Written by: Corey Bonanno, Special to CC2K
This is Romeo 10-2. You have the green light. Go for breach and clear.
After spending the weekend with Rainbow 6: the Siege’s beta, I am left wondering when a multiplayer-only shooter will truly find its niche in console gaming. With games like Evolve and Titanfall, two games that were hugely anticipated and well-received, I wonder if Rainbow 6: the Siege will have the same fate. Major hype, lots of press coverage, but upon release, losing its player base at a drastic rate in a short time. It seems to be a curse on the arena multiplayer games of today.
Rainbow 6’s fast paced tactical combat and strategy driven teamwork is both its blessing and its curse. It seems difficult to fill your squad with five people, let alone, find five people with microphones willing to coordinate and focus on achieving a victory through cooperation. This sets Rainbow 6 up to be problematic for the gamers that don’t have a regular crew to roll with when it comes to competitive games focused on team strength and fluidity.
With a number of different load-outs and tacticians to play as, players must plan on the characters they use based on the characters of their squad. This allows for a cohesive and bonded team strategy that sets you apart from the opposing force to succeed. This, of course goes both ways, and ties back into the squad communicating versus the majority of players not using miss, and relying on their own prowess as gamers. It could decide the tail life of Rainbow 6 after release.
The matches are harrowing. Whether you are setting up a strong defensive or sending in drones to seek out the cracks in other’s defenses, the thrill is real. You really begin to understand the flow of the combat after playing around 20 matches. The problem became that each environment, though different in layout, played out almost identically: set up the defenses that work, hole up, wait, open fire. The offensive also becomes repetitive: send in a drone, mark the objective, breach, clear, disarm.
Without a single-player campaign or the more traditional modes of multiplayer that Call of Duty is the king of, I find more reservation in the strength of the replay value. Though statistically, only twenty-five percent of Call of Duty players play the campaign, there is still substance. Call of Duty has perfected the multiplayer progression scale and match types. Rainbow 6 seems a bit shallow, but this is only the beta. The final product should be more substantial.
With only a couple months until release, the gameplay feels solidly in place. It looks great and plays tight with a visceral, unforgiving combat system. Two well placed shots and it is lights out. You can then spend the rest of the match using camera systems to help tag and give enemy positions away to your surviving squad mates. The tense nature of knowing you are the final survivor up against the odds gives you an adrenaline rush. Especially when you pull a win out of thin air and take it to the opposing forces with almost a surgical execution.
Everything is in place for Ubisoft to launch this mechanically sound and brutal arena shooter. Doubts hang heavy after seeing the fall of its recent predecessors in the genre. Rainbow 6 absolutely has to nail it to maintain its relevance moving forward. Could it be the next Counter Strike? That is an impossible feat, but hopefully it can at least hold a player base long enough to justify its production time and costs.
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