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Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Overview

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Rainbow Six Siege has undergone several changes since its release in 2015, with Ubisoft making tweaks to the game's design, gameplay, and mechanics to improve the player experience.

Ubisoft rebooted the Rainbow Six franchise by allowing players to impersonate the top counter-terrorist operatives around the world. To create authentic siege situations, the team consulted actual counter-terrorism units and looked at real-life examples of sieges, such as the 1980 Iranian Embassy one. The game received praise for its tense multiplayer and focus on tactics but was criticized for its progression system and lack of content.

In this review, Argentics will take a closer look at Ubisoft's game design changes and discuss what has brought the game's overall success.

Gameplay Overview

Key Characteristics

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Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Google Stadia
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer for revenue.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical shooter game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. The game requires working together and placing emphasis on environmental destruction to complete various game modes. It also requires strategic thinking and coordination to complete the objective, making it a popular choice among tactical shooter fans. Players can assume the role of attackers or defenders in modes such as hostage rescue, defusing a bomb, and objective control. The game does not have a traditional single-player campaign but does feature offline "situations" that can be played solo. These situations offer a loose narrative centred around recruits who undergo training to prepare for future encounters with a terrorist group known as the "White Masks."

The game offers the Battle Pass as a monetization model, providing players with a variety of cosmetics through tier progression. The Battle Pass is released alongside each expansion, with the aim of providing additional information and lore about the Rainbow Operators. Players can select either the Free or Premium Track, with both tracks offering different rewards, including exclusive customization items, Alpha Packs, currency packs, and boosters. The number of tiers and rewards offered varies with each Battle Pass. Following the success of the test pass, known as the "Mini Battle Pass," which was introduced in the Operation Ember Rise expansion, all subsequent expansions have featured their own Battle Pass.

Ubisoft adopted a "games as a service" model and released several free downloadable packages, significantly increasing the player base. In December 2020, the game surpassed 70 million registered players across all platforms and was regarded as one of the best multiplayer games in the modern market. Siege has also become an esports game through a partnership with ESL. A spin-off game featuring Siege characters, Rainbow Six Extraction, was released in January 2022. Overall, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege offers an engaging and realistic tactical shooter experience that has evolved and improved over time with free downloadable content, making it a worthwhile investment for players who enjoy the genre.

Learn Before You Play

The game features 5v5 gameplay where you can choose among various playable characters known as Operators, which are classified as either Attackers or Defenders. The game receives new content every four months, with each season typically introducing one new attacker and defender. It also employs a Matchmaking Rating (MMR) system that considers a player's skill level within the game. This MMR system ensures that when you participate in matchmaking, you will be placed on a team with players with a similar MMR rating.

The attacking team starts the round outside and must breach the building to achieve the objective, using gadgets that revolve around breaching mobility and intelligence gathering. In contrast, the defending team starts inside the objective site and must fortify their surroundings to prevent infiltration by the attackers. Defender gadgets are designed for surveillance, fortification, and stealth purposes.
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Rainbow Six Siege boasts an extensive array of weapons, consisting of assault rifles, SMGs, light machine guns, marksman rifles, shotguns, machine pistols, and handguns. The game's weapons hub provides detailed stats on all 100 firearms, including which operators wield them and at what range they are effective. While the game's technicalities may be overwhelming, Ubisoft has significantly revised its recoil system to create a more skill-based experience. This is intended to prevent players from selecting certain operators simply because they have a weapon with low recoil.

In Rainbow Six Siege, players have access to various movement abilities, including prone, crouching, lean, and other movement skills. While playing, you must not forget to utilize these abilities to react appropriately to any situation but also avoid becoming too comfortable with their movements. Switching up gameplay and getting aggressive can help prevent the opposing team from guessing players' locations and eliminating them before they know what is happening. To succeed, players must think ahead and anticipate what their opposing team might do at any moment.

Paying attention to sound is another crucial tip for Rainbow Six Siege. It plays an important factor in every single match and can even be the deciding factor in the game. The sound of explosions, gunfights, and movements can help players take their next steps. Tweak the audio settings in the game to your liking to ensure the best overall sound.

How Does Round Go?

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At the start of each round, both teams select spawn points from which they will launch their attack or defend. During the preparatory period, attackers take control of mecanum-wheeled drones to scout for enemy operators, traps, defensive setups, and target objectives, while the defenders set up their defences without revealing their objective details. Maps in the game are designed to encourage close-quarters combat, and players cannot respawn until the end of the round. Players who have been killed by opponents can still contribute to their team through "Support Mode," allowing them to gain access to drones and security cameras to inform their team of opponent locations and activities.

Matches last four minutes for casual and three minutes for ranked play. The game encourages teamwork and cooperation, and players need to utilize their different abilities to complete objectives and defeat the enemy team. Communication between players is heavily emphasized. The game also features a spectator mode that allows players to observe matches from various angles.

The Game’s Features

Having thoroughly reviewed the gameplay of the game in question, it is now pertinent to shift our focus towards examining the distinct features that set Rainbow Six Siege apart from other games in the same genre.
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Strategic Gameplay. Rainbow Six Siege's unique focus on tactics, communication, and teamwork has undoubtedly contributed to its global success. Players are drawn to the game's deep gameplay mechanics, which require careful planning and coordination. Unlike other first-person shooter games, Siege's preparation phase before each round allows players to devise and execute well-planned strategies. Defenders can fortify their position by placing traps and gadgets, while attackers can use drones to gather intel and plan their approach.

