It's been a while since we've seen anything new in the Rainbow Six series. A few years ago, Ubisoft seemed intent on releasing the announced Rainbow Six: Patriots, but that title faded into obscurity, leaving us wondering if we would ever see a new entry in the series. Thankfully, last month at E3, the publisher surprised us by announcing Rainbow Six: Siege, a game that combines the tactical multiplayer action we've come to expect from the series with a daring new wrinkle – one built around taking over or defending a certain objective within the game.
In the demo shown during Ubisoft's pre-E3 press conference, we got an idea of what the game is about. Players join one of two sides, either playing as terrorists trying to hold a certain objective (such as a hostage) or as a group of Rainbow Six soldiers assigned to rescue them at all costs. Throughout the trailer, we got an idea how this tactical play works.
For instance, on the terrorist side, the team can build defenses to slow down the opposition, such as barbed wire traps and barricades to keep windows and doors shuttered. They can also cover any remaining entrances that the Six team could breach, keeping a close eye on the hostage or whatever else they're trying to keep a hold of.
Meanwhile, on the Six side, you'll need to work closely with the team to complete your objective. Besides overcoming traps, you may need to gain an advantage by launching an attack from a vantage point. For instance, if two terrorists are located on the floor below, you can easily set up a way to blast through the ceiling, then incapacitate them before they harm the hostage.
Using Rainbow Six style play, teams can use a number of initiatives when it comes to taking on the opposition. First comes the tactical approach, where you survey the building in which the terrorists are located. You'll look for breach points and possible weaknesses, then execute your plan of attack. Going in the front door is never a good idea, as most of the time, that's exactly what they'll expect.
Blasting through walls and creating a possible new path to an objective, as described above, is a common practice that many of you will want to take advantage of. Going straight-forward into a room where gunmen are waiting is practically suicide – and when you're playing in a round of online multiplayer, once you're gone, you're down for the count, forced to operate a drone to help your teammates. Even then, if enemies spot you, they can still blast you out of the game.
Rainbow Six: Patriots will mix up the sides, so players get to take on both Rainbow Six and terrorist squads over a course of six rounds. This provides the opportunity to learn what each side is good at, and better tactics when it comes to working efficiently with your team.
In addition, you can gear up your soldier accordingly. It helps to purchase armor or shielding of some kind. While it can weigh you down, it'll also keep you alive, since Siege follows the similar "one shot, one kill" style of play, where all it takes is one bullet to end your current run. That sounds incredibly difficult (especially if you're used to the way energy regenerates in the Call of Duty games), but clearly, it's a style that Rainbow Six players have grown accustomed to since the good old PC days.
Multiplayer won't be the sole focus of Rainbow Six: Siege. It'll be fun, for sure, but the game will also come with a campaign mode that can either be played on your own or with a friend in online co-op. Ubisoft hasn't unveiled the details just yet on what the Rainbow Six squad is up against, but you can bet you'll need every ounce of skill you can muster to stay in one piece.
Although it's still in early development – the game isn't even due for release on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 until 2015 – it's great to see that Ubisoft hasn't forgotten about the hardcore Rainbow Six crowd. Siege resembles a fresh addition to the series, combining the sheer intensity it's become known for with a fresh new twist in multiplayer to keep players interested. We'll give this a better look in the months ahead, and talk more about the tactics you can use – or attempt to use – to stay in one piece. Good luck!