Ever since I was a kid, Iâve always enjoyed a good Tom Clancy game. Hell, my obsession with Splinter Cell in particular went so far that you could see me playing those awful Java mobile games at school (Chaos Theory was pretty good though). Rainbow Six was my second-favourite title,with its vast selection of armaments and what can only be described as an abundance of tactical options, I was positively hooked on the older titles in the series. Lockdown was pretty good as well, at least on PC, but lacked a certain oomph that partially returned with Vegas and its immediate successor. When Patriots was announced, I was stoked â the concept gameplay video still looks amazing to this day, and I would gladly shell out if it ever gets released. However for some reason, Rainbow Six: Siege is what we got instead.
All of the combatants in Siege could also double as construction workers.
I am not the kind of person that often dabbles in multiplayer titles; this is, from what I can tell, true for many Rainbow Six fans and immediately marked Siege as a potential failure in our minds. Having spent some time making holes in plywood walls to shoot through, I can attest to several things â one of which is that Ubisoft Montreal have created an experience like no other.
The round begins â five operators throw their tiny scouting drones down on the floor to map out the area and mark any potential threats before storming the classy suburban house to rescue a VIP. The enemy combatants are doing their part as well, which includes but isnât limited to creating new lines-of-sight, setting up traps, bolstering some of the weaker walls and doorways and making themselves at home in general. Some drones get shot up by the more dextrous kidnappers but the R6 operatives get a pretty good idea of whatâs what and where it is. The time is up, set-pieces are set and the mission is a-go. In a matter of seconds, agents close in on the house, where they split in two teams. The first team creates a distraction by punching directly through the main entrance, armed with assault rifles, combat shotguns and riot shields, they get the kidnappersâ attention while the other, stealthy team makes an attempt at extracting the hostage. I was a part of the assault team and got offed pretty quickly in this particular instance, but not before taking down one hostile myself and wounding another. I helped my team, and that made me feel good despite the no-respawn rule Siege thrives in.
Despite the fact that Iâm rarely any good at multiplayer shooters Iâve had lots of fun with Rainbow Six: Siege. The way gameplay is handled means every player is useful in one way or another, and even if you get taken down in the first couple of seconds like a headless chicken, at least the rest of your team will know where to focus their fire in the next couple of moments. Itâs a game in which shooting your firearm is your main way of interaction with the environments, but shooting is relatively rarely an action whose goal is to take an enemy down. Instead, you shoot through the walls to set up creative vantage points, you breach through walls and the level dynamically adapts to everything the players do. Itâs a marvel to behold a firefight in Siege, even if youâre not actually playing the game. Aside from the several main multiplayer game modes, thereâs also the option to engage in Terrorist Hunt missions, which are pretty much what weâve come to expect from Rainbow Six by now. This is great for those who like playing solo from time to time, but the presence of Ubisoftâs dreaded always-online DRM means that, for example, I cannot play Siege whenever my Internet is down â which happens more often than Iâd like to admit these days.
Gravity. Never heard of it.
And thatâs a shame, because this is hands-down one of the best multiplayer FPS games Iâve played in quite a while. Of course, thereâs a decent selection of weaponry, unique operators who have their own specific gadgets and lots more to fiddle with, but the immediacy of combat and the ever-evolving tactics (courtesy of great level design and destruction physics) are what got to me. This is a game in which players can be genuinely immersed, think with their own head and use whatever items they have at their disposal to achieve the objective. Of course, communication is key in multiplayer, which means itâll hopefully attract a more mature crowd than is the case with your average Call of Duty title. Alas, weâll see how Siege holds up in a year or two.
When it comes to visuals, I canât help but notice how the game seemed to feature better fidelity in some of the promotive materials. Lighting has been slightly degraded, I believe, but this doesnât mean the game looks bad by any stretch of imagination though. The textures are crisp and the post-processing makes the whole thing come alive, and we PC players appreciate the numerous graphics options we can fiddle with to our heartâs desires. What confuses me though is the amount of VRAM necessary to render the highest-resolution textures, but whatever. The sound design is phenomenal, and those of you with hi-end headphones will quickly notice just how important the sound of oneâs footsteps is in Siege.
The absolute lack of campaign or any proper single player mode is an obvious downside, but even I have to admire the way gameplay is weaved into the fabric of Rainbow Six: Siege. Not two matches will ever be the same â for the first time, this is not a marketing gimmick at all but an observation Iâve surmised from my time with Siege. Is it worth the full price of an AAA game? Hard to tell, depends of what you expect from a game such as that. I would place it in the same category as Titanfall (I know you forgot all about it) was, but with much more variety and emergent gameplay. If youâre looking for a new multiplayer experience like no other, Siege is what you need. For those who seek a tactical game along the lines of now-ancient Raven Shield, Door Kickers might be the better option this time around.