Rainbow Six Siege comes out on December 1, 2015. A closed beta for the game ran from September 24 to 28. What I thought of the beta, what people can look forward to in the full game, and whether I would recommend people to preorder it will be covered in this article.
Rainbow Six is a popular game series that has existed since 1998, but hasn’t released a game on a home console since 2008 (a mobile game Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard came out in 2011). Grand Theft Auto V and Metal Gear Solid V waited five and seven years between sequels, but the next installment was a vast improvement over the previous game in both cases. With first person shooters Halo 5: Guardians, Star Wars Battlefront and Call of Duty: Black Ops III all coming out before Rainbow Six this year.
Did the beta do enough to convince me that it is worth buying? Yes, but only if you are really into competitive multiplayer and have more than one friend that is getting the game that can play with you on a consistent basis.
My opinion is based more on information confirmed by Ubisoft on the full game than any issues with the beta. There is no single player/co-op campaign or story mode and only 11 maps when the game launches. There are three maps and game modes in the demo, but you could argue that there are two game modes because Team Death Match – Secure Area and Team Death Match – Bomb are basically the same thing.
The best way I can describe the Rainbow Six Siege gameplay is a more technically advanced Counter-Strike, at least when it comes to TDM – Bomb and TDM – Secure Area. One side is defending the bomb and the other side is trying to defuse it, there is a short time period before a round starts for planning, and every player has one life. What makes Siege special is the destructible and changing environments.
There are five players per team and a five-minute time limit. If the Attackers do not defuse the bomb or kill every member on the other the team, the Defenders win. If all the Defenders are killed or they fail to keep the other team from completing their objective, the Attackers will win.
The Defenders can put up walls and lay barbed wire near windows they covered up to slow the Attackers’ progress. They can also add C4 or toxic gas bomb near windows and blow them up when an Attacker breaks into the room (something that unfortunately happened to me when I thought I was being smart by leaving the rest of the team and grappling up to the window on the opposite side of the house where the rest of my teammates were hoping to flank the enemy only to die within seconds of bursting through the window).
Attackers can destroy these barriers put up by defenders easily with sledgehammers, bombs, three basic melee attacks, or shoot holes through it hoping to get a hit on someone on the other team (another thing that unfortunately happened to me once). Attackers use remote controlled cars with cameras inside them that are small enough to drive underneath the opening between the floor and a locked door to find the location of the objective and enemies. Players vote on spawn points for their side before the round begins, it is a best of six rounds contest that makes both teams spend time as Attackers and Defenders, and there can be a seventh overtime round if the teams are tied.
Before I get into whether I liked competitive multiplayer, I’d like to personally apologize to anyone that had the misfortune to have me as a teammate. I completely sucked at this game. I had about as much to do with my team’s victories, as a benchwarmer that comes into the game after his team has an insurmountable lead. My best moment was that time I killed two people and my team still lost. But regardless of how bad I was, I still enjoyed playing this game mode and liked all three of the maps.
The class system, or Operators as they are called in the game, is different from a game like Call of Duty due to only one person per team can use a specific class. I used the in-game currency called Renown, which is gained playing the game and more is earned if you win, to buy a Defender called Pulse. The Pulse has the unique ability to be able to sense other players through walls. I would love to give examples of me using this ability in the beta, but I never got the chance. Another player chose the player I wanted to use before me every time, and it is a first click only one served system. I was usually left to use the Recruit. Only four out of the five players on the team can use a special Operator and one player has to use the Recruit, a player with no special ability that can use any weapon.
While I can’t share what it was like using one of the three operators I bought in the beta, I can share what it was like to use my Montagne Operator in my favorite mode in the beta Terrorist Hunt Classic. Terrorist Hunt Class is Siege’s version of horde mode. Five people using Attackers to complete the goal of killing 22 CPU controlled terrorists without a time limit. Each player has one life, but can be revived by their teammates once if they are not blown up. There are three levels of difficulty, normal, hard, and realistic. I never tried realistic, but was told it very difficult. Normal can be easy after you get used to the game mode and hard was the perfect amount of difficulty. My friends and I beat maps on hard two out of the seven times we played on the difficulty.
What makes Terrorist Hunt Classic legitimate competition for top horde mode with Mass Effect 3, any Gears of War after one and Call of Duty Zombies, is the enemy AI. On normal difficulty the terrorists stay inside the house or compound, but show up in different areas on the map, put up walls and barb wire and have a few suicide bombers. When you start playing on hard, the AI’s strength really shines. Me and my friends played the map Consulate three times in a row. We went through the front entrance all three times and two of the times we encountered enemies inside the mansion and went forward fighting enemies inside until we all died. The third time we entered the house we encountered enemies inside, but 45 seconds later we were attacked from behind. It turned out, there were enemies outside the mansion that flanked us once we went inside. There was that time I was the only member of our team alive and I had to kill ten terrorists. Using my Montagne Operator, I survived due to my Operator’s unique ability extendable shield, a ballistic shield that can extend to protect your entire body while standing if you hold the right bumper button (I played the beta on Xbox One). I killed six of them and was fighting two shielding myself from their gunfire when I went into a nearby room and took cover behind a table to reload. Then I died. Not because there was a third terrorist in the room I didn’t notice or the two shooting at me hit me. I was blown up by a bomb that was placed on a cabinet behind the table I hid behind to reload.
Mostly all my experiences playing the beta were positive. There was some expected connection issues all betas have, but this is one of the best online multiplayer betas I played as far as severs go. The graphics were good but not great and it could be a Battlefield situation where the full game looks much better than the beta. Rainbow Six Siege is fun game, but one that has possibility to turn into a Titanfall situation, where people move on to other games a few months after release. That is a worse case scenario and one we will not know until the full game is released. I do recommend you pay close attention to the release of Rainbow Six Siege, because it has the potential to be a great game.