Rainbow Six Siege preview: Here's the Situation

Rainbow Six Siege is quickly approaching its December release date, so Shacknews went to check up on how it's coming along. In addition to trying out PvE and PvP modes, we also got our first look at the game's single-player scenarios called Situations.

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Even after a lengthy beta period, Ubisoft is continuing to tinker with the upcoming Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege. The folks at Ubisoft Montreal have a little extra time with the recent delay, but that time is rapidly running short. To see how things are coming along, Shacknews recently went hands-on with Rainbow Six: Siege, not only checking out the PvE and PvP game modes, but also finding some previously-unrevealed content for Ubisoft's squad-based shooter.

There are a number of squad members in Siege, all of which have their distinct roles, weapons, and abilities. Getting familiar with these Operators can be a bit tough in a team setting, so that's why Siege is debuting a new single-player mode called Situations. This sees a player go completely solo into one of the game's maps with a determined objective, allowing that player to become familiar with an Operator, as well as with the game's various scenarios. The map selection in this case included some unrevealed maps, like Oregon (an abandoned drug house), Plane (an abandoned jet), Kanal (a series of cargo ships), and Chalet (a mountaintop cabin).

Situation scenarios will test players on various PvE tasks, like eliminating all terrorists, rescuing and extracting hostages, and protecting (or eliminating) high value targets. All of the assigned tasks will focus on a particular Operator's specialty, whether it's IQ and her ability to spot explosives behind objects, Glaz and his sniper rifle, or one of Siege's other Operators. The idea of Situations is to prepare newcomers for multiplayer, but they'll often provide a hefty challenge in themselves, given that a player won't have any available backup. Players can also earn extra stars by completing various bonus objectives, like finishing in a set time, using certain tools, or disabling a certain number of traps.

As for PvE Terrorist Hunt, this remains as brutal as it was the last time this writer saw this game at E3 2015. While defusing a bomb in lower difficulties is doable, Realistic difficulty remains a bear of a challenge. Whether the objective is finding or defending a volatile explosive, AI will stop at nothing to reach your team and will even exercise unconventional tactics, like breaching nearby walls or busting in through roofs and windows. To make things hairier, friendly fire is on at all times, so it's easy for a miscommunication to lead to accidentally plugging a teammate in the head.

PvP game modes offer more of a change of pace, since it's two human teams just playing cat and mouse with one another. The opening seconds of the match will see a defending team place defenses and prepare for the opposing team's onslaught, but the team on offensive will control remote observation drones during the preparation phase, in an effort to find the bomb. They can also act as a pest and distract defensive players from fortifying their area before the start of the match.

More true here than in PvE, PvP is about a chess match of selecting the best five Operators for the task at hand, as well as the best team to counter the opponent's team. That will sometimes mean bringing Sledge and his giant hammer along and other times, it'll mean bursting through rooftops with Thermite and his breaching charges. For the defense, that'll mean countering by knowing which walls to reinforce or even where to set booby traps. Again, part of the fun in PvP is watching teams get in each other's way. As much fun as it is to watch a team of five act as a well-oiled machine, the most enjoyment came from tandem fails. One game in particular saw a team on offense sticking together and moving close to one another in anticipation of an ambush. None of them expected to find a tripwire behind a wall they had breached, which proceed to take out four of them at once. Siege is not forgiving when it comes to health and one wrong move means death and a trip to the spectator cam.

Speaking of which, this was also the first opportunity to check out the Spectator Cam feature that's set to launch with Siege's PC version. This is for a dedicated 11th player slot, allowing a spectator to view facility floors from an overhead perspective or switch to a particular player's first-person view. While part of the idea is for the spectating player to observe the map layout and learn about points of interest for future sessions, this is also quite the eSports tool, allowing for a Spectator to get a bird's eye view of both teams.

As much fun as Siege was, there are some concerns coming away from this session. Many of the PvP sessions had some connectivity issues that would see players frequently drop out, which raised an eyebrow on this end. As crunch time approaches, there's hope that the developers will sort out any issues, but that is something to be aware of as the game's launch approaches.

Other than that, Siege is feeling like a solid squad-based shooter and looks to be one of the more challenging games of this type to hit in some time. The AI is going to be the star attraction here, as teams continue to struggle against the ultra-hard Realistic difficulty. PvP also looks to be an enjoyable 5v5 chess match, with enough Operators to keep games feeling fresh. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege is set to hit PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on December 1.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 21, 2015 9:00 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Rainbow Six Siege preview: Here's the Situation

    • reply
      October 21, 2015 1:15 PM

      After playing the Beta on Xbox One, I'm not very hopeful for this one. It doesn't have the same slow tactical feel that previous RB6 games had, most notably Vegas 1 & 2, which I loved.

      Playing online felt far too much like run and gun CoD. The "+25" XP call out when you kill a bad guy felt off. I didn't find the traps to be much of anything when the Operator with the sledge can break through in one or two shots. The UI was a mess and not intuitive to get in, setup your stuff and then launch. And as mentioned by Shacknews Editors, the network code was shit.

      • reply
        October 21, 2015 11:28 PM

        If Vegas is the slower more tactical experience you look back on and this doesn't live up to, there's no hope for it

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      October 21, 2015 1:27 PM

      some unrevealed maps, like Oregon (an abandoned drug house),

      of course lol

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      October 21, 2015 11:26 PM

      Meh, they should have fully destructible environments, I've been waiting for that since rogue spear