There’s a great big elephant in the room that we need to get over, before we can get to the good stuff. There’s an enormous campaign-sized hole in Rainbow Six Siege, that’s bound to lead to all sorts of disappointment. Fans of the previous games’ well thought-out, perfectly-structured tactical single player and co-operative narrative-driven campaigns will likely find little of value here, and it’s saddening, perhaps even maddening.

Rainbow Six Siege does away with the series mainstay dispensing with the single player and co-operative campaigns to be found in games like last generation’s excellent Rainbow Six Vegas, and going back further into the annals of Ubisoft history, ones like Rogue Spear, Raven Shield and Lockdown. The games have always been characterised by thoughtful planning, favouring that sort of slower, methodical strategizing that makes it play out like first-person chess more than a Call of Duty-like twitch-shooter. That still rings true, and the game is still all about planning and perfectly executing that plan, but the single player bits of that are almost wholly absent.

RB6_1

Almost. There are 11 single player “situations” that do their best to teach you the basics, each increasing in complexity and difficulty as they introduce new operatives, and mechanics that you’ll use in your multiplayer quest for glory. They exist to get you ready for the multiplayer but stand up well enough as surprisingly robust single player levels, by having you do much the same sort of thing you’ll do in the competitive multiplayer and terrorist hunt modes; defusing bombs, securing hostages, protecting high value targets – all of that sort of thing.

Had Ubisoft tied these situations together with some sort of narrative thread, some sort of loosely-woven but connected experience instead of the disjointed one it is, it would have passed scrutiny as a single player campaign. The framework is there; they even have Angela Basset, motion-captured and ready to provide some sort of impetus for your counter-terrorist escapades. Instead, she’s barely used, spending mere minutes lathering about the team of operatives you’ve collected, from the premier counter terrorist units from across the globe. They’re fun and challenging and certainly worth playing – but they could have provided the framework for, at the very least, a half-baked campaign. The situations are also just about the only thing you can do offline.

RB6_2

Without an internet connection, you’re gated off from everything else. Naturally, that makes sense for online multiplayer, but even the lone wolf, solo Terrorist Hunt is gated behind an online wall for reasons I’m unable to fathom. Thankfully it’s worth being online for. Whether you play with a team of five or go alone, Terrorist Hunt is as fun as its always been, pitting you as your chosen operative against a building – or aeroplane – full of terrorists just begging for a bullet between the eyes. It’s as fun as ever, even if it hamstrung by some frequently laughable AI.

Where the game really shines is in its competitive multiplayer. Though there are different objectives within the 5v5, they all really boil down to the same thing. Whether you’ve got a hostage rescue, a bomb defusal or location of some or other biohazard, just about every match ends up being a 5v5 team deathmatch. And honestly, that’s ok – because it’s such a smart, considered, and finely tuned multiplayer experience.

RB6_3

Before each of the rounds begins, the attacking team gets to use its wheel-mounted drones to survey the area, casing the building in the hopes of finding whatever that round’s objective may be. Perhaps it’s a hostage, a bomb, or some sort of weaponised chemical. Should the camera toting drones find the target, the attackers’ job that round is a little easier; they’ll know exactly where to go. It’s never quite that simple though.

While they’re operating their drones, the defenders get to fortify their positions, laying down explosive traps, reinforcing walls, laying down barbed-wired and hiding away like sneaky bastards so they can pop out of absolutely nowhere and shoot you in the face later.

Rounds are won whenever the attacking team completes the match objective, or the defending team keeps the other at bay for long enough for the counter to tick down to zero. In my experience, that almost never happened, and no matter the situation, it all ended when five members on one team played catch with live ammunition. It sounds rather repetitive, but there’s a surprising amount of depth to it all, driven by the eclectic and varied cast of operators that make up each team. Each of the 20 operators (10 available for attack, and 10 available for defense) has an ability that’s tied tangentially to their names.

RB6_4

Sledge, for example, is an SAS operative who carries a great big Sledgehammer, which he can use to tear up destructible walls with ease. Smoke, a defensive operator from the same CTU is able to detonate explosive charges that unleash a poisonous gas, incapacitating hapless enemies who’re unfortunate enough to be caught in its blast. They become more interesting and varied as you go on, unlocking more of them; Thermite’s an FBI S.W.A.T attacker who can use his exothermic charges to destroy even reinforced walls, while the oft-overlooked Doc, a GIGN defender is able to revive teammates from a distance with his syringe-gun. Each operative is unique, and each has a natural antithesis, making coordinating your team and its make-up an essential part of your step to victory.

