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Rainbow 6: Siege review




  • Recommended by TR

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Rainbow 6: Siege
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Our Score:



  • Fosters an incredible sense of camaraderie
  • Still impressively rigorous
  • Features great combat-gadgets
  • Infernally addictive


  • Removal of planning phase will annoy some
  • Would benefit from extra multiplayer modes

Available on Xbox One (tested), PS4 and PC

Only a week or so on from launch, Rainbow Six: Siege has become a game that people love or hate with a passion. The fans love it because it's tough, skill-focused, smart and distinctive; a thinking man or woman's shooter that doesn't take all its cues from Call of Duty. The haters hate it because it's neither the Rainbow Six that they remember nor the Rainbow Six they wanted to see. Well, team thumbs down have some very good points, but if you join team thumbs up you'll realise that while Siege might not be a faithful update, it’s a fantastic reinvention.

True, the lack of planning makes for a more action-oriented, less tactical Rainbow Six, though there's more of a tactical dimension to the minute-by-minute gameplay than this implies. You could also argue that there's as much Counter-Strike in Siege's DNA than Rainbow Six, and you'd arguably be right. The lack of any serious single-player content is disappointing, and the graphics can be underwhelming. There's a lot of generic, boxy architecture, flat-looking furniture and bland décor in the world of Siege, while the lighting is a little flat to boot.

Related: Rainbow Six Siege tips and tricks guide

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But let's talk these points through. Yes, this is a less tactical game in the sense of checking floorplans and marking points of entry, but try playing without any strategy or teamwork and just see how far you get. And the result of all the streamlining is a fierce, taut and suspense-packed thriller that grabs you from the moment you go in.

Like Counter-Strike, Rainbow Six is all about deadly skills, snap reactions, strong map strategy and adaptability, and when one mistake can leave you dead and out of the round, you really has better pay attention and think before you move.

The lack of a campaign is a bigger blow, raising concerns that mirror those we have about Star Wars: Battlefront. Siege does have a longer, better and more enjoyable set of tutorial missions than DICE’s game, steadily introducing you to the key gameplay concepts and the unique skills of its star operatives; a surprisingly distinctive bunch. All the same, these are just tutorial missions, and if you're a fan of stories and set-pieces rather than co-op and competitive online play, this really isn't the Rainbow Six you're looking for.

Related: Best PS4 Games 2015

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On the graphics front, Siege isn’t a knockout beauty, but here all the love and work has gone into the game's destructible detail, as gunfire and explosions tear great chunks out of stud walls and furniture, and as breach charges shatter tough stone walls. Siege doesn't go big on eye-candy, but I can't remember a game since F.E.A.R. and its sequel that has made the destruction of everyday environments look as good as this.

More importantly, Siege is genuinely exciting. Get through the bulk of the tutorial missions, or Situations, and you can get stuck straight into Terrorist Hunt – arguably the strongest co-op mode of the current generation. With four-players taking on a smart, responsive terrorist force the action’s tight, focused and compelling; think Heat rather than Die Hard, Michael Mann not Michael Bay.

With limited health and just one life you have to work effectively, move slowly but decisively and fight as a team to make it through, but there’s still scope for different tactics. The range of operatives, each with their own specific loadout and capabilities, turns out to be a masterstroke, not only because each one opens up a slightly different style of play, but because – with time – you can recognise each operative and work out how best to combine forces with that team-mate.

Related: Best Xbox One Games 2015

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Terrorist Hunt is fantastic, with a powerful ‘just one more go’ factor that’s only amplified by the desire to unlock more operatives and then more weapon mods and customisations for each operative – this all costs a lot of renown. The real meat of Siege, however, is the competitive multiplayer mode. This is a slightly tougher sell.

Multiplayer Siege can be hard to get to grips with. Even more than Terrorist Hunt it requires real teamwork, and without some kind of strategy in place the going’s tough. When Steve originally reviewed the game he would have been playing with other journalists and they would all, likely as not, have been wearing headsets. In post-launch games with regular players, this simply isn’t the case. As a result, synchronised assaults are few and far between, it’s not uncommon to see attack player after attack player blunder into a defence killzone, while team-kills are not as unusual as they really should be. Throw in the odd griefer or the wag who kills the hostage on the way to extraction, and Multiplayer isn’t always what it can be.

Related: Best Games 2015

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But when it comes together, blimey, it’s about as good as team-vs-team action gets. There’s a palpable tension as players hustle to improvise and ambush or a breach, along with plenty of breathless moments where there’s just one man standing against two or three foes. You could argue that the different objectives don’t actually make an awful lot of difference, or that certain weapons or operatives could do with balancing, but there’s something brutal and unpredictable about Siege Multiplayer that just works. Maybe it’s that no wall is really safe (even the toughest can be breached by specific characters) and that your enemies might even burst through the ceiling or blast through the floor, but there’s an energy here that leaves many rivals looking tame.

