisoft has already added two new operators and a new map with more to come. Rainbow Six Siege is still pretty rough around the edges but it’s already a highly competent game with a ton of potential. Rainbow 6 Siege is definitely worth buying in our opinion.
- Intense gameplay
- Range of Operators provides an incredible amount of depth and opportunities
- Destructible environments
- Simple map design
- Simplified loadouts
- Terrorist Hunt can be varied and fun
- Fully priced for a largely MP only game
- Connection Issues
- Operator visual design is boring and they all kind of look the same