Editor’s Note: Due to the limited content available on the Beta, we’ve been unable to experience all of the operatives that will be available in the final version of the title. While we would also like to have more pictures, we still have to get them uploaded through both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Thanks for reading and enjoy the article.
With Tom Clancy having passed away what seems just like yesterday, his legacy has continued to live on without him and the legacy seems to be going into the right direction. With his passing we’ve seen one of the most anticipated titles of 2015 coming soon and with it coming as soon as it is, I’ve spent plenty of time playing a game that carries on a franchise I’ve come to love over the last seventeen years. Originally released in August of 1998, Rainbow Six set up one of the most tactical games we’d ever get to play next to franchises such as Delta Force and SWAT. The difference between all these? Rainbow Six has come to be one of the most renowned and long lived franchises in the tactical FPS genre. However, many of you may know that Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege has seem some major changes over the last few years since it was originally announced as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Patriots, which would feature an ever changing campaign based upon player decisions as well as occurrences that would remain outside of player control or rather as The Doctor would say “fixed points in time”.
So what has remained since the conception of Rainbow Six Patriots to Siege? The multiplayer content, which will feature an always online portion of the game for competitive play. Much like the rather successful Ghost Recon Phantoms, Siege takes on a note that the online modes are where players will be constantly turning to. Unlike Phantoms, Rainbow Six Siege does not feature highly customizable characters, instead players will find themselves decking out operatives who have a special set of skills, specialized weapons and even specialized stats for each of them. Such as Mute who is an important operative to have on TDM – Bomb where players will eliminate each other while trying to seize an objective. This includes Mutes (defender only operative) ability to place jamming devices that disable enemy drones as well as technology so that they can’t use it against the defending team in the manner they choose. On the flipside we have Ash who is a force to be reckoned with thanks to her over-penetrating explosive round that goes through breachable walls only to detonate on the other side and causing havoc around any corner that enemies may be attempting to use to their advantage.
Thanks to these minor changes there are a few things that players will find new compared to past titles, which some of it’s good and some the bad, so let’s take a look at “The Good”, “The Bad”, and “The Ugly” to see what direction this game has taken as well as what could be changed back into it at a later date.
/-/ The Good /-/
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six has seen some major changes compared to its rather successful previous entries known as Rainbow Six Vegas and Rainbow Six Vegas 2. In the past titles we saw heavy amounts of customization as well as unlocks thanks to the ACE system we’d grown to love on those games. This included the ability to unlock varied types of protection via armor, various attachments to each gun. While this has returned in many forms, there is something quite enjoyable and fulfilling about this new system they’ve used in regards to upgrading operatives the way they have. With these unlocks players will be able to unlock operatives starting at 500 renown each per faction (so this seems to be based on each faction, but I have seen this reset from 1,000-1,500 back to 500 after a set time) only to go up to 1,000 renown after having unlocked a second character, which went from Ash to Thatcher. When going to the “Operatives” menu, players can click on their unlocked operatives in order to unlock attachments for their specified weapons, setting them up with unlocks that range between 150-600 renown only to adapt their guns to better stats based upon their play style. This includes reducing recoil, sound, hiding muzzle flash even to grips in order to help stability while firing or scopes to allow for more range as well as accuracy for players who prefer not to use iron sights.
These benefits don’t just work when standing still on a flat platform such as a floor, a ceiling or aiming down from destroyed layers to other players. With Rainbow Six titles we’ve seen subtle changes to reality such as bullet penetration, velocity and range, but now we get to see one of the changes we’d never seen before; locales that can be almost fully besieged. This big change is what has truly fulfilled the games name “Siege”. As players approach through the only competitive mode in the open-beta referred to as TDM – Bomb, teams select a starting locale for both Offense and Defense, this can range from places such as offices, basements or even base-level locations. So lets use the most commonly rotated map called “House”. In this map players can choose a Children’s Bedroom, Master Bedroom or the Garage where players will attempt to lock down these areas as “Defenders”. As “Defenders” there are several things that will play a very integral role into winning or losing such as setting up proper defenses I.E. barricading walls, windows, doorways and setting up improvised traps like C4, electrified walls (Requires Castle) and communication as the biggest part of defense. While players can hide against walls and fixtures that can’t be penetrated by breach charges or bullets, there are other things such as flash bangs, grenades and even C4 sticks that can bring havoc upon defenders that are ill prepared. Thanks to those pesky little drones this can be worse as they can find enemy defense locations if they spot it or even players if they are detected. Luckily these can be jammed by Mute, slowed by barbed wire floor traps or shot.