The environments are fairly destructible with certain types of walls and many floors able to be smashed through, providing not just new strategic entrances, but also little peepholes through which to spot enemies, and shoot at them. It works both ways though, so standing behind some destructible terrain could – and frequently does – end in your own demise. With 10 maps from the onset, content is perhaps a bit anaemic – though it has to be said that each map is expertly crafted, never feeling like it favours one side over the other.

RB6_5

Because of this balance that just about each match offers some of the most exhilarating multiplayer shooting I’ve encountered this generation – and in truth, with all the planning and strategy and tactics at play, there isn’t even all that much shooting. Each round comes to its conclusion after just a few rounds find their intended targets. As you continue playing and hopefully winning, you’ll earn Renown, Rainbow Six Siege’s in-game currency.

It’s this currency that you’ll use to unlock new operators, and outfit them with enhanced gear, customising the weapons with laser sights, suppressors and all other manner of baubles that don’t make as much of a difference as Ubisoft might like. Earning Renown is a slow process, you’ll obtain just a couple of hundred off a successful match, and as the game goes on your operators start costing quite a bit, so it takes quite a few hours to bag the entire compliment of bad-ass lads and ladies. It seems to be, once again, a measured and calculated choice; you’re likely to really get to grips with each new operative and learn how to properly utilise his or her special abilities before moving on to your next one.

RB6_6

The more cynical side of me thinks it’s a clever way for Ubisoft to push its boosters; little stacking micro transactions that help you earn Renown just that little bit quicker. I dabbled with the boosters for a bit, and found that while they do help you earn Renown quicker, the difference isn’t enough to warrant spending real money on. They’re not nearly egregious and intrusive as I’d thought they’d be.

Because of the heavy focus on teamwork and communication, playing with a team of chatty friends is recommended, and sometimes, crucial. With teamwork being critical to success, sometimes playing with randoms on the internet can be a frustrating experience; some don’t seem to want to talk at all, others seem to think they’re playing Call of Duty and run off trying to shoot at everything that moves. Unfortunately, getting a team together provided me with more than a few headaches. The squad system which lets you party-up with friends failed to work, throwing up little more than error messages. It doesn’t seem to be an isolated situation either, with others – also sporting open NATS and forwarded ports – hitting the same wall. It’s a damned shame, because when the multiplayer comes together – and it often does, even when playing with strangers, it offers some of the most exhilarating, gut-wrenching, white-knuckled, other-bits-of-hyperbole multiplayer available at the moment.

RB6_7

The servers, in this post-launch week have also been spotty, sometimes ending matches prematurely. Other times the servers would just be unavailable completely – leaving the situations as the only offline content available. And really, as good as the meaty multiplayer is (and I must reiterate, it’s really, really good), it’s hard to recommend Rainbow Six Siege to anybody, other than those who know, just know that they’re in it just for the superlative multiplayer.

Last Updated: December 8, 2015

Rainbow Six Siege
When it all comes together, Rainbow Six Siege offers some of the best multiplayer action you'll experience this generation, but the anaemic content and lack of a cohesive single player campaign mar what should be one of this year's best shooters.
7.0
Rainbow Six Siege was reviewed on Xbox One
74 / 100

40 Comments

  1. Captain JJ 4x

    December 8, 2015 at 12:36

    I don’t want anything to do with this shadow of old Rainbow Six games.

    Reply

    • WitWolfy

      December 8, 2015 at 12:41

      Some where over the rainbow…

      Reply

    • Kyle Myburgh

      December 8, 2015 at 15:31

      Did you even try the Beta?

      Reply

  2. Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    December 8, 2015 at 12:36

    that’s more than Just Cause 3…

    Edit: Score wise…

    Reply

  3. VampyreSquirrel

    December 8, 2015 at 12:38

    I’m sorely missing the single player and co-op campaigns in this game, but the game is still heavily addictive and awesomely fun. The AI will flank and kill you on Normal difficulty, all while communicating and popping you through walls if they know where you are. Then there’s the players… my word, some of these people are insanely good, while you get the ones that are obviously using a controller on their PC!

