Game Reviews

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege Review

With a new season upon us, and a newly introduced Argentinian Operator, there’s no better time than now for me to review Rainbow Six: Siege. After a slow release back in 2015, Siege quickly gained massive popularity in the gaming world and now firmly stands as one of the most popular competitive shooters in the market. With the big three (Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Counter Strike) holding top stop in the hearts of the shooter community, it’s amazing how Siege managed to break into such a highly contested market and hold its own since release.

The Objective

Two teams of five go head-to-head competing in set rounds, alternating between playing as attackers and defenders. Operators are unique for each team, and with 59 to choose from, no two games will play the same. This adds an element to Siege not seen in other shooters at the time, and greatly helps keep the game feeling fresh, even after all these years.

There are both PvE and PvP modes, with PvP being the primary mode. Casual and ranked modes to suit both casual players along with those who like to test their skills and see where they sit on the leaderboard. The objectives – Eliminate all the opposing players, plant or defuse the bomb, rescuing or protect the hostage (depending on if you’re attacking or defending). Points are given to the winning team at the end of each round. Simple, right? Yes, but no.

Defenders must protect the objective. Reinforcements (doors, windows, and walls), traps (barbed wire), and cameras help them do so. Defensive operators also come with their own unique abilities. Clones, cluster charges, tracking enemy heartbeats, bulletproof riot shields, each operator brings something new to the fray. Mozzie, one of the defensive operators, can capture a single drone from the enemy team.

Attackers must capture the objective. Equipped with drones they can navigate around the map to spot enemies, traps, and the objective, the attackers must tactfully plan their approach. Breach charges, distractions, cluster charges, just like the defensive operators, offensive operators bring many different tools to help them succeed. Gridlock, one of the offensive operator, is able to deploy a cluster of spikes which both slows and damages the enemy.

The bomb – Image courtesy of Rainbow Six Wiki

The Gameplay

Imagine yourself rappelling down the side of a building. You place a breach charge on a barricaded window, set it off, and jump through your newly created hole. Enemies are now aware of your position and start shooting at you. Quickly, you rush behind cover, while your teammates provide supressing fire.

Intense, right? This summarises Rainbow Six: Siege perfectly. It’s much more tactical than I’ve written, but once the action starts, you’ll feel a rush like never before. My favourite operator for this fast and destructive playstyle is Ash. Being able to equip both breach charges as well as the ability to fire breach rounds into walls makes her a dangerous attacker to come up against.

Destructible environments are what sets Siege apart from other competitive team based shooters. Why go through the front door when you can blow a hole in the wall? Or jump in through the hatch you’ve just blown open.

There are both attackers and defenders that make doing so easier or harder, adding to the variability of rounds. Another difference which sets Siege apart from other shooters is your teammates ability to help you, even if they’re dead. No, they don’t travel around as ghosts stuck in the mortal realm, but they do have access to any active cameras (if defending) or drones (if attacking). The ability to monitor and mark enemies from beyond the grave can turn the tides of battle. Doing so will notify the enemy however – That’s why I suggest using voice communication where possible.

Artistic representation of a squad breaching in – Image courtesy of Rainbow Six Wiki

The Maps

Featuring twenty maps of various sizes and settings, Rainbow Six: Siege offers plenty of variability. Each are completely different from each other so you’ll never have the feeling of ‘been there, done that’. They also features multiple spawns and objective points, some better than others (in my opinion). Maps get reworked from time to time, adding to the games replayability (and my confusion). Consulate, Favela, and Presidential Plane are my favourites. I find them to be the most dissimilar from each other.

Consulate is set in a large embassy which has many rooms, levels, and points of entry. Attacking and defending on this map a ton of fun. The ability to breach through the garage, come in through the roof, or blow your way in through one of the many windows is exciting. The natural and lifelike flow of the building is an added bonus and helps make navigation straightforward.

Favela, as the name suggests, is set in Brazilian slums. One of the most difficult maps for me to navigate, yet one of the most exciting to play on. There are vantage points all over, and you can easily get shot from behind if you’re not careful. Destructibility in this map is like no other as a majority of external walls can be reduced to nothing. Situations can go from 0 to 100 in an instant when all the walls around you suddenly start blowing open.

Presidential Plane, and as the name suggests, it is set on a plane (possibly the Presidents). Unlike the other two maps, entry points are limited. Instead of a broad open gameplay area, you are limited to a narrow plane. I rank this map very highly as there’s no better feeling than breaching inside as Montage, an offensive operator with a large full body bulletproof shield, while your whole team cowers behind you for protection. This approach makes for some funny gameplay experiences, especially if you’ve got a full squad in voice chat with you.

Presidential Plane – Image courtesy of Ubisoft

The Community

Playing for 200 hours, I’d say I’ve experienced all spectrums of the community. Yes, there are hackers and yes, there are toxic players. The majority however are friendly and play by the rules. As the game has aged, I feel like the community has improved drastically. Even during free weekends, people are friendly more so than toxic (unlike other games I have played).

Surprisingly, this game isn’t dead (I know, weird thing to say about a game I’ve talked up so much!?). However, I say this from the perspective of an Oceanic player. Many other games usually fall off quickly and leave us with only a handful of active servers to play on. Many are also only active during specific times, which makes it hard to find a match should you have a day off.

An active community awaits me no matter the day or time, with me waiting no longer than a minute to get into a game. The growing player count has done wonders, and I attribute this to three things – The community, the addictive gameplay, and the constant updates. I cannot comment on other regions or servers, but the Oceanic community is great and makes my time in Siege enjoyable, to say the least.

The squad – Image courtesy of Ubisoft

Conclusion

Summarising Rainbow Six: Siege is in no way an easy feat. I’ve only scratched the surface in my review and have left out plenty of details out, but there’s no way I could fit all of the operators and their abilities in a single review. As a massive fan of competitive games (such as Age of Empires 2, Rocket League, or Apex Legends), Siege is right up my alley. I cannot praise this game enough. For those who enjoy a strong competitive scene, or a shooter with hundreds of hours of replayability, Rainbow Six: Siege is for you.

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