Destructible Environments. The destruction system in the game allows players to break structures using explosives or by shooting bullet holes into walls. The game's environments feature a layered material system, meaning that environmental objects of different materials react differently to players' attacks. Players can gain tactical advantages through environmental destruction, encouraging them to use creativity and strategy. To create a realistic gameplay experience, a bullet penetration system is also included, which reduces bullet damage when hitting enemies through structures. This dynamic environment creates an ever-changing map, making situational awareness and teamwork essential for players.
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Onboarding Features. Beginner Challenges and Specialty Challenges are two new features that aim to assist new players. Beginner Challenges help players identify an operator's playstyle in the game. Each operator has one to two specialities that can be checked in the Operators section during the Planning Phase and in Operator Guides. Specialty Challenges aim to help new players understand the different operator specialties and how they contribute to the match. By completing these challenges, players can earn various rewards, including operators, after finishing all challenges for a single specialty. If the operator is already owned, players will earn their value in renown instead. These challenges are available to all players and offer a range of rewards, not just beginners.

Game Design Changes

Ubisoft has made significant efforts to update and improve Rainbow Six Siege over the years, and in this review, we will examine several game design changes that have proven to be successful.
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New Characters. Ubisoft has been keeping Rainbow Six Siege fresh by continuously releasing new characters known as "operators." These operators, much like in MOBA games, have distinct abilities, roles, and gameplay styles that set them apart from each other. For example, Ubisoft has added a new attacker, Brava, to the game. Brava's unique ability to hack and take control of defender gadgets through her Kludge Drone can offer tactical advantages to the attacking team.

New operators are expected to add more diversity to the already impressive roster of operators in Rainbow Six Siege and offer exciting new gameplay possibilities to players. This helps prevent players from using the same operators repeatedly and encourages them to learn and master new ones, which contributes to the game's longevity.
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New Maps. Another aspect of Rainbow Six Siege that keeps the game fresh and exciting is the continuous release of new maps. As in any FPS game, maps are a crucial element of the gameplay, and the developers have done an excellent job of introducing new, intriguing maps to the game. These maps provide unique environments and opportunities for players to create new strategies and experiences. To prevent players from becoming overwhelmed, Ubisoft has implemented a rotation system in which old maps are rotated out when new ones arrive, keeping the gameplay fresh and manageable. The consistent introduction of new maps has helped to maintain the game's relevance and ensure that players are continually challenged and engaged.
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A Variety of Modes. With content changes, Rainbow Six Siege's ended up in a current pool of 20 playable maps, and the gameplay modes featured include:
  • The Hostage mode is a non-competitive multiplayer mode in which the attackers aim to extract the hostage from the defenders, who must either eliminate all of the attacking team or defend the hostage until the time runs out. If the attackers or defenders accidentally damage the hostage, a secondary manner of winning can occur.
  • In Bomb mode, a competitive multiplayer mode, the attackers have to locate and defuse one of two bombs while the defenders aim to stop them by killing all of them or destroying the defuser. If all attackers are killed after the defuser is planted, the defuser must still be destroyed for a defending victory.
  • Secure Area mode is a non-competitive multiplayer mode where defenders protect a room with a biohazard container while the attackers fight their way in and secure it.
  • The Training Grounds mode is a solo or cooperative multiplayer mode where players fight against waves of AI-controlled enemies across various modes like Bomb, Hostage, or Elimination.
  • The Situations mode is a single-player series of 10 solo and 1 co-op multiplayer missions that serve as introductory and interactive tutorials to the game's mechanics.
  • The Outbreak mode is a limited-time event exclusive to Operation Chimera, pitting a 3 player team in a co-op PVE environment against an extraterrestrial biohazard threat.
  • Lastly, the Arcade and Seasonal Events are random limited-time events and large-scale game modes, respectively, which modify elements of existing modes to offer a fresh gameplay experience.
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Anti-Cheat System. Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical shooter game that has become popular for its emphasis on tactics and multiplayer gameplay. However, some players have found ways to gain an unfair advantage by using M&K setups through "input spoofing." This technique allows players to have more precise aiming and movement than those using gamepads. To address this issue, Ubisoft has developed a new anti-cheat system called "Mousetrap," which can identify and penalize "spoofers" with input latency, making it difficult for them to continue to exploit this advantage. This is expected to level the playing field for console players and reduce unfair advantages in high-level play.

Cross-play. The decision to implement cross-platform play has been a game-changer for the community, making it more inclusive and accessible for players across different platforms. This has allowed the game to gather a wider audience base than other popular first-person shooter games like Counter-Strike and Valorant and has enabled friends with different platform preferences to play together. Additionally, the increase in the player base has resulted in shorter matchmaking queue times, enabling players to fit more matches into their gaming sessions. Players can link their Ubisoft accounts across different platforms, saving their progress and allowing them to access their operators and cosmetics seamlessly. Rainbow Six Siege's cross-platform support has been a significant success, furthering its reputation as a popular and innovative shooter game.

Balancing Updates. In Season 1 of Year 8, players of the game can look forward to various quality-of-life updates aimed at enhancing gameplay. One notable addition is a new immersive reload system that eliminates reload-cancelling, thus making gunfights more strategic and exciting. Additionally, the update includes balancing adjustments, such as changes to the muzzle and compensator weapon attachments, designed to improve their effectiveness. These updates will be applied to both attackers and defenders, ensuring that all players can benefit from the changes.


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Rainbow Six Siege has been a major success since its release eight years ago, and its popularity continues to rise. This first-person shooter game has a reputation for being the most strategy-dependent FPS game, drawing in tactical fans who enjoy working as a team to complete objectives. The game's thriving esports scene is a testament to this, with top players competing against each other in thrilling matches that are a treat to watch.

Ubisoft has done an excellent job of keeping the game relevant and fresh through constant updates, allowing cross-platform play, and hosting successful tournaments such as the Six Invitational 2023. Given the game's recent tournament success and Ubisoft's continued commitment to the game's development, it is clear that Rainbow Six Siege will continue to grow and evolve in the years to come.
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