The closed beta for Rainbow 6: Siege has commenced, offering a little taste of what to expect when it launches December 1st on the PS4, Xbox One and PC. The beta includes 2 game modes for 5v5 Team Deathmatch and a player vs enemy game mode called Terrorist Hunt. 14 Operators, either attckers or defenders, are available for the 5v5 TDM modes. Terrorist Hunt is for attackers only.
The Attackers each have their own special skill that comes in handy depending on the situation. Their skills consist of exothermic charges to take out those pesky doors. Sledgehammers because subtlety isn’t always an option. Full body shields which will stop any gunfire from penetrating it. Cluster charges which are placed on one side of a wall and detonate on the opposite side because some enemies just won’t stand still. Also, electronic detectors that can detect, you guessed it, electronics such as signal jammers or proximity mines within a certain range to alert the team.
Defenders have counter measures to the Attacker abilities. Remote detonated gas grenades because laying traps is fun. Communication jammers to stop Attackers from detonating remote controlled explosives and their drones. Heartbeat detectors that will sense an enemy’s heartbeat even through walls so the team isn’t just guessing where to go. A hypodermic needle gun that can fire darts to revive teammates who are bleeding out which can mean the difference between a 3 on 1 or 3 on 2 scenario. An active defense system which will stop incoming grenades from detonating, how could that not come in handy? A high tension wire that will connect to 2 metal objects to deal damage to anyone who crosses it. Also one perk that has a Defender bringing in a bag of armor plates to give that extra layer of defense to help the team stay alive to make that final push.
I went hands on with both game modes in Rainbow 6 Siege starting with Terrorist Hunt. This mode allows for a team of up to 5 players, using only Attackers, to take down enemy AI. Or, if you’re feeling like a super soldier, you can go it alone in a mode called “Lone Wolf.” Having tried both ways, I can say that Lone Wolf is definitely more intense than going in with a team. I failed every single time I tried it. Maybe it was because I was outnumbered 16-1. This mode is a dangerous cat and mouse game where one wrong move ends the match.
The Terrorist Hunt mode is a lot of fun with a team, especially if other players are communicating. A few times, I was the only one with a mic, and it made coordination difficult as every player just did their own thing, leading to numerous failed missions. However, once I did find another player with a mic, we would call out where enemies were and coordinate attacks effectively.
The AI did leave something to be desired, it did respond well for the most part, but at times enemies would stand there oblivious to our presence and it would result in easy kills. Also, at times the AI would be facing a wall or stuck in a corner which, too, led to multiple easy kills. When the enemies were aware though, they put up a solid fight. They would take cover, drop smoke grenades, and a few would actually come running straight towards the players equipped with explosive vests resulting in a few “holy crap, I’m dead” moments.
This mode allowed only one of each kind of Attacker to be selected, which prevents skill stacking or everyone playing the same character. There is also an option to pick a “Rookie,” allowing the player to choose from multiple primary and secondary weapons along with either grenades or smoke bombs. The variety made the mode feel more open, with multiple options to seek out and utilize in destroying the enemy. While one player breaches a potential opening, a shielded Attacker may enter first, while another teammate follows directly behind to lay down covering fire.
Terrorist Hunt is a fun, fast paced mode full of potential. Each game was over in under 10 minutes. The biggest question when all was said and done, though, was “will there be enough variety to keep players interested?” If the AI continues to improve, then the sky is the limit for this mode.
Moving on to the 5V5 TDM, the modes featured were Bomb and Secure Area. The Secure Area mode was either attacking or defending the location of a biological hazard. As Attackers, the match begins with you using a tiny remote controlled camera on wheels to scout the location. The cameras can mark the locations of the bomb and it’ll display on the screen. The enemy can spot these gadgets and shoot them on sight. Defenders have 45 seconds to prepare the area by boarding up doorways, laying down traps, and getting into position before the round begins.
Bomb mode is set up the same way, with Attackers and Defenders preparing before the 4 minute match begins. Except in this case, the Attackers have a defuse key given to a player. If found, the key can diffuse the bomb. Defenders still operate the same way in regards to preparation.
Each match is a best of 5 with teams alternating sides between attacking and defending the objective. The winner is determined once the opposing side has been eliminated or the objective is secured. The defending side will win if time runs out before the attackers secure the objective, or if they eliminate the defending side.
These modes are fun as well. The action was tense and impossible to let down your guard because all it takes is one misstep and you’re eliminated. Once again, communication is the key. Having only one person using a headset makes coordination extremely difficult. You can use the thumb pad to show a tiny marker for teammates but it lasts only a few seconds and then it disappears. Having a group that you can play with and communicate with regularly will be the ultimate key to success.
What makes Rainbow 6 Siege unique is the way teams can infiltrate the locations. Attackers can breach through doors, some walls, and even certain areas of floors. It all adds to the tension; one is never sure where the enemy will be coming from. It’s incredible to see the tactics in action when a team is ready to go in hot.
What stood out the most in Rainbow 6: Siege was the variety of gadgets and styles of the Operators. Each felt unique with their skill and served a particular purpose. Even using the rookie was fun because of the way it could be customized with different load outs. With multiple ways to equip the rookie, it adds some variety to the established Operators.
The beta played very smooth in terms of gameplay, as I experienced no lag in online play. The guns had plenty of pop and looked really sharp, especially while aiming down the sights. It is fun to play, and even more fun with friends.
The biggest drawback I noticed was the speed of the player; each one felt sluggish while walking. Sprinting is available, but after having played as all types of characters, the difference in speed while running is negligible.
Rainbow 6 Siege has a ton of potential. What will decide its fate will be the amount of content and willingness of the players to use teamwork to succeed. It’s not like any other other FPS. It takes similar ideas but expands on them allowing more freedom and more reliance on communication.
It’s worth keeping an eye on to see how this game continues to grow and see its final offering on launch day.
Have any of you played the beta? Let us know your thoughts and impressions in the comments below.