It has been seven years since Team Rainbow made an appearance. That’s a long time for a decorated franchise to be out of the public eye. Since that time we’ve seen the announcement and cancellation of the promising Patriots and replacement with a lesser known game called Siege. We’ve also seen the online playscape get dominated with the need for online games to get faster and much more frantic. So, in the time that has passed, did the market change too much for Siege to breach gamers radar? Let’s find out.
In a nutshell and over simplified, Siege is a game where teams take turns attacking and defending a spot with unique characters with unique abilities. In Siege, the core mechanics makes the experience a tense back and forth where the winner is usually the team that communicated and planned better than their opposition. And that is where Siege shines, pitting small teams of five against another team of five in tight, confined spaces with no respawns. Movement is slow and deliberate and charging in headfirst will more than likely earn you a quick exit from the match (as well as the ire of your teammates.) Players are rewarded for being cautious and taking their time. This is a welcomed change of pace from the other multiplayer mechanic of run, gun hide and heal. Level designs grant players multiple ways to enter an area or to defend it. Walls can be scaled, shots fired through doors, walls and windows, you can even make your own entry point with use of a sledgehammer. Before each match, players choose from a set of operators, either ones skilled in attacking or defending depending on the mission. Once a player has selected an operator that operator is no longer available to be chosen as that would mess with the balance of the game to have a team of all heavily armored Spetsnaz with mounted machine guns. Operators must be unlocked via in game currency which is earned after each mission. The downside to this amount of tactical game play is you need to communicate with your team. Communication is key to enjoying your online experience with this game. If your one who likes to stay quiet or you get matched up on a team that isn’t talking, you’ll find more often than not you’ll be on the losing side.
Team Rainbow is made up of the best in counter terrorism units from around the world. Players will have the chance to unlock two attackers and two defenders from teams such as SWAT, SPETSNAZ, SAS, GSG, and GIGN. These operators as stated must be unlocked via the in game currency which you earn through in game victories. Some of the basic operators such as the SWATS ASH costs 500 renown , in game credits, while others can run double that amount. The in game currency is also how you unlock weapons and attachments for each operator making how you spend that money very important. Now if you’re a fan of micro transactions, you’ll be happy to know you can purchase renown for about $4.99 for 600. This is more of a quick way to buy characters vs. playing to earn the credits yourself.
There is no real story to Siege per say. You’re given a beautiful looking and well acting cut scene simply stating that there is a new terrorist threat and that Team Rainbow is back in commission. After that there is really nothing as this is just an multiplayer game at heart. The story you’re playing is one that you and your team will create with each round you play together. You do get brief, but very cool introduction videos for each operator that you unlock though. These cut scenes are gorgeous and in most cases wonderfully well voiced, especially in the case of Six voiced by Angela Basset. The actual game play graphics don’t look nearly as impressive though. There just seems to be a lack of texture and detail on the guns and environment vs. what you would expect in something from the Rainbow Six team. The sound design however is top notch. Sound plays a huge role in helping pin down where enemies actually are, from a gun butt on wood to boots crunching on glass everything sounds real and adds to the immersive experience of the “siege.” If you truly want to engross yourself in a tense multiplayer game, sound design is kind and Siege has it in spades.
Players are encouraged to play the ten offline training sessions before stepping foot in either competitive or cooperative modes. These sessions do a great job at catching new and old Rainbow Six players up on how the mechanics work. Each session offers three challenges that give up renown for completing them. Once players feel comfortable they can dive into the online components of the game, although it’s suggested you avoid multiplayer until you have unlocked a variety of operators or you’ll be stuck with the rookie. By far the best mode and favorite mode in all of the Rainbow Six series is back with Terrorist Hunt mode, where five players work together to achieve various objectives against waves of AI terrorists. Finally multiplayer is a 5v5 matchup with revolving scenarios per match. Ubisoft has already announced plans of DLC to add more operators, modes and matches throughout the year.
As fun as this game is it does get lose a bit of steam by network issues and hit detection that isn’t always 100 percent . I’d say for every four to five games I was booted and returned to the main screen and I’ve seen multiple occurrences of firing rounds into someone only to have them turn around and fire back. These could be early pains for a game that relies heavily on multiplayer, but unfortunately we only had time to play it during these times. It’s possible that this could be fixed in the future, and if you are interested, we advise googling this information to see if a patch has fixed this down the road. All in all this is a solid FPS whose concept and game play carry it farther than a normal multiplayer only game normally would. If you’re looking for a shooter of a different speed give this game a chance, but I would wait until it goes on sale or a collector’s edition is announced because there just isn’t enough to justify the full price tag just yet. Right now, you will be playing a fun, but minimal package that will appeal to hardcore multiplayer FPS fans while leaving most others waiting to see what else is to offer. There is definitely something special here, it just hasn’t evolved into it’s final form yet and until then, we can’t recommend it to everyone except the hardcore.