Over the last few days, we at The Edge have been playing through the closed beta of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. With access to several maps, numerous weapons and character classes, as well as two different multiplayer modes, we were able to give you our first impressions of the game.
Harrison: Whilst there’s no denying that the stakes can be high, and that there can be moments of legitimate tension, this is a deeply flawed experience in its current state. Severe balancing issues and technical hicups (including some truly awful character animations) hinder the overall game, making most matches intensely frustrating as opposed to just intense. There are too many moments where you’ll be convinced that your death was in no way your fault, and you’ll spend most of your time spectating or staring at menu screens as a result. The occasional thrill of scoring a good kill is much more satisfying than in most shooters, purely down to the rarity of it actually happening, and at one point I did feel like a major badass after stringing together a 4 kill-streak whilst rappelling down the side of a building. On a whole however, Rainbow Six Siege lacks anything besides punishing difficulty to single it out from the crowd. It’s bound to be the kind of thing where you’ll be accused of not being skilled enough if you dare to criticise it, but if it isn’t enjoyable, then I’m sorry, it just isn’t enjoyable. Piloting the little robot drones is fun though.- (Xbox One).
Conor: Rainbow Six’s return after a seven year absence is mostly disappointing. The other Tom Clancy game Ubisoft is rebooting, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, sets to expand and push the series into modern gaming, but Rainbow Six Siege feels like a step back for the series. It has been massively stripped down from previous entries. Compared to the Vegas series, Siege offers little in terms of customisation,which has always been a strong component of the franchise up until now. The settings of Siege have been stripped back from the series multi-layered, often huge, locations and mostly take place in and around a single building, with most maps feeling very similar.
Despite its shortcomings, Siege does offer a lot not found in most modern shooters. It is no doubt hard-core, with the game modes focused around players only having a single life while attacking or defending. The mostly destructible environments and the tools you can use to manipulate them, add an extra layer to assaulting enemy positions. It can get extremely tense, especially when few of your teammates remain, but these strong elements can’t make the game feel necessary. Siege is no doubt a Rainbow Six game in spirit; offering a strategic and realistic shooter. It is a solid FPS, but is missing most features that made the original series, and its Vegas spin-off, great and in terms of content, it feels meager in comparison.- (PS4).
Christopher: As a newcomer to the Rainbow Six franchise, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but from my few hours with the PC version of the Rainbow Six: Siege closed beta, I was impressed. Ubisoft still seem to be experiencing server issues, this is nothing new, and I’ve found the game’s directional sound to be particularly poor in accurately depicting a players position. However, on launch it seems we can at least expect very high graphical quality. I enjoyed the diversity in gameplay allowed as both an attacker and defender. Thinking of different strategies to use with the limited resources available, keeps what would otherwise be small maps interesting. The ‘Renown’ system Ubisoft have chosen as the way to unlock special characters, seems balanced and fair in its current state (depending on how many new characters there are on launch) and a new character can be unlocked every 6 or so games. My main problem with the gameplay was the duration of the various game timers. Defusing bombs takes a long time, the pre-round staging phase is perhaps a bit too short, and the end of match timer on the score screen is currently on for only a few seconds. As with any other feature, these could all change on launch, but the game should be good provided no horrendous bugs emerge.- (PC).
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on December 1st.