    Reply

    • Kyle Myburgh

      December 8, 2015 at 15:23

      Do you have a legit pc version of the game? Do you know more South Africans that have the game. I’m trying to organise some SA 5v5’s

      Reply

      • VampyreSquirrel

        December 8, 2015 at 15:46

        Yeah I do have a legit version, and have no idea who else has it, other than our reviewer here who played it on the PS4 I think.

        Reply

  4. Captain JJ 4x

    December 8, 2015 at 12:40

    Don’t forget to go let yourself be heard on the Uplay “we’re listening” tab.
    Save lives! 😉

    Reply

  5. Hammersteyn

    December 8, 2015 at 12:42

    Nope, this isn’t Rainbow Six. This is a PVP mod

    Reply

    • Kyle Myburgh

      December 8, 2015 at 15:24

      So was CS…

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        December 8, 2015 at 16:06

        True, but CS doesn’t cost an arm and a leg

        Reply

        • Kyle Myburgh

          December 8, 2015 at 16:17

          I feel the game should have cost $40, the $60 tag is too high, but I think it can be justified by saying:
          $30 – for the game (which is more than reasonable)
          $15 – for the 8 operators coming in 2016 (which will be free)
          $15 – for the 4 maps coming in 2016 (which is also free)

          On a side not. I hate it when people say games are just “mods”. Please show me a mod that offers this experience. You realise that there’s not going to be another game like this for a very long time. The level of detail in this game is insane. Nothing comes close to offering this kind of destruction. The sound design is incredible. This isn’t some low budget game.

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            December 8, 2015 at 16:27

            No it’s not low budget and like Battlefront it has no SP either unlike all the previous titles

          • Kyle Myburgh

            December 8, 2015 at 16:44

            I bought Battlefront 2 years ago (had no internet at the time) and just found the campaign so dull and boring. It was obvious they took a mp game and tacked on a sp campaign. Battlefront doesn’t need a SP, the majority of people that really played SW:BF and SW:BF2 back in the day played it for the multiplayer and the majority of people that wanted the new SW:BF wanted it for the multiplayer. EA just really really @#$% the game up by destroying what Battlefront use to be and turning it into a shallow run and gun snooze fest. So pissed off about SW:BF 2015.

            Let’s be honest, the best single player games are SP only
            Witcher 3 (sp only)
            Fallout (sp only)

            The most popular MP games are MP only
            CS (mp only)
            WOW (mp only)

            Then we get hybrids where one part of the game is brilliant and the other part is mediocre if not down right aweful.

            The last of us (SP is brilliant, MP is forgettable)
            Battlefield (MP is brilliant, SP is laughably bad)

            So here you are complaining that a game that is focused on MP lacks a SP component and exactly because of this developers waste resources making mediocre campaigns for their multiplayer games and mediocre multiplayer for their single player games.

          • Hammersteyn

            December 9, 2015 at 07:53

            I’m complaining because you’d think there’d be more content for one. They dropped the campaign for Battlefront and R6 so you’d think there’d be more value for money. Looking back at Battlefront 2 there were so many more modes like Galactic Conquest and Space Battles. Imagine Battlefront had map where rebels need to destroy the Deathstar. How cool would that have been?

            Instead there’s a hole that’s been left. There’s tons of people who’d love a SP campaign mode but if the publisher decides to leave it out he needs to replace it with something else. What we have is the standard MP that these games would have had in any case except that BF still asks for a $50 season pass while R6 use a F2P progression system with microtransactions and a frigging season pass.

            Microtransactions being the biggest bile pushing word in gaming at the moment. Then yesterday news broke that Overwatch will have all content available from the start possibly only charging extra for cosmetics. Maybe they finally realised that, yes we don’t have anything for anyone wanting to play alone instead of being abused by 12 year olds so let’s give the people what they paid for. A PVP only game, but the whole game with everything from the start instead of negating their experience with a paywall.

            Of course a lot of us are cynical that Overwatch will deliver completely on their promise. But I think we have publishers like EA and Ubisoft to thank for the lack of faith in AAA gaming.

          • Kyle Myburgh

            December 9, 2015 at 08:26

            Firstly yes…I said this earlier. Siege is NOT a $60 title, it should be $40, but Siege does offer 8 free operators and 4 maps post launch which is “free” dlc. Siege doesn’t have a F2P progression model. o.O Where did you hear this. If you complete the Situations which takes about 3 hours you can unlock 6/20 operators. I’ve now played 20 hours and I have enough in game currency (without using any boosts) to unlock the remaining 14 operators.

