Whenever I think back to the many nights I spent in front of a TV playing games in high school, Rainbow Six Vegas always jumps to mind. Endlessly tearing through game after game of Terrorist Hunt with a friend was a favourite pastime of mine throughout the two game series – as we created increasingly difficult challenges for ourselves to complete. You can bet good money that I was one of the ones screaming joy at the announcement of the mode this week at E3 – although it was a bit subdued by the time I got to play.
Rainbow 6 Siege’s multiplayer changes up the formula a bit in a few ways. Your tactical team of four still has to enter a location and take out as many balaclava wearing enemies as possible, but with the added objectives of disarming two explosive devices. This puts a clock on you, making sure you precisely execute your tactical moves rather than waiting in the wings for someone to die of boredom. Reach a bomb site, and you can use a remote hacking device to shut it down. And then things get really interesting.
Rainbow Six Terrorist Hunt was so focused in the offensive, that it completely forgot about the converse being true. With the remote hacking device in place, the tables turn in Rainbow Six Siege. Your squad is now cornered and forced to protect the device until it shits down the bomb – letting enemies rappel, breach and pretty much do anything else to bind a way into the room. It creates a tense few moments, especially at the higher difficulty levels, where your sneaking prowess is put to the test from the opposite side of the table.
Teamwork is key, as you’d expect from this series. Communication with my three teammates ensured that we all knew which entrances were covered. Enemies could use the exact same moves as us –meaning windows, doors and even solid walls weren’t safe for assumption. The AI is particularly smart already, managing to figure out where less fire would occur at the best of times. It enhances the already tense atmosphere, and leaves your heart racing until the next encounter.
Being able to go through anything that thicker than a book, Rainbow 6 truly does boast a large sense of tactical freedom. Sledge can break holes with the swing of a hammer, so having him along for the hide is rather useful for getting jumps on enemies below, or diverting their attention away from a thermite breach. The way characters are slotted into specific roles help visualise what perhaps went wrong in the previous round, and let’s you pick a standardised contribution to the team without having to think too hard.
But despite all of this, including the new way that Siege plays with the traditional Terrorist Hunting mechanic, it struggled to invoke those same feelings I had about Vegas all those years ago. It’s weighed down massively by the fact that I was talking with complete strangers, and I suspect many, many other people won’t feel the same way. But for now, it’s certainly something you have to try with a close bunch of friends – especially since the maps randomly rotate objectives, enemies, and entry points.
The game has the potential to ride out a long multiplayer wave if it catches it before the curl, but for now there’s nothing really much else too it. Rainbow six has always been about tight, tactical multiplayer shooting, and Siege really doesn’t seem to be doing much further than that. If it sounds like your fancy, then there’s probably not another shooter out there to rival it. If you’re looking for a bit more though, you might have to start looking for some friends.
Last Updated: June 19, 2015