Rainbow Six Siege takes the classic squad-tactics of Ubisoft's popular Counter Terrorism first person-shooter franchise and takes it to its natural conclusion of a Counter Strike style, team-based, multiplayer game.
The three Ts
On top of creating some tight FPS gameplay, Ubisoft Montreal has had three main focuses through Rainbow Six Siege´s development, Teamwork, Tactics, and Tension.
Set on tight maps with destructible environments, each round of Rainbow Six Siege follows the same basic formula of one Counter Terrorism team trying to thwart a team Terrorists (or at least that's what I'll call them, they are actually another Special Ops team with defensive skills). While the five-on-five action ensure the numbers are balanced, their goals and classes are different. This creates asymmetrical play which keeps each team guessing.
This demands sides plan out their tactics in advance – working out which character classes to equip before each round. As an additional layer to this planning, before beginning the assault, there is a phase during which the Rainbow Six team can recon the area to plan their attack while other team improve their defenses
So that is Teamwork and Tactics covered, but Tension is harder to pin down. Luckily Ubisoft has some very clear ideas on how to achieve this third pillar of development.
Plan and attack
One part of this is the duration of the matches. Short bouts are the key it seems, with the team vs. multiplayer games only lasting about three minutes a round.
The asymmetric gameplay is also designed to keep you guessing. The beta, for example, had The Rainbow Six team having to rescue hostages from a house. Not knowing the hostages’ location, but knowing that time is tight, the team has to use their surveillance techniques to identify hostages locations. While this is happening the terrorists can secure doors, reinforce walls, and cover windows to slow the assault.
To balance the Counter Terrorist team’s lack of knowledge, the maps are small with lots of verticality. This allows for multiple points of entry, such as windows that you can parascend down to and walls you can destroy to create new, unseen routes to the target.
To accompany the competitive multiplayer, teams can also take on waves of terrorists in the Terrorist Hunt mode. This sees your team try to disarm bombs while terrorists swam you in waves trying and stop you.
With a range of difficulty settings across modes – including a realistic option that kills you in a single shot - Rainbow Six Siege will offer online teams hours of online fun. Be sure you do have friends to play with though, as this is one game where communication is all important to success.