I remember when Rainbow Six Siege was first announced and I was actually excited about a Tom Clancy title for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as though I have a particular aversion to the games and I have only played the more recent Splinter Cell: Blacklist on the Wii U. Upon seeing the initial game play trailer from Ubisoft, I was immediately intrigued. The idea of communicating as a team to complete the objectives in ‘realistic’ situations that the worlds leading tactical teams would carry out seemed very appealing. I played the Beta as I thought it would be a good way to decide whether it was going to be worth forking over the cash for it and played it again at EGX with a full team. After these experiences, I thought it would be worthwhile so I got a copy so I could share my thoughts with you all!
The game has three modes on offers (although this is more like two modes… I will explain later). Situations is the first mode you will have to encounter in order to unlock the online multiplayer. I understand the reason for this as you need to learn the basics if you didn’t play the Beta or get to play the demo at a convention but a lot of the time, people will just look at the controls screen in their menu to find out what the buttons do. Now, in pretty much all the games I play, I will choose a ‘normal’ difficulty because I’m not completely inept but I suck at the harder modes for some reason and just end up getting angry. So in my usual style, I picked normal for my Situations training. I died about 5 times before I managed to complete the first one. I put this down to getting used to the fact that it isn’t hardcore mode on CoD multiplayer and it does take a little while to get used to the sights (or lack thereof) and remember that it might take more than one hit to kill your enemy. I forgot that it would be a little different so got wiped out pretty quickly. Eventually, I beat the first Situation and decided to head straight into the next one but part of me just hoped it would let me get online and get stuck into the good stuff.
Every Situation teaches you a new tactic or how to use the basic gear for a Recruit such as your breach charges and barbed wire. Essentially, it gives you the basics you need to attack and defend or how to handle objectives but without anyone else interfering. Each Situation has bonus challenges which can offer up increased Renown which allows you to unlock your Operators and gear. I suppose the Situations are worth playing if you fancy a little alone time and just want to improve your skills.
The next mode is the Multiplayer mode which allows you and your friends (if any of them actually have the game) to join others to attack or defend the opposing team to get more Renown. I have to admit that I definitely felt out of my league straight away as it took a few days for my copy to turn up and by this point other players knew the maps really well and I hadn’t played them since the original Beta test. Immediately, you will notice that unless people have headsets it is pretty difficult to fully understand what the other players on the team are up to. The whole reason I got this game was because I wanted to talk to other players so we could plan our strategy as a team rather than attack as every man for himself and end up in a 1 vs 5 scenario which happened a couple of times. Sadly, I don’t think Ubisoft will convince players to get plugged in and talking to others so I think I’ll just have to hope that four more of my lovely friends pick the game up so we can actually do it properly. From our EGX experience, it’s definitely worthwhile and the team works so much better together.
The game modes within the multiplayer are based around a hostage or a bomb. Attackers will try to locate the hostage or the bombs during the preparation stage and defenders will fortify the areas to try to make things a little more difficult for the other team. Once the prep stage is up, it’s on. The attacking team will begin their assault by trying to breach the defenses with explosives or rappel up (or down) the building to get inside somehow. Once the objective is locate, you know that it’s just a matter of time before the bullets start flying and all hell breaks lose, so you have to pay attention to your surroundings or you might get taken out through a spy hole in the walls or some well placed explosives which will put your team at a disadvantage. There is a time limit so you want to try complete to objective or take out the enemy team before the countdown is finished. It is enjoyable as you all work towards one goal but it would be nice for there to be some other objective modes like ‘steal the plans’ or something along those lines to add another mode to what can feel a very repetitive online multiplayer mode.
The third mode is Terrorist Hunt which allows you to pick the level difficulty and either play with others or play alone. Within this mode, you play against AI and will play the same hostage or bomb modes alongside a simple kill them all style mode. I have spent a lot of my play time in Terrorist Hunt playing with others because I’m actually happy to play this on the harder difficulties and it feels like you don’t really need to talk to the team as much which is quite handy. The modes do mix themselves up too so it’s only on a rare occasion that you will do the same mode twice in a row and you may defend a couple of times and then attack for others. It’s a nice mix and you can rack up a good amount of Renown to help along with unlocks. I mentioned earlier that the game modes were more like two rather than the three that are on offer and this is only because I feel like this is an extension on the multiplayer rather than a separate mode altogether. It could easily be hidden within the Situations list if you want to play alone or in the multiplayer menu if you would prefer to face off in a team again AI. I can see why Ubisoft made it a stand alone option, but I just feel like it isn’t entirely necessary.
Let’s take a break from the game play modes and look at the Operators you can unlock to enhance your game play. You have a range of attackers and defenders from well-known Counter Terrorist organisations to unlock using the Renown you earn through online play and Situations challenges. Depending on how you play, you may choose to unlock one of each and occasionally add another to your repetoire. Each has a particular ability that they bring to the team, be it shields, armour, gadget disruption, medical assistance among others. They also come with individual load outs which can be customized using Renown. There are 20 different Operators currently but more will become available with the season pass. You can only have one Operator per team which stops the likelihood of having 5 people with shields camping in the room around the hostage. This means you have to be quick in your menus if you want a particular ability as it goes, you’re left with the Recruit, which is pretty good to be fair, or another ability you don’t fancy. It is worth building up your Renown to ensure you have a couple to choose from so you at least have a back up as it is pretty frustrating when you seem to always get stuck with the same character. I have mainly played as Twitch which has a little drone which can deliver an electric shock to enemies as you roll around the building but sadly I feel this would be more use if the team would listen to me giving away the defending positions.
The maps themselves are pretty basic. In the menus prior to the match starting you have the option to vote for your starting point for your offensive or defensive position which is handy if you know the maps well. Inside there is bland and blocky decor with doors, windows, destructible walls and usually two or three floors. They have tried to give a variety of settings to get you in the mood. From a bank to a training facility, an embassy building to a posh house, Ubisoft have attempted to make the situations as realistic as possible. Graphically, it isn’t stunning but it sets the scene which is good enough seeing as you’ll be blowing it to pieces after a couple of minutes anyway. You can shoot through walls, reinforce doors and barricades or put down barbed wire. It is up to you and it’s actually quite nice to see the environment actually take damage rather than see the debris on the floor but the building to remain in tip-top condition.
While I don’t find the game mind-blowing, I have found myself losing a few hours to it just because it is easy to play. I think the lack of friends to play with has resulted in favouring other titles such as CoD or Destiny for the interaction with other players but I could happily spend an evening on Terrorist Hunt by myself. On occasion you may get lucky and find a few people on headset who will gladly get involved but I have only come across this once so far. It is fun, but the whole point of the game style hasn’t worked as I would have expected which is a little disappointing. It is a theme among more recent releases for the multiplayer to be the focus which is a shame as I would have liked there to be some sort of campaign with the Situations mode even if it’s just the story of how you become the Recruit Operator. Either way, developers can’t win as players want more multiplayer, more story or less story. However, I would recommend that you give it a chance and keep a look out for free to play weekends as you may be pleasantly surprised and it may hopefully encourage players to purchase it. While some feel it isn’t a true Tom Clancy game, others would happily say it is as it covers the tactical recon style that is well-known in other titles. It is enjoyable but it would be nice for the multiplayer to be a little more friendly and for folks to actually communicate with one another to make it the experience it was intended to be.
Here’s a little taster of me saving a hostage in Terrorist Hunt mode. Hoping to have more videos like this soon!