‘Rainbow Six Siege’ – The Postmortem
Rainbow Six Siege has been available for just under one month, and in Analog Addiction’s recent review we said “Rainbow Six Siege is easily the most strategic, intense shooter on the market and does the franchise proud.”
Rainbow Six Siege may seem like a typical multiplayer based shooter, but when you finally breach your first building, it becomes clear that Siege is one of the most strategic multiplayer shooters on the market.
With that being said, Analog Addiction has gathered Eric Pepper and Jamie Briggs to breakdown and discuss Rainbow Six Siege. Both editors have had extensive experience with both the closed beta and the official release; so who better to discuss and debate the success and disappointments of Rainbow Six Siege.
Eric Pepper: What better point to begin with than the beta itself and what positive and negative changes were seen in the final product?
In my opinion, the servers were the make or break aspect of the game due to the emphasis placed on the online component and this was exactly where we saw the biggest positive change. While there are still some server issues, such as the initial connection when the game is booted up, I have only had one or two multiplayer games crash suddenly during my 20-30 hours of online play thus far. Playing with friends never seems to be an issue, and lag has never been apparent during matches.
The biggest negative is the lacking single player content. It exists, but there are only 10 single player missions in total and then you’re forced to play lone wolf Terrorist Hunt. The inclusion of anything is positive, but it would have been nice to see more content included in the final game, particularly because of how phenomenal the AI is.
Jamie Briggs: I’m pleasantly surprised how much the servers have improved from the initial closed beta, especially since the beta scheduled a few days before launch also experienced substantial issues. During my experience online I’ve barely noticed any issues, sure I’ve had the one or two matches that may take a little longer to find players, but for the most part the servers are strong.
I’m going to agree with your criticisms of lacking single player content, but than further express my shock of actual overall content. The Situations can easily be completed within a few hours, and although the final mission provided some of my favourite cooperative moments throughout Siege, they simply don’t offer much in terms of solo gameplay.
Aside from the lack of solo content, I can’t help but feel the multiplayer component is lacking in variety. Each variety of game mode feels eerily similar to the last, and mostly all come down to killing the other team before they kill you. I keep finding myself playing for a few hours and then wanting a change of pace, but Siege doesn’t offer really anything else, and it makes me want to move onto another game entirely.
Siege seems to have the same issue as Evolve, a cool core component of multiplayer, but not much else.
Eric Pepper: I completely understand where you’re coming from in regards to the lacking of game mode variety, as there are really only a handful of variants for multiplayer, and even then the only big difference is the inclusion of a hostage. It would be great to see some additional game types included, but I find the game keeps me coming back for more simply because of how competitive each match is. I’ve played countless games in which a team has lost the first two rounds but come back to win the next three and ultimately win the match. A split second can quite literally decide the outcome of a round, which is not something many games can legitimately claim.
Most shooters fail to nurture an emphasis on strategy and communication simply because the majority of FPS players believe they are competent enough on their own. Siege forces the defending team to remain inside the building and protect a specific objective, so the team is almost forced to work together. With the defenders having to work together, the attackers must also cooperate with one another if they wish to stand a chance of leading a successful assault.
Jamie Briggs: Though I do wish there were more game types, I can’t deny that the moment to moment gameplay is some of the most tension filled I can recall experiencing. During the Siege beta didn’t ultimately click with me, I couldn’t get a grasp of how to utilise each Operator correctly, or navigate maps to the best of my ability. But what I could tell from the beta, was that this was a game that would only become more enjoyable with time; and I was correct.
Now that I have a handle on each Operator I have unlocked, the best ways to navigate each map and thinking about my team above all else, gameplay within Siege has become satisfying in all the right ways. Each match in Siege can ultimately be determined by a single epic play, as you stated.
Each bullet you fire, each grenade you throw and every decision you make is important, in a way most shooters simply cannot replicate. Spray and pray in most shooters is a viable option to fluke a few kills, but in Siege, this will only rapidly increase your chance of failure. It’s a unique sense of satisfaction that makes each match filled with suspense.
I’m also finding the variety of Operators to greatly affect how I play each match and I’m enjoying mixing and matching to find my personal favourites. I do find that earning Renown (earned to unlock Operators) is insanely slow, and the lack of fast earning has made me ultimately stop customising my loadouts; it’s just too expensive.
Eric Pepper: I do agree that accumulating Renown can be a sluggish process, particularly once you finish the single player missions. They act as a nice introduction to abilities and provide enough Renown to unlock quite a few Operators, but after that it slows down immensely. In regards to loadout modification, I tried to find a happy medium between unlocking new Operators and modifying loadouts. Since options such as sights or muzzle breaks can improve your accuracy, I began using a strategy of saving up to unlock a character and spending the remaining Renown on customizing weaponry. It significantly slows down the rate of unlocking new Operators, but my performance has improved slightly because of it.
