Summary

Review Price to be confirmed

Rainbow Six Siege preview

Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege release date - October 13 2015

We went hands-on with the first new Rainbow Six game in over seven years and checked out the newly-announced Spectator mode.

If you’re a fan of team-based tactical first-person shooters, then you’ll hopefully have played a Rainbow Six game. They were critical and commercial smashes in the 1990s and 2000s, with the most recent “Vegas” entries lodging themselves in the Xbox Live “Most Played” list for years after release. So it’s been quite a surprise to see the series lay dormant since Rainbow Six Vegas 2 in 2008 -- Ubisoft even cancelled a game in the meantime in the form of Rainbow 6: Patriots. Rainbow Six Siege will therefore be the first new game in the franchise in over seven years when it launches on 13th October 2015 on PC, Xbox One and PS4.

We went hands-on with the game at E3, but Gamescom allowed us to experience the Spectator feature shortly after it was announced at the show. Gamescom features a pretty heavy eSports presence, and Spectator mode is clearly aimed at the pro gamer and shoutcasting crowd, as it will allow people to broadcast and commentate over games of Siege. However, it will also appeal to those who want to make guide videos or watch them in order to improve their game.

Spectator mode will be available across Siege’s 5-vs-5 multiplayer modes. If you’ve been following the marketing campaign for the game, then there’s a chance you think 5-vs-5 multiplayer is actually all there is to Rainbow Six Siege, but there’s actually a single-player game as well. We honestly didn’t know this was the case before Ubisoft told us in the Gamescom briefing, so strong has the focus been on the game’s multiplayer.

The interesting thing to note about Spectator mode is that it’s not actually going to be ready for the launch of the game. Ubisoft says that the feature has been created as a response to public feedback, so the delay getting it into the game seems to back up the assertion that Ubisoft genuinely has been listening to its fans. It’s a rare occasion where PC gamers will get something before console owners -- the beta version of Spectator mode will launch with the PC version of the game, while the console versions will get the full Spectator mode in early 2016 via a free update.

As you’d expect, Spectator mode allows you to view the action from a first-person perspective from any of the viewpoints of the 10 players that are still alive on the field. Each member of the two teams is colour-coded so that the Spectator can tell at a glance who’s attacking and who’s defending. The current objective is also marked with a similar outline so you can tell what everyone is fighting over.

See also: PS4 vs Xbox One

Rainbow 6: Siege

Rainbow Six Siege is first and foremost a tactical shooter, so commentators will want to make use of the top-down view to get a bird’s eye perspective of the action. It’s illuminating to watch the game from this angle -- you can observe how certain routes are more effective than others for attackers, how defending teams can protect themselves more effectively from different locations, and of course predict who is going to win the game before it happens.

eSports is a huge part of the Gamescom show in Cologne -- one of the key events is a DOTA 2 tournament where the prize pool is a crazy $18m. So it’s no surprise to see that Siege’s Spectator mode will be making its public debut in a Show Match in the ESL Arena on Saturday 4pm. In the meantime, you can also see it in action in Ubisoft’s Gamescom 2015 trailer.

See also: PS4 vs PS3

Rainbow 6: Siege

The other Siege Gamescom reveal was tailored for the German market playing host to Gamescom, and that’s the GSG9 force that will now be in the game. They’re another team to go alongside the French, British and American Counter Terrorist Units, which each have operators with their own weapons, speed and perks, such as the ability to take less damage from grenades. You can either stick with the presets, or customise them a little bit -- each operator has two main weapons and sidearms to pick from, such as a shotgun or an SMG, for example.

Having played three rounds of Siege, we can confirm that it’s a deep game--it’s effectively a game of rock, paper, scissors with guns. The defending team can choose to barricade themselves in a number of different locations on each map, and the attacking team has to adapt accordingly. When the game starts, each team has a short window of time -- for the defending team, that’s erecting defenses to cover the windows and doors, and for the attackers, it’s using drones to try and find them and see what they’re doing. Then when the game starts, it’s five-on-five, with no respawns.

See also: Xbox One vs Xbox 360

Rainbow 6: Siege

Early Verdict

As a game, Rainbow Six Siege isn’t doing anything drastically new, but like the previous games in the series, it’s a shooter that provides more tension than something like Call of Duty, where you’re never more than a few seconds from a respawn.

It’s a game where you HAVE to work together as a team in order to win, and when you do die, it usually induces an immediate feeling of regret that you didn’t see it coming or react more effectively.

There’s an abundance of great-looking shooters coming out at the end of the year, such as Star Wars: Battlefront, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and Halo 5: Guardians, but Siege is shaping up to be this Christmas’ Thinking Person’s Shooter, and we honestly can’t wait to play more of it.

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