Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege preview

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six SiegeIf you’re on the hunt for new first person shooter action, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is probably pretty high up on your radar, but with Halo Guardians and Call of Duty: Black Ops III also on the way has the game that picked up the best of E3 2014 credits bitten off more than it can chew. The good news in terms of its potential to go toe-to-toe with the other two big FPS releases this year is that it’s done a lot to build in differentiating features to ensure its not just seen as another me too, so the countdown is on to see whether or not it’s done enough.

Created by Ubisoft’s Montreal development team, it’s the first TCRS title in the series to arrive exclusively for new gen consoles Xbox ONE and PS4, along with high spec Windows PC gaming. It builds on the two Vegas installments that arrived on the last generation gaming consoles back in 2006 and 2008,but it takes things up a significant notch in terms of serious intent and building and graphics upgrade, so it should feel like a pretty weighty game.

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Release date

Unfortunately, an official release date for the game hasn’t been announced as of yet, giving the developers behind it a little flexibility to hone it to perfection and potential get more of an idea about what the big competitor titles are doing. However, we do know that it’s slated for a 2015 release, which we think gives that a couple of options for distribution timing. They can either go with the norm of releasing the game in the run up to the Christmas holidays, or they can go early in a bid to beat the others to the punch. We’ll update here with more details as it becomes available, but you’ve only got to take a look at the FBI women in the image below to get a good indication of where it might be heading.

Storyline

The game is inspired by the variety of counter terrorism operatives around the world and we’re expecting a campaign storyline to centre around a crack team of anti-terror/hostage expert freedom fighting hard behinds. For anyone pointing their joystick trigger finger at us and shouting “you don’t know”, you’re right, Ubisoft hasn’t released any official details on the plot for the story mode of the game as of yet, but we’re still willing to bet that were right.

Gameplay

As the game’s title suggests, the gameplay is built around a siege construct where the action is delivered in a series of locations with varying degrees of fortification that you’ll need to storm in one way or another. However, there’s a lot that we still don’t know about Tom Clancy’s Rainbox Six Siege, but the good news is that there will be a live multiplayer gameplay session on Ubisoft’s Twitch.tv account on the 17th July, so we’ll all get to see much more of the game.

However, it was a highly featured game in last year’s E3 and with the slow trickle of alpha gameplay run throughs we’re starting to get a much better picture of what to expect from the game. The first and most important point is that the close quarters action, tactical manoeuvres and intense gameplay that has defined the series over the years will be back in abundance in the latest outing of carnage.

The idea of the game is a simple case of capture the flag at its heart in which the flag is a hostage or another terrorist asset that you need to locate and peacefully extricate/neutralise. This puts even more emphasis on the maps that you’ll be deployed on as you’ll need to get a very good idea of the lay of the land to be able to take out the opposing team to pick up the win. You can checkout the 30 minute alpha gameplay video below to see this in operation.

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A big part in this is the drones that you can take control to infiltrate the opposition team’s location to figure out how many people you’re facing, what fortifications they’ve deployed or where they’re planning to hit you from. You essentially buzz in, get as much intelligence as you can without being seen and then get out in time to be able to do something about what you’ve learned. However, the same goes for the players on the other team, so you’ll always need to be one step ahead and think fast to pull off a win.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege FBI girl

Explosives, armour, shields and other tech become a big part of the game as you’ll have a limited supply of all this, so you’ll need to choose your move wisely a bit like a game of chess, trying to think ahead of your opponents and work out what they might do in any given situation. Put up a mobile fort in the wrong location and it could end up trapping you in a tight spot where you can be picked off with ease or use your explosives or ammo up too early and you could be left without anything to protect yourself with as the team bear down on you in the final phases of the match.

However, before you even start the game your match tactics will be in play as you’ll need to choose your Operator Class to take into battle with you. This is the designation for your character in the field and there are around twenty different designations. These are all names with slightly tongue-in-cheek nicknames that tell you a little about their skills in the field, ranging from Sledge, a sledgehammer weilding bruiser with a shotgun, Twitch, who’s got a drone that can dish out electric shocks, and Pulse, who can use a heartbeat radar to locate enemies, showing them as little beating hearts on his HUD.

Vertical structures come to life in the game as you can crash through ceilings to take you enemies by surprise or abseil through a window to drop in on your target’s location to try to deliver a quick hostage salvage. It adds to the tactical element of the gameplay, linking in with the various Operator Class abilities, like Sledge’s devastating floor destruction or Twitch using his radar to locate players below.

The reality is that the majority of the game’s shelf live and intended gameplay is in multiplayer online action and all of these elements are being combined to create a game that does things a little differently than everything else on the market. The biggest factor in this will be coordinated communications between you and your teammates. While this has been a part of many FPS game to varying degrees over the years, it’s definitively integral to success when it comes to TCRSS.

Essentially, no talkie, no walkie. No banter, no canter. Not chattie, no boom battie… While you’ve probably got the gist by now, the reality is that loads of us will have played online multiplayer first person shooters without saying a single word to our teammates, but that probably won’t be at all possible for large amounts of Siege. There’s bound to be exceptions to this rule to ensure that the game appeals to a broader spectrum of gamers, but our shout is that it’s time to get your head around working as a team if you’re planning to really get under the hood of the game.

Graphics

As the lions share of the video featured below is more promotional media than actual gameplay the jury is out a little on the graphics. The gameplay video from E3 2014 was pre-alpha footage, so we’re expecting the full release to be even more crisp and dynamic, with more detail and realism built into characters and environment. This was definitely true of the more recent full alpha gameplay footage that has been doing the rounds in the last couple of months, but again they look like they will still be getting another lick of pain before the beta and full game release later in the year.

As things stand the game isn’t the best looking first person shooter we’ve seen in the last year or so and we’re predicting Guardians and Black Ops III to take things to the next level, so Ubisoft Montreal is going to need to step things up to challenge on looks if it goes up against either or both of the year’s other big two contenders. We’d need to see improvements in texture, light and shadow, definition, facial rendering and environmental elements to buy into the prospect of the game’s graphics in a big way, so fingers crossed for more updates.

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