Playdate: Breaching and clearing with ‘Rainbow Six: Siege’

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Rainbow Six: Siege’ Review.

A wise man once said, “I love it when a plan comes together.” And when everything clicks in Rainbow Six Siege, you’ll feel like leaning back in your seat and uttering that famous phrase.In this counter-terrorism sim, gunshots are a rarity, the punctuation marks to protracted bouts of strategic team planning in five-on-five contests across one of 10 well-designed maps.

When a Rainbow Six match begins, you’ll have some preparation time, which you can use to scout for objectives (if attacking), fortify positions (if defending), and come up with a general plan of action. Instead it substitutes a short collection of tutorial levels known as Situations, which clue you into the diverse collection of gadgets and tactics while you rescue hostages, defuse bombs and assassinate terrorists. Introduced by cut-scenes featuring Hollywood alum Angela Bassett, the Situations aren’t particularly challenging once you realise that remote surveillance and methodical progress are better approaches than run-and-gun.

Perhaps there’s a barricade or fortified wall in an entry point; maybe you weren’t vigilant enough in taking out drones; maybe the other team has a plan of their own that you hadn’t expected. Completing missions in style – for instance, by surviving with more than 50pc health or within a certain time limit – awards RSS’s currency, known as renown. Your bank of renown unlocks specialist operatives, with different weapons and fantastic gadgets, though in typical Ubisoft fashion you can also use real money to buy your way in. However, Xenoblade Chronicles X for Wii U saw a 73 per cent increase in sales on 2011’s Wii predecessor, despite the vast difference in installed userbase for the two consoles. It’s a mix of rapid shooters like “Call of Duty” with more strategic games like “Counter-Strike,” yet it still feels like “Rainbow Six.” While “Rainbow Six: Siege” has fantastic multiplayer, it does not feature a campaign.

Apart from a The Sims 4 expansion and a Force Awakens Play Set for Disney Infinity 3.0 that’s it for new retail releases in 2015, although the question now is which will be the Christmas number one. Traditional options such as breach and clear are more hazardous than, say, punching hole in a destructible wall with a charge, followed by a hail of bullets or an adroitly tossed grenade. The hangover from Black Friday means this week’s chart is not necessarily a good indicator of what the final winner will be, but there’s only a few weeks now till we find out for sure… Each round in the main multiplayer modes begins with the defenders laying traps and scouting sight lines while attackers pilot remote drones to survey and strategise. You can rappel up walls to take a new avenue of attack, utilise your operator’s equipment, and, most importantly, blow the heck out of levels to open up new vantage and entry points.

This adds a whole new layer of thinking and strategy; these destructible environments can be used to gain the upper hand in a firefight, but are also a worthy distraction tactic as your team moves into position at another entry point. It can be fascinating at times to see how each side can use time to their advantage, with attackers occasionally delaying their entry just to see how the defending team reacts. The good news is that rounds tend to go pretty quickly, so even if you’re first out you don’t have too long to wait before getting in on the action again. All 20 of the game’s Operators are locked from the off and if you don’t unlock any or your multiplayer teammates pick the ones you have, you’ll be stuck with the lowly Recruit.

The process of earning renown is painless enough; in fact, watching the tutorial videos will get you a “free” Operator, while a few hours spent playing Situations, completing challenges, and hunting terrorists will earn you a couple more. The fact that one player can change the tide of battle is not only quite awesome, but also requires lots of coordination prior to each match and during. Situations offer a variety of challenges, including rescuing a hostage, disarming a bomb, taking out a number of terrorists on a plane, and defending a hostage of your own. They introduce players to the various Operators so that they get to grips with their unique characteristics and abilities, and find out which ones they’d like to unlock first.

The Situations contain story incidents of sorts, introduced by Hollywood’s Angela Bassett, but it’s scant consolation to those who want to play their own game free from the pressures and skill ceiling of online play. As it’s an online title, there are things that can impact your enjoyment of Siege, including connectivity issues and the skill or willingness to communicate of your teammates.

Door frames can soon enough fly past you, window pane glass can whiz towards you and the stucco of a roof can come crashing down right before your very eyes. Rather, they make me long for a single-player mode. “Situations” acts as a tutorial, but feature their own “mini” story such as rescuing a high-profile hostage or defusing a bomb. This is a worthy entry into the “Rainbow Six” franchise and a well done revitalization of a fan favorite series that is surely a great building block for more entries to come.

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