If you had to ask me what one of my favourite shooters of the last generation was, Rainbow Six Vegas would most certainly be crawling near the top. Aside from the rather excellent single-player, co-operative Terrorist Hunt was an absolute treat with a friend, tasking you with hunting down varying ruthless enemies in a set map. Siege’s Terrohunt is building on this excellent formula in interesting ways, making it the most enticing part of the sequel yet.
Shove the competitive-focused squad tactics to the side, and Rainbow Six Siege has a meaty co-operative mode on its lanky bones. Terrohunt is a silly amalgamation of words, but the elements it mixes in the process make for more sense. Things start off simple enough, with me and the rest of my three teammates picking one of the many classes the shooter has to offer. Their different enough that their unique abilities make a marked difference on the match, making team synergy crucial before the game even begins.
For instance, Sledge carries around a, well, sledgehammer – which is used to punch hols through walls and floors to drop down and otherwise confuse the hell out of AI controlled enemies. Another equips your character with EMP grenades – which act as the silver bullet for groups on enemies around a remote detonated bomber. Maps are procedurally littered with terrorists in random ways, but each map does seem to have a select brand of foes that you can plan around. Where they’ll creep up and peer around the corner though, is anther matter entirely.
And things like that do happen, no matter how carefully my team and I crept around a mansion in a bid to enter without a peep. Rappelling through windows or breaching through doors often brings unwanted attention, as you scour the level for two bombs to disarm in a set amount of time. The tick timer keeps you (and the match_ moving at a brisk, tightly tuned pace – encouraging you to throw caution to the wind in controlled bursts. Enemies respond to this in kind with their own brand of lethal force, which quickly becomes deadly the higher you chose to set the ranging difficulty levels.
It’s standard Rainbow 6 fare at it’s best when you’re on the offensive, but the beauty of Terrohunt comes in the sections where the tables are invariably turned. Once you reach a bomb site and whip out a remote disarming device (this is 2015 after all, Counter-Strike), you’re now the ones anticipating the hunt. Terrorist will converge on the position, using identical tactics to you in order to get in. Windows, thin walls and doors can all be breached in second with explosives and thermite, which make the unfriendly fire tight atmospheres a messy and otherwise deadly affair for teammates not in tight communication.
Playing with three strangers, our tactically sound mic chatter was rather professional – a point I made after all the huff and puff caused by Ubisoft similar scripted showcase during their conference. It’s not put on, but rather required in a game like Rainbow Six. If phrases like “I’m holding right” or “I’m on point, follow me” weren’t being heard, we were not sticking as tightly together as the game demanded. Thankfully the was enough synergy between us to survival the regular difficulty setting – but nowhere near as finely tuned to stand a chance on Realistic.
It’s reminded me of the thrills Vegas used to give me, and introduced enough that it felt different in it’s own right. Rainbow 6 Siege is still, of course, a first-person shooter that has a heavy (like monumental) focus on multiplayer and voice communication – so it’s important to acknowledge these factors as possible hindrances that game could face later this year. Ubisoft says there are going to be ways to communicate outside voice, but even thy will struggle with coming up with a system that matches the speed and preciseness of a quick, over the shoulder commanding that reverberates in a squad member’s ear.
Rainbow 6 Siege’s Terrohunt got me excited at their conference, and it got me excited playing. But I’m a little less excited knowing that replicating this type of experience is going to take a lot of preparation on many fronts. It’s not the game’s fault, but not something that can be overlooked in the wake of Evolve’s difficulty with it either.
Last Updated: June 22, 2015