Why There Are No Respawns In The Next Rainbow Six

Why There Are No Respawns In The Next Rainbow Six

It's always fun to see how trends wax and wane in video games. Almost every shooter that's come out in the past decade, for instance, has had to acknowledge the meteoric rise of Call of Duty and the fast-paced, twitchy sort of competitive gameplay it's popularised. Now, that influence seems to be slowly fading.

Rainbow Sixstrikes me as interesting example of how other kinds of shooters (read: ones that aren't like Call of Duty) are trying to reassert themselves as of late. For much of its life, Rainbow Six was celebrated by gamers for the way it encouraged a methodical sort of tactically-minded gameplay. Writing in a post on the game's website today, two developers working on the the next big Rainbow Six game, Siege, explained how they're trying to resuscitate that by bringing something back from the very first game in the series: omitting respawns from its multiplayer gameplay.

To the uninitiated, "respawning" is the process of coming back from the dead after you've been killed in multiplayer shooter. With the notable exception of Counter-Strike and select gameplay modes in Call of Duty and Battlefield installments, most modern shooters don't like to place limits on player's ability to respawn during a given match. And why would they? Being able to restart and try again after you die sure seems like something most gamers would prefer.

As the developers explain, they preferred a "no respawn rule" because it encouraged interesting types of collaborative gameplay by enforcing a sort of mini-permadeath standard in each standalone match. Also, it made everything much more intense:

When you're not allowed to respawn during a match, twitch reflexes aren't the only skills that keep you alive. Teamwork, map awareness, planning, adaptability, communication, and leadership become just as important to win. To be completely straightforward, the game became a lot more stressful… It went from everyone leaning back in their chairs trash-talking, to being on the edge of their seats carefully coordinating tactics.

Now, given all the trouble Ubisoft had trying to get the next Rainbow Six off the ground, it's hard to read any defence of features from the original game without thinking: didn't some of these things go out of style for a reason? I was encouraged to see that the Rainbow Six team didn't just acknowledge this. They owned up to some of the less-than-ideal ways that omitting respawns made multiplayer shooters a lot less fun — especially if you were on the losing side, and thus forced to sit around waiting for a match to end with nothing to do, gameplay-wise (emphasis added):

However, there's a reason why the No Respawn rule is something we've seen fade out of gaming in the past decade. In a traditional FPS setting without respawn, once the player is dead and out of action they don't have very much to do. As a player, you want to stay involved, and getting placed on the sidelines with nothing to do is not the ideal experience. The reason we consider One Life to be a different concept in this game is that you will be actively involved the whole time. Yes, losing boots on the ground creates a disadvantage in firepower, but the player still contributes to the team by becoming a source of information. They are able to use limited visibility tools, like the drone and security cameras, or survey from a chopper above the operation zone to keep their team informed of the enemy's movements.

So rather than leave players to sit and twiddle their thumbs until the match is over, Siege will still let them participate in a match after they have died — albeit in "Support mode". Neat.

I haven't played any of Rainbow Six Siege, so I don't have an educated opinion about how its multiplayer, or the "Support mode" specifically, will actually play out once it's in gamers' hands. But, if nothing else, I like that the developers are taking a hard look at what did and didn't work about past Rainbow Six games, rather than letting nostalgia cloud their vision. The developers on the XCOM reboot certainly weren't shy about doing something similar when I spoke to them, and I think that's a big part of what made Enemy Unknown such a success. I'm as much of a lapsed Rainbow Six fan as I was an erstwhile XCOM player, so I hope Siege can do something similar.


    Name the last rainbow six game that actively had respawns.

    Gears of War had limited spawns. Although that didn't stop people from twitch shooting the series and resulted in wall-bouncing Gnasher spammers with little thought to teamwork.

    Hell, I don't know why there was never a limited or lives gametype in the Halo series, despite the fact that the options were there.

    Last edited 15/10/14 12:10 pm

      That's probably not the best comparision though. Gnasher and bouncing were super popular because the networking made them just unstoppable. I always felt like it was a shame that Gears of War never really took full advantage of the cover systems ability to create proper tactical combat. There were moments in Annex that came close but being quick was always a big factor.
      If the next Rainbow Six doesn't allow ultra fast close range hipshots no respawns may encounter more sensible play and team work.

        Until Gears of War 3 at least, that used servers. Gnasher and bouncing is still a big problem that made the cover system pointless.

          I found cover shooting better (not perfect) in gears 3 and not being a DLC buyer I was on peer to peer

      In the early days of Halo 3 there was a gametype where you had 2 lives. It was around for a month or so as a hopper.

    I'm interested in how powerful those intel powers are after death. I imagine the rest of the team would have to accrue some type of points before certain gadgets are unlocked?

    If not, then I can definitely see some teams sending a guy out to the slaughter for the express purpose of have eyes on the enemies for a longer duration...

    i really dont like how the series that is famous for being one of the best tactical shooters around has to justify itself for not having respawns enabled.

    if its a rainbow six game, its a given that it will have no respawns at all. if anything, we should be criticizing them if they said that respawning would be a main feature of the game.

    I like Payday 2's respawn setup. You go into custody, have to wait until assault finishes and then you need a teammate to take a cop as hostage or release a hostage to bring you back.

    It gives the player time to contemplate why it was a bad decision to run into the middle of the street Rambo style :)

    Yeah, I'll just keep playing Arma until they tell me if this game is ever going to have a campaign or not...

    Ability to help your team mates after death sounds all good, but no one will bother doing it. And even if some do, no one will listen or take notice of it.

    Look at Battlefield - it has spotting mechanic where you can tag enemies. No one does it, and even if I bother tagging, no one takes notice.

    World of Tanks on the 360 has the ability to spot enemies after death. You can mark co-ordinates on the map. No one does it, and even if some one did, no one takes notice.

    If a player dies and there is no respawn, he/she will just quit and join a new match and not waste time just sitting around doing nothing. In random online matches, there is never any team work and games that rely on team work don't work.

    Last one i played was Raven Shield. When did they put in respawn in the games?

    I like the concept of siege but i still can't get over the usage of rainbow six.! i might be ccrazy. Rainbow six is meant to be the elite of the elite anti-terrorist team that is used in the most desperate international crisis and from the trailers they are portrayed nothing more than regular swat.

    While CoD was mainly TDM, Dom, and whatever gun game modes, there was still Search and Destroy where players only had one life per match which was still fun and made people think. I preferred that mode a lot more over the mindless twitchy gun play of the other modes.

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