by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Slow and steady
Peering down my scope I saw him sitting right where I expected him to be, waiting. Good. He hadn’t noticed me yet. There was another guy up on the roof. I would have to take them both quickly and quietly if this mission was going to be successful. Too much noise, and the bomber would be alerted and the poor hostage I’m here to rescue would be done for. I lined the first one up. Boom, headshot. I quickly scoped the second guy on the roof before he even realised that his friend was lying slumped like a sack of potatoes, and pulled the trigger. Two down without incident. This could be my day.
I did end up completing that mission in Rainbow Six Siege, moving throughout the location slowly and methodically, taking out one terrorist at a time, including the Bomber. After which I was able to guide the hostage to safely to the extraction point.
Rainbow Six Siege is a game that puts gamers in the role of a member of various Special Forces units from around the world, placing them in certain critical scenarios with specific missions to carry out. Each of the five available special ops units has four members – two attackers and two defenders – each with different abilities that they bring to the squad. Rainbow Six Siege requires a more tactical style of play than the standard run-and-gun shooter. Yes there are times that a gung-ho attitude may prevail, but a slow and steady approach is usually what is required.
As the operatives move stealthily throughout the locations, they are aided by an array of gadgets. I quickly took a liking to the Drone, a remote controlled two-wheeled device with a camera attached. With tablet style controls the Drone can be moved throughout a location, enabling the Operative to locate any terrorists that may be present. It is a great way of planning your way through a situation, although if the terrorists notice the Drone they will quickly put an end to the video feed with some well placed bullets. Grenades of various types are also prevalent. Smoke grenades can be used to hide, flashbangs used to temporarily stun an enemy with a blinding light and the standard Frag grenade, which when lobbed into a group of foes can be quite effective. Rope for rappelling walls enable quick ascending (and descending) and Breach charges, breaching guns and the sledgehammer provide quick entry through walls. Many of the gadgets are specific to each of the operative, largely dependent on whether they are attackers or defenders.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a stealthy shooter without weapons, and these Special Forces characters come armed to the teeth with an assortment of guns. In the single player missions, players are supplied with different weapons to suit the situation. One situation will have gamers using an assault rifle as their primary weapon, whilst another mission will have gamers taking long range shots at enemies with the use of a sniper rifle. Each handle differently. Recoil is a factor on some of the weaponry, others do less damage and require multiple shots to take down an enemy.
Fully destructible environments ensure non-linear gameplay and multiple entry points in each scenario allow you to find your optimal path. Pretty much everything can be destroyed, apart from concrete walls and floors, and even those become pock-marked with bullet holes. And it is this destruction that requires dynamic thinking in both the single player and multiplayer modes. The locations are primarily indoor buildings, a logical setting for terrorists placing a bomb or holding hostages, but there is the occasional aeroplane or other setting to allow for a different experience. Combined with the variation in mission types – hostage extraction, bomb diffusing, asset protection – Rainbow Six Siege has a fairly high degree of replayability.
Although the single player game is little more than a series of tutorials, showing the various aspects of the counter-terrorism squads, I found them to be more enjoyable than the multiplayer modes. Teams take on the role of attackers or defenders, each with different operatives available to use depending on the scenario. Communication with your team in the multiplayer scenarios is paramount; you all need to work together in order to ensure that the goals of the team are completed. Although teams have specific (opposing) goals, the matches can still end up being a shootout as the time limit to complete missions for an attacking team means that the slow and methodical approach used in the single player situations can become obsolete.
The ability to lean around corners and to move into a crouching or prone position allows gamers to use the available cover more effectively. Indeed, a number of times I was able to lie low and shoot at the feet and legs of foes that were partially concealed on the other side of doors or create a small hole in doors or windows to snipe at unsuspecting targets. Of course, with the destructible environments, hiding behind cover isn’t always a viable option, as enemies will be able to shoot through objects made of timber or blow holes through the ceiling above you. The enemy AI is fairly intelligent too, often hunting in packs if they hear gunshots in an adjoining room. The missions are reasonably tough, even on the lowest difficulty level, as just two or three well placed shots are enough to bring you down.
Visually, Rainbow Six Siege is stunning, and the cut-scene cinematics are of the highest quality, giving the game a gritty feel. Although I found that the multiplayer takes away some of the stealth and planning aspects of the game, the single player situations are amazing in showcasing the various scenarios of a Special ops team. The gadgets and the fully destructible environments allow for a non-linear experience, giving the gamers a chance to plan their movements prior to rushing – often slowly - into combat. And although I found the multiplayer modes often finished in a flurry of bullets, the fact that teams benefit from working together is to be encouraged. I hope that it is a feature that future games take note of.
Gadgets and destructible environments allow for non-linear gameplay
Multiplayer modes don’t allow for methodical, stealthy combat