New Rainbow 6 Might Be The Most Innovative Shooter In Years

New Rainbow 6 Might Be The Most Innovative Shooter In Years

While Ubisoft’s still-secret, yet-to-be named Rainbow 6 game skipped an E3 appearance this year, it is still very much in the works we’re told.

Here is our first look at early shots from the game, a game that promises to mix the former glory of the hard-as-nails tactical shooter with a brand new gameplay twist: morality.

Rainbow 6 will be a far more story-driven game that previous iterations of the Tom Clancy branded title with gamers tasked with stopping a homegrown terrorist group operating in America. The group, fed up with the greed of Wall Street and the government that acts to protect them, decided to target New York City.

At the heart of the game is a branching morality system that changes the outcome of key moments in the game based on the in-the-moment decisions the player makes. Early development currently has the outcome of these decisions shape the path you take toward the game’s ending, with many of the levels having multiple endings. These decisions, we’re told, can drastically change the story. In practice, that means that it will be impossible to play every level in the game on a single play-through. Instead, gamers will be rewarded with new experiences based on the changing decisions they make in subsequent plays of the game.


In action the decisions a player is forced to make seem like they can be emotional, powerful moments in the game. In one example seen first hand by Kotaku, for instance, the terrorists break into a home and kidnap a stranger. You take on the roll of that stranger, forced to hold a trigger button to prevent a vest loaded with explosives from blowing up. Later, on a heavily-populated bridge in New York City, the perspective shifts, having you control the Rainbow 6 team there to take down the terrorists and take out the hapless, walking bomb.

The in-game graphics highlight where other members of the team are as you work your way to the innocent wearing the suicide vest. Icons allow you to target particular body parts on enemies, allowing you to decide whether to kill or incapacitate. Those icons show you the blast radius surrounding the man holding the detonator, once you approach him. They also show you how many people are in the vehicles nearby, like a bus that is packed with nearly 100 people. The decision you’re forced to make in this scenario is to sacrifice the man with the explosives, or risk the lives of hundreds. One option has you tossing the man from the bridge, experiencing some of his memories as he plummets, and then watching him explode.

As heart-rending as that moment was, it sounds as if Ubisoft is still weighing the cost and benefits of implementing this new, interesting morality system in the game. One option has the game not including it at all.

If it remains, the notion of shaping a game by morally-driven decisions is a powerful new element rarely seen in a shooter. This new idea has the power to not just move Rainbow 6 beyond the realm of today’s shooters, but perhaps many of today’s games.

I love my shooters, but the notion of finally adding to them the very real human cost of gunplay, of decisions that impact not just a country’s safety, but a person’s, is vastly intriguing to me.


  • Include it, include it, INCLUDE IT. Homefront bullshitted us and lied to us outright about morality then became a Rambo game, the exact thing it claimed it wasn’t. This sounds AMAZING. Sure initially throwing him sounds easy but what if he’s a real person with character, emotion, life, memories? It becomes so much harder. This is the kind of thing I’m dying for in games. Please Ubi this at least SOUNDS like a mature and well thought out step forward for games. Do it!

  • I doubt that they’re weighing the impact on the game, but rather the media flak they may cop from uncontextualised sensationalism.

  • Perhaps they should start with a morality system on the implementation of DRMs in their games first.

      • If you haven’t read the book, you should… These guys are very well trained and able to aim at all kinds of stuff! It’s what they do 😉

        • I have read the book.

          Aim so good that Homer shot the trigger off an uzi.
          But the game was about well executed plans and rapid take-downs.

          “A game so real you’ll be shouting ‘Tango down’ in your sleep”.

  • I’m intrigued. I don’t like shooters but would consider one with a really in-depth series of tough decisions that impact the story.

  • And please add Kinect to be able to “lean” around corners, put my face on my player and issue voice commands. Understand I’m the minority but I would love to see it

    • I don’t have Kinect, but those sound like must have features to me. Hope they do include it.

  • I really really hope Ubisoft go ahead with this. The Rainbow Six series is pretty solid, but I really like seeing, and encouraging developers to take a bit of risk on new ideas. If they don’t, the only things we have to look forward to is the 47th reiteration of COD, which is one of the worse things I can possibly imagine.

  • Will there be a mission set in EuroDisney where Terrorists hole up in the Castle with dozens of handicapped children as hostages?

    Will one of the terrorists kill a parapalegic girl in full view of the team?

    Will you take on the role of one of the snipers who vengfully shoots said Terrorist in the stomach ensuring a long and drawn out death full of pain and consciousness?

    Been waiting for them to put that part in one of the games eventually… 😛

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