Review Price to be confirmed
Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege release date - October 13 2015
It’s been over a year since Rainbow Six: Siege was announced and now we have an official release date for the game.
If you played the original Rainbow Six games, Siege is something a little bit different, but with the same level of realism. It’s essentially a remake of the cancelled Rainbow Six: Patriots game with several modes, including one where an elite counter-terrorism unit is led by a female character known as Six (voiced by actress Angela Bassett).
But really this game is all about multiplayer and working really closely with your teammates to either outwit your opposing team or the computer AI.
Ubisoft teased gamers with fresh footage at E3 2015, including the PVE mode, Terrorist Hunt, alongside the originally announced 5v5 multiplayer mode.
In an extended preview session with publisher Ubisoft, I got to try out both the PVP and PVE modes of Rainbox Six: Siege, with two teams of four in the former and a solid team of four for the Terrorist Hunt PVE mode.
Our task in the PVP mode was to switch between trying to protect or defuse a bomb.
As the defending team, you get to vote on the space you’d like to protect and then have a short amount of time to set up your defences. This might mean fortifying walls, blocking doors, setting up razor wire, or planting some well-placed C4 to catch your attackers en route.
For each round you’ll need to choose the character you want to play as, and this will be crucial to the way you play. Each one has a unique set of skills and gadgets, and a large part of Siege is learning about the different characters and how to utilise their abilities.
When defending, I particularly liked one chap who has a heart-rate scanner that you can use after the setup phase to see from where the opposing team is approaching.
As attackers, you vote on your entry point. As for my current favourite character, there’s one that has a grenade launcher, which you can use to block up the defences by firing four rounds into walls. It’s pretty impressive and devastating when used effectively.
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While the defending team is busy fortifying, the attacking team must use little robotic cars that run along the ground to work out where they're holing themselves up. Most of the time you’ll figure out where they are, and if they don’t destroy your drone you can use it during the match as a remote scout. But if you don’t find them before the timer runs out, you’ll be going into the house blind, wasting precious time that could be spent taking them out.
What’s unusual about Rainbox Six: Siege is that when you die, you’re dead. There’s no respawning whatsoever. You might be downed and get a limited amount of time to be healed, but that’s as much as you’ll ever get with this Tom Clancy title. When you’re dead you can still help your team mates by watching from CCTV cameras or from first-person views, but I quickly realised that you’re letting your team down if you don’t take one of your enemies with you as you go.
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That just adds to the tension of Siege, though. As part of the defending team, you watch the seconds slowly tick by as you wait impatiently for the attacking team to arrive, never quite sure where they’re going to get you from. My heart was constantly pounding in my chest with anticipation, but as soon as someone gets that first kill and you see the numbers flick to 4 vs 3, you know it’s about to get interesting.
Although you might be able to win a Call of Duty match without speaking to anyone, you can forget about making any kind of headway in Siege unless you stay in constant communication with your team.
After a few rounds, it became apparent that I was going to have to learn how to play Siege properly and it was going to be a slow process. As I switched characters and was presented with new gadgets, I felt like I'd been put back to square one again.
But that isn’t a bad thing. There aren’t many games were you can say you learn something new with every match. It’s a refreshing approach to multiplayer and one I can definitely get on board with.
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Then it was on to the PVE mode, where up to five players can work co-operatively to defuse bombs inside a building guarded by terrorists.
First off you choose a character, of course, which mirror those of the attacking rounds of the PVP modes. Then it’s a vote on the entry point once more.
We were playing on a different map to the PVP mode, though – one called Consulate – and this meant going in completely blind to the house full of killers.
As with the PVP, you need to work and communicate with your team every step of the way in order to keep you all alive. The AI is smart and will surround and surprise you whenever they get the chance – and this was only on Hard Mode.
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We headed through the building’s front doors only to come up against a wall of enemies, who we, thankfully, quickly dispatched. We then split into two groups of two to explore the adjoining rooms, finding more terrorists along the way.
It was when we started to hear the faint beeping of the bomb that the difficulty ramped up even more. One of your characters will have been given the defuser, which you’ll need once you reach the bomb room. But, as soon as you do, you’ll need to defend that space for a minute while the bomb is disarmed.
And that’s definitely easier said than done. Enemies were attacking from all sides, destroying barracades and using tools to break through metal shutters. It wasn’t long before we were overrun, and with the clock shouting there was just 15 seconds left, we all got killed pretty spectacularly.
We did, of course, have to try Realistic Mode next, which is possibly the hardest level of difficulty I’ve ever experienced in a game. And it’s partly because it’s a serious test of your attention to detail and your hearing.
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On Realistic Difficulty, the terrorists have strapped C4 to some of the entry points, meaning you need to listen to a high-pitched beep before you go smashing through walls. This was a lesson I learnt quickly, as one of my team mates bashed through a wall, setting off some C4, and even though he realised his mistake and shouted a warning, I was taken out with him. That left just two teammates to attempt to reach the bomb. They didn’t. And I won’t be trying Realistic Mode any time soon. I definitely need more practice.
Siege is the tactical multiplayer shooter that we’ve been waiting for. This is game that showcases just how important teamwork can be and something that will take some getting used to.
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so tense playing a game, and that’s a credit to the team at Ubisoft UK.
I can’t wait until the beta on September 24 to play it with some fresh meat.