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'Rainbow Six: Siege' Review

Johnny Flores, Jr. |
December 8, 2015 | 12:12 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

What started out as a stealthy terrorist hunt quickly turns into a guns-blazing war zone. Bullets fly from all directions as enemies file in from all sides. Before my team and I knew it, enemies were rappelling through windows, blasting through doors and running up stairs. Just when we thought we were safe, we hear footsteps from the staircase below. This is "Rainbow Six: Siege" and it is crazy.

"Rainbow Six: Siege" is one of -- if not the best -- multiplayer shooters of the year. Coordination is key as every match is tense and fast-paced. Everyone must be on the same page and communicative if you hope to make it out alive. It’s a mix of rapid shooters like "Call of Duty" with more strategic games like "Counter-Strike," yet it still feels like "Rainbow Six." 

While "Rainbow Six: Siege" has fantastic multiplayer, it does not feature a campaign. Unfortunately, a game of this caliber deserves a campaign. If not, it should forgo its AAA price tag. Still, "Rainbow Six: Siege" is a highly unique and tactical game that everyone should take a crack at. It melds together various elements from shooters and is a blast to play. 

"Rainbow Six: Siege" is all about teamwork and communication. Players must constantly work together using the strengths of their individual Operators if they hope to win. Even more so, they must constantly communicate. While players can certainly do without communication, it becomes a challenge. Those who communicate and coordinate have the upper-hand over those who do not. Fortunately, I was able to play alongside friends as well as easily accessible teammates whom I met online. Unfortunately, many casual players will see this major aspect of communication as a major challenge. Therefore, at times it feels as if "Rainbow Six: Siege" only caters to the hardcore fans. 

What makes this game so unique is the fact that no single match is the same. While the maps can easily repeat themselves each encounter with terrorists or real-world Operators is highly unique. Moreover, attacking is an entirely different game than defending.

Options that were not previously present whilst attacking now become present once you need to defend and vice-versa. Your Operator ability may become entirely useless or useful. The fact that one player can change the tide of battle is not only quite awesome, but also requires lots of coordination prior to each match and during. For example, one of the 20 Operators possesses a dart that can instantly revive a fallen teammate. I did not think that this particular Operator would be useful as many teammates die rather than become injured. However, I observed that particular Operator turn the tide of the match I was in right before my very eyes. We were diffusing a bomb and my teammate was within the blast radius of a nearby grenade. He wasn’t close enough to die, but within the general area to become seriously wounded and require a revive. Doc—the name of the Operator—fired his MPD-0 Stim Pistol and instantaneously revived my fallen teammate and brought him back into the fray. In doing so, he singlehandedly turned the tide of the match in our favor and allowed for us to successfully defuse the bomb and make it out alive. 

One thing I particularly enjoyed in "Siege" was the fact that the map is your playground. Nothing is off-limits. That door you think is covering you while you traverse through a house can soon be blown down and turned against you. The windows can easily be rappelled through and the roof can suddenly come crashing down on top of you. There is so much beauty in the destruction. This is where the graphics really shine. Door frames can soon enough fly past you, window pane glass can whiz towards you and the stucco of a roof can come crashing down right before your very eyes. The graphics are complimented by amazing sound design. Bullets sound hyper realistic and the pattering of footsteps is so nice to hear even though that sound only spells bad things to come. Siege is a must play with surround sound headphones in addition to a high quality television or monitor to be fully enjoyed.

As mentioned above, "Siege" does not feature a fully fledged campaign like "Rainbow Six" games before it. Tutorial “Situations” are fun to play, but do not make up the lack of single-player. Rather, they make me long for a single-player mode. “Situations” acts as a tutorial, but feature their own “mini” story such as rescuing a high-profile hostage or defusing a bomb. It would be great if “Situations” like these would make for a larger campaign in which your Operator and his teammates seek to end global terrorism in a variety of settings. The game does not necessarily need a campaign, but it most certainly deserves one for all intents and purposes. Sadly, that is not the case. For many, the lack of a campaign is a deal-breaker... especially for an AAA game with an AAA price tag. Still, I am highly content with multiplayer -- even if it feels like a half experience. Even then, Ubisoft has promised free map DLC which is a great move on their part and an ode to the days in which things came free before paid DLC. There are micro-transactions that aren’t necessary, but highly enticing. 

Issues aside, "Rainbow Six: Siege" makes for hours of fun. The game is highly tactical and requires immense coordination and communication. It is a unique experience unmatched by many shooters currently out on the market. It does multiplayer so well that it is a shame that there is not a single-player campaign to compliment it. It blends various elements from popular FPS games and still retains the classic feel of "Rainbow Six." Hardcore fans will thoroughly enjoy this game while other casual players will find issue in its reliance on coordination as opposed to the grab n’ go feel of "Call of Duty." Still, it is an amazing game that deserves to be enjoyed. This is a worthy entry into the "Rainbow Six" franchise and a well done revitalization of a fan favorite series that is surely a great building block for more entries to come.  


Reach Staff Reporter Johnny Flores, Jr. here.



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