            Did you even play the beta?

            As for Battlefront, I agree. The budget on that game must have been massive and the game seriously lacks content. Just keep in mind that production costs of games are a lot higher now in 2015 than what they were in 2005. To produce the same amount of content as SW:BF 2 at the quality level players expect would cost way too much, but what EA released was just pathetic.

          • Hammersteyn

            December 9, 2015 at 08:42

            Any game that has you spending money on MT to progress in my book is a F2P model because you can either grind your ass off or pay additional cash on top of the $60 to unlock the rest of the game so that you can truly start playing. Plus it has a season pass and no SP unlike the previous true to the name Rainbow Six games. This smells of E-sports and Ubisoft wants a bite of that apple with their own version of Counterstirke. No Thanks

            Also I just learned of the canceled title Rainbow 6: Patriots, thanks Ubisoft

          • Kyle Myburgh

            December 9, 2015 at 09:08

            Did you play the open beta?

          • Hammersteyn

            December 9, 2015 at 09:10

            Nope, Wanted to download it but there were issues with the servers so I skipped.

  6. oVg

    December 8, 2015 at 12:47

    GOTY

    Reply

    • Captain JJ 4x

      December 8, 2015 at 12:50

      GITSOTY

      Reply

      • oVg

        December 8, 2015 at 12:52

        #SPFOREVER

        Reply

  7. oVg

    December 8, 2015 at 12:49

    Rainbow? ITS ROMEO

    Reply

  8. oVg

    December 8, 2015 at 12:54

    This game is like the multiplayer portion of Rise of the Tomb Raider but with no Single Player.

    Reply

  9. Captain JJ 4x

    December 8, 2015 at 12:57

    I’m so pissed that Ubi went and USED the name of this franchise to create a game that is not true to the franchise at all. If it were called something else…or even just Siege, then it would have been fine. But they’re riding on the name Rainbow Six…a great franchise.
    I’m fucking tired of companies screwing up good games, making them something they were never meant to be.

    Reply

    • HvR

      December 8, 2015 at 13:00

      Well since a siege is long term stand-off that part of the name doesn’t even make sense.

      Reply

    • The Grand Admiral Chief

      December 8, 2015 at 13:00

      Agreed

      Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      December 8, 2015 at 13:02

      • Captain JJ 4x

        December 8, 2015 at 13:24

        I don’t often truly (and without joking about it) rant, but this one really pissed me off.

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          December 8, 2015 at 13:53

          Same here

          Reply

    • Kyle Myburgh

      December 8, 2015 at 15:25

      Why? Rainbow Six is a tactical shooter, and so is this. The name is fitting here.

      Reply

  10. The Grand Admiral Chief

    December 8, 2015 at 12:59

    NO SP
    MT
    NO offline Terrohunt/Lone Wolf

    NO THANK YOU

    Reply

  11. The Grand Admiral Chief

    December 8, 2015 at 13:00

    It sounds like if you are not as RENOWNed you are going to have a bad time in the MP

    Reply

  12. Hammersteyn

    December 8, 2015 at 13:03

  13. Marcus

    December 8, 2015 at 13:23

    I’m sorry, I stopped reading when Dogmeat found something…

    No SP, no thank you. When the servers die so does the game.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      December 10, 2015 at 08:04

      hehe silly ole Dogmeat

      Reply

  14. Fugly Gamer

    December 8, 2015 at 14:25

    I smell Esports

    Reply

  15. Kyle Myburgh

    December 8, 2015 at 15:30

    Too many “No SP No Thank you” replies. How many single player games these days are actually worth a shit. BF4? COD BLOPS III? Terrible campaigns that just waist valuable production time. Rather have no campaign than some tacted on bs. This game is tons of fun with some friends. However, I do feel a $40(with appropriate conversion to rand) price tag would have been better suited.

    Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      December 8, 2015 at 15:44

      Yeah, honestly – the MP is so tight; I’m addicted, and I’ll be playing this for ages.

      Reply

      • Kyle Myburgh

        December 8, 2015 at 16:23

        I’m also addicted at the moment. I just feel that the longevity of this game will really be determined by how quickly and effectively the dev team can fix some the bigger issues.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Check Also

Have a Far Cry 5 Weekend on Ubisoft

I’m baaaaack…. Geez…bugs are sneaky but stupid. I still feel like warmed up Gouda, but any…