On the topic of Operators, how do you feel the game fares in regards to balance and variety? I’m genuinely impressed by the unique abilities offered by each Operator and at no point do I feel as if there is any kind of unfair balance based on which Operators are being used. The only scenario in which I avoid a particular Operator is in the Hostage game type, at which point most players have learned the hard way not to play as Fuze. I’m immensely curious to see what the future DLC Operators will be capable of, because at the present, there do not seem to be any abilities I feel are lacking from the arsenal.
Jamie Briggs: I think a lot of the Operators have genuinely interesting special abilities, and most one way or another are vital to have in your squad for at least one game type. I have started to notice a lot of players focusing on using Operators with shields, which can be taken down with pin point precision, but do offer quite an amount of challenge. But as I said previously, most Operators can be taken down with smart strategic decisions. Having only experienced about half the Operators available in Siege, I’m happy to say none feel useless at this point; which is impressive.
My personal highlight of Siege is Terrorist Hunt. I enjoy having a match with other players where we team up to deliver some damage to the AI opposition, but I can’t help but feel the difficulty is still an issue; which was the case for the closed beta. Normal feels like a breeze, Hard offers small challenge to a strong team, while Realistic rips you to pieces. I’m completely fine with Realistic offering such a tremendous challenge, one that a strong team with great communication could complete, but I wish Hard offered a stronger challenge than it does. How do you feel about the difficulty options in Terrorist Hunt?
Eric Pepper: I completely agree in regards to the difficulty options. Hard difficulty is actually the option I use the least, since I’m either trying to simply pass a mission, get a feel for a new Operator, or I want a legitimate challenge. I didn’t find the Hard difficulty to offer much more of a challenge, the enemies simply began firing in my direction more quickly than on Normal. This still falls into the qualifications required to be the middle ground in the game’s difficulty settings, but it isn’t until the Realistic setting that the AI begins to truly behave as unpredictably as a human player may.
In my eyes, the Realistic setting is the pinnacle of what this game and franchise represent. In the world of Rainbow Six, you are an elite counter-terrorist unit taking on some of the most ruthless, and/or organized terrorists in the world, so it’s not designed to be a breeze. Communication, preparation, and strategy are the three components required to succeed on the Realistic difficulty setting and without them, failure is almost completely guaranteed.
Perhaps this is why the Hard setting doesn’t increase the difficulty as noticeably as going from Hard to Realistic, since many with the title will likely only be using Normal or Realistic anyways. I don’t know many gamers who have picked up Siege without having played a least one or two Rainbow Six titles before, so the challenge the targeted audience may be looking for is not reliant on the Hard setting. This certainly makes it tougher for those who are new to the franchise to become accustomed to the title, but this may also have been done entirely with fans of the series in mind.
Jamie Briggs: Overall I think Rainbow Six Siege certainly succeeds at creating an entertaining and suspenseful multiplayer experience, but I still think the lack of overall variety is a definite issue. Siege is certainly one of the most tactical games I have ever played, and for that it’s easy to recommend Siege to any online multiplayer enthusiast.
But I must cast my eyes into the future, would you like to see the Rainbow Six series continue down this online path? Or possibly revisit the Rainbow Six Vegas method of the series?
Eric Pepper: Personally, I’d love to see this trend continue, although with far more content for solo players in addition to the multiplayer. Even if it was simply adding far more Situations, it would greatly increase the appeal to gamers with a lackluster internet connection who still want the strategic gameplay. I think this was the fresh spin the Rainbow Six series really needed to bring itself back into the spotlight, and considering how multiplayer-centric gaming has become, it seems like a great adjustment.
Realistically, the future will be shaped entirely by the community and how long it remains fixated on the title. If the number of active players begins to significantly dwindle sooner than six months after release, the format will likely be examined and modified drastically before we see another installment. However, if players continue to log on and strategically do battle with each other for longer than that, it’s strong evidence to suggest that the format works well and keeps gamers invested. If the latter is the case, I simply hope that the spirit of Siege and Rainbow Six is not lost in an attempt to broaden the appeal of a title to include those who find it difficult to use microphones for anything other than claiming various deeds with peoples’ mothers.
Now that you have heard what we think of Rainbow Six Siege, we would love to hear what you think in the comments below. Do you agree with our analysis, or do you have other opinions? Comment below and let Analog Addiction know.
Jamie Briggs manages Analog Addiction and you can follow his daily life on Twitter @JamieAA, and his videos on YouTube. Eric is an Xbox editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.