Rainbow Six: Siege is easily one of the most highly anticipated games to be released this year; with tactical asymmetrical combat and unique map destruction it stands a chance at becoming the next premier eSports shooter. With the recent closed beta, which was much hyped for the several months leading up to it since their closed alpha, we thought now was as good a time as any to share our thoughts on the game, what we love and what we’d change about it.

What We Loved

  • Destructible environments never let you feel safe and always let you be creative with ways to make sure you can get the drop on your opponent. We really can’t stress this enough, its an integral part of the game and makes the gameplay incredibly dynamic. You are always a bit uneasy on the defense knowing most of the walls you are looking at can be shot through or straight up demolished in a second. Although its not all bad on defense, you can always create your own “Murder holes” to catch unsuspecting attackers off guard.  Also its pretty impressive and incredibly satisfying when you get a group of players to successfully breach and clear a room.
  • Not only is teamwork required for victory, it also gives opportunities to flourish. I have not seen a Triple-A title reward teamwork and tactics this much in a very long time. This game is not for the lone wolves or those looking to mindlessly run and gun, I would strongly recommend anyone looking to play this game brings a friend or join a online group early on even though most of the random players I was matched with communicated well and were quite helpful. Players who do not communicate effectively can easily end up getting the team killed.
  • The Asymmetrical attack and defend style in the game adds a ton of depth and forces you to adapt to the need of the battle. This is a bit different from something like CS:GO since the classes and ability to put up barricades or reinforce walls vary depending on the side you are playing as.
  • The classes are very robust and all provide a different enough feel that they all have a distinctive style but can play similarly enough that choosing a new operator does not render you useless. Everyone will have their favorites (IQ and Rook on offense and defense respectively for the author in question).
  • Weapon control is a pretty big factor on most of the weapons in the game and requires quite a bit compensation in your aim to keep your shots on target even when your opponent is vulnerable in the open. Dumping your entire magazine into an enemy isn’t practical in gunfights within 100 feet. Players need to practice firing discipline and take some time to get used to each weapon before becoming efficient.
  • The contribution of a player doesn’t end when he/she’s defeated. Ghosting for once is actually encouraged and is a game mechanic. For those who are unaware “Ghosting” is the act of teammates calling out where their opponents are after they’ve been killed. This was something that was strongly discouraged back in the old days, but with the use of applications like Teamspeak and Mumble it’s become commonplace. Ubisoft has taken this to the next level, allowing players to use cameras on the map or drones still active depending on the side you happen to be playing, and see through them to provide support even after they’ve been on the receiving end of a 7.62 round to the head. It’s this kind of thing that we think will help push it to becoming a top tier eSport.
  • The game also rewards smart play and awareness. All of the things mentioned above can boil down to Ubisoft trying to reward smart play by remaining aware of your surrounds, keeping your teammates aware of those surroundings, and understanding the game mechanics along with the maps to gain an advantage over your opponents. As time goes on we will see players who are able to quickly figure out their opponents strategy and counter it doing very well and coming to point of lots of head games and fakes becoming the norm.

What We Would Change

  • The planning phase, while being very different and quite interesting, needs to be a bit more robust. It should allow one player to draw on the map or perhaps have markers to help players understand where they should be. This is something that may help newer players drop in a bit easier and new teams form quickly. I do understand that there is a point where these sorts of features can be difficult to implement but never the less this is something that would be beneficial.
  • Individual magazines over having a pool of bullets, this is something that could add another layer of awareness and tactical thinking being mid-gunfight wondering “Did he shoot five shots or six” or coming up on your half empty mag in a room full of enemies.
  • Shields and hip fire accuracy of pistols has to be the biggest issue in the game at this point. While I don’t think the shields themselves are the issue, its the accuracy of the pistols while using the shield, as I had many headshots land using the pistol winning more gunfights than I ever should have. Perhaps there is some counter to shields that the playerbase has not found yet and players will learn how to counter them aside from setting up a crossfire and making the shield turn his back to one player while the other draws his attention.

All in all our time with Rainbow Six: Siege was one of the best betas we’ve played this year and a few of us on the CPCR staff will be spending a lot of our winter nights playing this game. Anything you think we’ve missed, tell us in the comments!

Also keep your eyes open for our game performance tests once we get our hands on the game. We’ll be testing our hardware to give you the best idea what kind of hardware you’ll need to buy this game!