With time some of the silliest players will leave for other things, while the more committed fans will hone their teamwork and expertise. This will be for the good, but it’ll also make Siege an even more brutally challenging game than it already is. The trick is to stick with it. When you die, you die for a reason. Sometimes it’s because the other player has a better vantage, sometimes it’s because they’re just faster and more accurate. Sometimes you were just clumsy, thoughtless or stupid, blundering into the room with the objective in without a flashbang or smoke. You can spend too long focusing on the sights, or playing with your operative’s gadgets. Lose situational awareness and you’re often dead.

Related: PS4 vs Xbox One

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Well, experience is a harsh teacher, but eventually you’ll learn – and playing through the Situations on harder difficulties will definitely help. Just get back in there. Matchmaking seems fairly smooth, though some players have a weird habit of leaving games just before they start, while crashes and server drops seem relatively rare. Playing on Xbox One it sometimes takes a long wait and even a few tries for the game to hook up to the servers. Luckily, once you’re connected it all works fine.

Updated Verdict

While this hasn’t been a vintage year for single-player campaigns it has been a great one for multiplayer shooters. Between Halo 4’s twitch gameplay and epic Warzone mode, Black Ops III’s fantastic modes and enhancements, Battlefront’s Star Wars spectacle and Destiny’s, well, everything, you’d think it hard for another online shooter to make any waves. Yet Rainbow Six: Siege deserves to. It might be more the heir to Counter-Strike than a ‘proper’ Rainbow Six, but even against such strong competition it manages to make and leave its mark.

Overall Score


Laughing Even More

August 1, 2015, 6:39 pm

"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."

....and this is why it'll fail miserably. G'night, Ubi, and good riddance.

Paul Brookfield

September 24, 2015, 2:12 pm

Because games like Payday 2 have utterly failed on the same concept... or Counterstrike... or any team FPS in history, including the original Rainbow Six games... right?


November 25, 2015, 9:44 am

^^ What Paul said! RainbowSix Siege is somewhere between Counter-Strike and Battlefield, more closely related to Counter-Strike though (by a considerable margin) which is probably 2nd or 3rd most popular game in the world. For that reason it has all the right ingredients and expectations are high. From what's out so far with Beta gameplay and early reviews is looking very good and I think many gamers want it to succeed. GL Ubi, don't disappoint us all again!

Kyle Jackson

November 30, 2015, 1:42 pm

Free with the latest Nvidia cards, 980ti here I come.

Jason Clarke

November 30, 2015, 4:59 pm

Having played the beta on ps4 i was pleasantly suprised with the experience and how fun it was if a little repetitive.

But having played black ops 3 recently and hating it i can honestly say its a breath of fresh air to be killed by somebody that was actuallt better than me and outwitted me face to face, nothing annoyed me more than being spawn killed and blasted in the back time after time on black ops, it made the game so frustrating and horrible to play, and the maps made it worse by being simply too crowded.

Had a great time with rainbow and im buying it today for sure because at he moment i need a game that fills the multiplayer gap in my life. I can live with a lack of some content if they will fill that gap for free in future so all good.

Philip Stevens

November 30, 2015, 5:58 pm

Based on the latest and final Beta, I'm definitely confident in sharing my love for the game, even in it's unfinished form.

Doesn't mean I'm biased though, hell no. They really need to sort the A.I out as the constant and random spawning is ridiculous. Add to that, they're intelligently programmed, you can understand the annoyance.

As for multiplayer, some are comparing it to cs go with the 5v5 setup. I don't know, personally I don't think it's like that game at all, similar aspects, sure. But I just feel like Siege is unique and separate.

To be critical, I hope they fix a few bugs. For example, when rappelling, I sometimes became stuck on the ledge and dropped to my death.
Also, when taking cover behind a shield, depending on the location you set it up, you glitched through the gap which led to me freezing to the spot for a moment.
The friendly fire needs an on/off setting. Some players just like to get in the way and end up with their own teammates killing them.
The game really needs multiple game modes as mentioned, it will get repetitive and ssdd.

Framerate was good, a few stutters but I don't know if that was my internet or their network during adjustments.

Overall, I would rate it 6/10 but if they just listen to players, it should be a lasting game. Famous last words right? Hmm, December is round the corner to see what the full game is actually like.