On the offensive side there are a few things to take note of that can disrupt your luck of winning. Enemy teams, as stated, can prevent your breaching via electrified walls, reinforced walls, windows, traps and even the unmentioned security cameras. All of these play a key role in both attacking and defending since both teams are after the same objective, taking the defense point and eliminating the enemy team at whatever cost possible. The difference here is that offensive players can actually leave the building that they are attempting to invade in order to complete their mission goal of breaching it via any means necessary, finding the enemy objective and stopping it however possible. Many of these points of insertion to the locale to be breached can be rapelled while players can detonate charges on Windows, Walls, and floors depending on the level they are on whether it’s an upstairs room, floor level room or basement entry point. The most important thing to take away from these insertion points if they are reinforced is that characters on the offensive such as Thermite can break through these walls in order to detonate the flooring for players to breach through reinforced walls if they are not electrified.
This biggest change is a huge game changer for those who are veterans of the series.
/-/ The Bad /-/
There’s always things that help improve a game and degrade a series from further progression. As many fans of Rainbow Six are familiar with Rainbow Six Vegas and Rainbow Six Vegas 2 brought in a mechanic that would soon become a phenomenon that many games would begin to adopt later in. One that we’ve become familiar with thanks to games such as Gears of War, Binary Domain and even future entries to games that have yet to release. While this system was not initially created by the minds at Red Storm Entertainment and Ubisoft, many can attribute it to tactical games such as Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell and even games such as Syphon Filter or even later titles such as Killswitch among many others that would heavily rely on stealth features. However, with this latest entry we see a removal of this system in exchange for things such as shield placements and tactical kits that would make up for the removal of this system. While this system could seem troublesome with the newer mechanics it is a system that would help during breach situations so that players don’t find themselves so heavily exposed against besieged rooms.
Another ugly part of this game is the removal of character customizations as well as custom kits to fit a player’s setup in the way they prefer such as appearance, gear, primary and even secondary weapons. While it would be hard to implement this feature it is one that is yearned for among the in-game chats that seems to echo out among die-hard fans of the franchise. While it’s one that has been seemingly pushed to the side and forgotten while many players have discussed the idea within game chats that this would be a subtle yet very welcomed implementation through later updates. What makes this even worse through earlier titles? While it is fun to earn renowned and have a lack of a campaign there seems to be no sign of future uses of a Titanfall-esque campaign narrative between matches to give players an idea of what, why, where, when and how they are being deployed on their current tasking at hand. While many of these things are miniscule to most players, it’s something that the game does direly need with talents such as Angela Bassett taking a role as the leader of Rainbow Six. Another issue is how easy renown is to unlock for players who spend a few hour with boosters on the game. While this is nice it will quickly cause the game to run its course and eventually become another game on the shelf in the very near future. While this seems plausible it may not be possible if the game hosts as tactical and enticing gameplay as it does now through the various other modes that will hit when it launches.
/-/ The Ugly /-/
When it comes to ugly there’s always some things that absolutely should not be included within the game and the lack of several features makes this truly problematic. If you play games such as Battlefield or other tactical games, you are used to being able to lean around corner in order to acquire a target. While one would assume this is easy to do in Rainbow Six Siege, it’s quite opposite and seems almost absent from the game that makes it seem almost like a distant cousin to the Rainbow Six series. While this may seem miniscule to problems such as the login delays, party disconnections and even server time-outs, the game presents itself as a troubled title to its initial launch. With having already experienced several server time-outs and even random app-locks, the game finds itself needing a few hotfixes before its launch. Most of these bugs? Seem only present within the Xbox One version in comparison to the PlayStation 4 version of the game. Does this mean that the PlayStation 4 version is flaw free? No, it doesn’t, quite the opposite really. While graphics between the two versions are one-in-the-same the game does see some minor graphical slow downs in regards to FPS during moments of explosions and high particle effects the PS4 version seems to hold steady during these occasions and not degrading any form of performance in that regard.
While I would like to say everything is perfect on the PlayStation 4 I would be lying to you in truth. The PlayStation 4 does carry its own flaws in regards to certain parts of performance with matchmaking. The biggest issue comes down to matchmaking in the networking area. This has to do with the servers being incapable of finding matches when in parties of 3-4. While this would seem to be a minor problem to most this problem does exist and can lead to matchmaking taking upwards to 10-20 minutes before finding a lobby or a partner to fill those open spots. If this problem exists during the game’s initial launch, fans will find themselves a bit disgruntled when it comes out next Tuesday.
/-/ Final Thoughts /-/
While it may be hard to dissect every possibly good, bad and even horrible situation with this beta, the current state of the title, it seems that Ubisoft has been hard at work trying to kink out every single little bug possible before the game’s launch. With many of the subtle changes that could be made to the game post-launch let’s just hope that the Xbox One’s performance issues seem resolved with a Day One Patch or a post-launch patch within the following days.
With the game launching on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on December 1st, 2015, stay tuned for our upcoming review on both the PS4 and Xbox One in the upcoming days.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.