Playing a Tom Clancy Rainbow Six Siege multiplayer match contains a really small amount of shooting. While gun play is still central to the Siege experience, but there is so much more involved.
You will spend just as much time figuring out a plan of attack with your teammates, carefully laying traps, reinforcing destructible walls, and feeling your heart race as the dull, distant rumble of your enemies breach charges suddenly gives way to the intense and immediate chaos.
Now a days a few modern shooters can match the fast pace, white knuckle strategic depth that Tom Clancy Rainbow Siege achieves with Player vs. Player. With no respawns, no regenerating health, and only five players per team, every life suddenly feels meaningful and precious. Making this feel very realistic. (You can still monitor security cameras and communicate with your team even in death).
Playing this game running-and-gunning will almost certainly land you into an early grave watching from the sidelines. so you are much better off using your drive able drone to scout ahead or do a little coordinating and planning with your teammates to ensure the cost is clear or make sure your butts are covered.
Not only does this realistic one life setup encourage players to approach every encounter thoughtfully and methodically, I found it also fills a long neglected gap in the FPS genre. While shooters that emphasize spray and pray shooting over tactics can get very boring over a period of time. Tom Clancy Rainbow Siege has endless possibilities of strategies making every round memorable and truly original, unlike other first person shooters.
In any given round, you could be repelling from a rooftop, smash through a window, and flash the room with a stun grenade, or just be lie prone hiding in a dark corner waiting for enemies to wander past to take them out. Maybe on defense mode you will fortify four team members in a single room but send the fifth player out into the wild in high hopes of catching the other team off guard and taking them out of the game.
You could also try playing some mind games by remotely detonating an explosive purely as a distraction before infiltrating through another point of interest. All these mechanics breed creativity and allow the game to evolve as players develop (and react to) awesome new strategies. Which seems to endless.
Unfortunately, there is a campaign sized hole where Rainbow Siege’s single player should be, and while a carefully crafted, story driven experience would have further solidified the game’s position as one of this year’s best shooters, Rainbow Siege still manages to compensate and make up for it in other ways.
Tom Clancys Rainbow Siege’s PvP provides enough variables to keep players engaged. There are multiple match types, over a dozen maps, randomized objective locations within those maps, with differing times of day for every stage, mixed mode servers that automatically scramble all these options together, and, most importantly, 20 distinct Operators, all of whom open new game play avenues.
Even characters whose unique gadget seemed useless at first inevitably proved me wrong. I assumed Doc’s remote revive dart would never come in handy given that allies are far more often killed than wounded. Then I saw someone punch a tiny hole through a wall to revive a fallen teammate pinned by gunfire on the other side. Truly amazing what can be accomplished with a little imagination.
While Rainbow Siege may not contain a campaign, it does however offer you 11 single player “Situations” that are both legitimately helpful and surprisingly fun to play, considering they are essentially only the training missions. Each situation features three difficulty options and three optional objectives which enhances their replay factor and each one focuses on a different aspect of the game like bomb defusal or destructible cover. They lack the cohesion, polish, and narrative drive of a campaign, but they are at least diverse enough to prove somewhat worthwhile and enjoyable.
You can also choose to tackle Siege’s Terrorist Hunt mode alone, though it is definitely more fun as a cooperative experience. As with the competitive multiplayer, each player gets one life and only a finite amount of health, but here you must hunt down a preset number of AI controlled terrorists or disarm bombs while an infinite number of enemies attempt to interfere in your mission.
Being so outnumbered while having no way to heal turns every round into an intense struggle for survival even if the first guy does not kill you outright, he might shave off enough of your health that the next guy can easily take you out.
Despite all this excess adrenaline, Siege still suffers from a few rough edges. The progression system, for example, feels slightly empty and hands out experience too slowly. Thankfully, Casual PvP will be available right out of the gate, but you will have to rack up enough experience points to reach level 20 before you will be able to unlock Ranked PvP.
It makes sense the game would gate Ranked matches given that they remove much of the in game assistance that makes Casual PvP accessible (a fact the game fails to explain to you, unfortunately), but grinding all the way to level 20 takes way too long. Why not set the limit lower and let the players decide when they are ready?
In addition to Experience points, players also earn Renown. This is Rainbow Siege’s version of the in game currency, which can be used to purchase new Operators, weapon attachments, and weapon skins. Again, forcing players to slowly earn new Operators does make some sense. It creates a sense of connection and ownership while encouraging players to really explore and capitalize on each of the character’s unique skills.
However, I still encountered situations where my operators had already been selected by other players, which forced me to play as the generic “recruit” stand-in. ( Which totally sucked !) And more importantly, customization options are extremely limited.
You can buy custom sights and scopes or equip your guns with various stabilizers and silencers, but these attachments only slightly impact the overall gameplay, and because you are only outfitting one or two Operators at a time, you will earn every upgrade with very little effort. This undoubtedly preserves the balance of the game, but it is pretty difficult to feel like you are progressing or getting somewhere when there is so little to work towards.
Being that this is an always online game, Rainbow Siege also comes with it is fair share of minor annoyances that, while mostly unnoticeable, are still worth mentioning. Map rotation could be more consistent. Console players could use more in game communication tools beyond the temporary marker icon.
Match making needs to be or should be just as smooth on PC as it currently is on the consoles. Purchasing and equipping new gear should not require players to back out of matches. There needs to be an easier way to kick out or ban and report disruptive players. Which there always seems to be that few that always like to ruin it for the others playing.
Everything from the strength of your internet connection to the makeup of your team can impact your enjoyment of Siege, but importantly, Siege itself does everything it can to ensure you are able to enjoy the game in spite of these variables.
Over all the hours I have spent online, players were consistently cooperative and very communicative, and to some degree, I have to credit Siege’s tutorials and situations for getting across how the game is meant to be played. Which did make it much more enjoyable for me to play.
My gaming experiences were not always perfect, but when Siege works, there is nothing else quite like it. It is not designed to appeal to all gamer’s, and that is exactly what allows it to be something special and stand out from all the other shooter games.
With so much strategic depth, those periods between firefights actually become some of the most rewarding, Where as those firefights themselves are made all the more intense by the knowledge that you are fighting for your life, not just your kill/death ratio.
My Game Rating: 8.5 Out Of 10
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