Mitchell Foster

November 30, 2015, 11:12 pm

Add me on PSN to team up. PSN is DestheArcher.


December 1, 2015, 10:05 am

I loved the beta on PC. It was everything I loved from rainbow six vegas 1 and 2 made shinier.

Things I didn't like:

1) When you rappel, you're seemingly loud as hell and everyone knows.

2) Again for rappeling, it doesn't switch to 3rd person. Considering that the field of view is moddable, I'm not sure I understand this choice.
3) Again for 3rd person, there's no cover system. While this is griped at times in some games, manually finding cover behind walls and leaning is really awkward in Siege.
I'd like the ability to lock onto low barriers. This especially goes for blind firing.
4) Modding weapons takes FOREVER. You have to exit out of the match, go to the main menu, and select your loadouts. Maybe I'm wrong in this, but I liked having the "HOLD X" and remove or enable your silencer at will. I don't like being locked into minute configurations like that for the whole match.

Shaun Jones

December 2, 2015, 2:06 am

i didnt mind it but it wasnt quite what i was expecting, graphics
seemed a bit sub par and bursting in through windows with the rappel
wasnt quite as much fun as id hoped, but ive not had chance to play
online yet so i will save final judgement for when i have, it might have
a different atmosphere an feel to it playing with others

heres the first 10 minutes


Jason Clarke

December 2, 2015, 8:35 am

Will do mate its jinx20001

Jason Clarke

December 2, 2015, 8:36 am

Gotta get a mic tho so within a week ill ave one

Reilly Mealer

December 2, 2015, 8:50 pm

It kept the tradition of you have to work as a team or you will surely fail. Though Im not a fan of the run and gun style because its too much like BF and COD. The strategy, route planning, and team based tactics is what set Rainbow Six apart from the other FPS games. I will admit it is addictive, but it feels a little repetitive, and may become a game to play a couple of months then put on the back burner.


December 6, 2015, 3:34 pm

Not a good addition to the Rainbow line... Graphics are sub-par, planning is very basic (and you are very time limited), movement is very cartoonish, extremely hard to see when aiming (especially if you do not have a scope), you are not allowed to pick up any guns, ammo, etc (even from a dead teammate). I would highly recommend to rent it first... I was a huge fan of the previous Rainbow games, however this game seems to have been rushed and is not recommended - I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars.

Lucas Tom Van Holland

December 9, 2015, 8:51 pm

so naive young one. graphics are fine. if you want to play a game for graphics go play fifa. planning is perfect for what it is. It's fast paced and requires you to get it done and now. movement is not cartoonish at all. and the iron sights of weapons, while i agree are more difficult than a red dot or reflex, are not impossible. sounds to me like you have been babied by COD and Halo too much. Not being able to pick up weapons and ammo requires you to actually play smart. It forces you to make ever single bullet count, but at the same time there is plenty of ammo to go around for the 4 minute rounds.

Just a guy

December 24, 2015, 12:21 am

Why would you ever need to pick up another gun? You have too much ammo as it is unless you just can't aim whatsoever and just spray all the time.

Crippled by UK State goons

December 26, 2015, 2:12 pm



January 2, 2016, 9:43 pm

This game was absolutley horrible. I bought it and thought my game was broken or unfinished. Anyone who's played previous Rainbow Six tittles knows that they took away from anything the game offered and went for the money grabbing techniques of COD or CounterStrike. The graphics are fine, but who gives a hoot if the game itself is the most basic, boring gameplay of any game yet. Please dear god do not buy this game. I have found more smart and exciting gameplay from literally any other game with guns involved.


January 5, 2016, 6:11 pm

Funny, I bought it and love it for it's somber quiet before all hell breaks loose.
Although it's not the original R6 titles, I think this is a great reinvention and a good start for the series.


January 5, 2016, 6:13 pm

there's 3rd person? lol


January 8, 2016, 5:26 am

No, but in the vegas games there were. When you take cover/rappel.


January 19, 2016, 5:10 pm

Yeah I have a whole different experience, thought it was the best game I bought this year(I guess last year).

Adam Bagnall

March 20, 2016, 11:51 pm

I've only just started playing it and it's different to most shooters I've played, namely the lack of a single player campaign, although the trend towards pathetic 3 hour campaigns that add nothing to the game means this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Kudos to the developers for trying something different. Multiplayer is good, although I have trouble telling my team mates and enemies apart sometimes

Crippled by UK State goons

June 12, 2016, 5:16 am

47Gb download, and poor graphics in places?
That fuh real?
Its around the size of DOOM [4], and that has fantastic graphics (even if they crippled Stereoscopic 3D [for those of us who invested around $2,000 into that]).

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