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A Review: Rainbow Six Siege

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    Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

    Rating: 4.0 – Great

    A Review: Rainbow Six Siege

    Rainbow Six Siege is one of the more unique entries in the increasingly stagnant FPS genre. Deviating from the traditional Rainbow Six formula, Siege tasks teams of five with either assaulting or defending a wide variety of compounds, institutions, and houses against another team of players or against AI. The diversity between playable characters, map variance, and nonlinear destruction manages to provide a unique experience every time you play, regardless of how often the same map/mode comes up in rotation.

    Siege borrows a few elements from many games, both from within and outside of the FPS genre. More recently, shooters have been basing design around selectable specialist characters, known in Siege as Operators. There are twenty selectable Operators, ten attackers and ten defenders, each with a unique skill and loadout options that differentiate them from one another. Matches play out in a round based style, rotating teams of attackers and defenders, where attackers are tasked with either eliminating the defenders or completing an objective. Each round begins with a preparation phase, where attackers use small drones to infiltrate and collect information on the defensive team and defenders fortify their position. The preparation phase is essential to the attackers, because identifying which defenders the enemy team has chosen can significantly alter attack strategies. Large portions of the floors, walls, and ceilings are destructible and attacking Operators have a bevy of tools and breaching methods to adapt to any breaching strategy. Defenders, on the other hand, have access to tools and abilities to attempt to goad the attacking team to push in the direction they want them to. Defensive Operators’ unique abilities involve traps, emplacements, and detection gadgets, and they have access to stationary surveillance meant to identify which attackers are breaching and where they’re breaching from.

    While accumulating large amounts of commercial and critical success, there are a few glaring issues to Siege keeping it from true greatness. Most noticeably are Ubisoft’s servers. Not only did they hardly work on release, but it stayed that way for the better part of a month. Players experienced vicious lag spikes, sudden disconnects, and inconsistent on-screen model representation, most of which still persist, albeit less frequently, now. The one-shot headshot kill from any weapon has brought Siege’s skill gap into controversy, although most of these complaints were quelled once players started figuring out to not stick their heads out for people to shoot them. I also don’t believe that TK penalties are high enough. As of right now, players receive a small point deduction for attacking a teammate before getting automatically kicked for killing three teammates. This would be a fine penalty in any other game considering TK’d players could just respawn, but since Siege plays out in an elimination style multiplayer, losing a teammate prematurely can quickly throw a match on its side. The "vote to kick" feature almost never comes through due to players either occupied or not noticing the annotation, and a mere 100+ point penalty is laughable. accidental TK’s do happen, but the system as a whole could see a more efficient overhaul (maybe the way Halo deals with TK’s?)

    Overall, I’ve been having a lot of fun with Siege, and when put into perspective, its persistent issues hardly detract from how fresh a new shooter feels on the increasingly amorphous market. The TTK and weapon damage models provide for a majorly balanced arsenal on release, most of the Operators are both viable and flexible, and the game mechanics provide an exhilarating experience through even the most banal play sessions.

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