Rainbow Six Siege Is Criminally Underrated

As it stands right now, Rainbow Six: Siege has a score of 78 on Metacritic. I'm going to make a case for that being a miscarriage of justice; R6 Siege is one of the best games to come out this year.

Insert the obligatory line about how everything is subjective here. But that said, I don't think Siege has been given a fair go. I think a larger portion of the gaming population would enjoy Siege than a 78 suggests. There's only so much time to spend on a review in this busy period, and only so much headspace as you're trying to keep all of your GOTY lists and "trends of 2015" articles in your short-term memory, and I think Siege got lost in all of that excitement. People didn't give enough effort to a quiet achiever that would become one of the best games of the year.

I'll mainly talk about the PC version, but even moreso than other FPS games, it is the "real" version. That's partly PC elitism (you console FPSers confuse and anger me), but also partly how the game is made. It's very vertical, aiming is very quick, and distractions that involve 180 degree turns are par for the course. Aiming feels wonkier on console, and not just because it's a controller. I've played it on PS4 as well, and I challenge anyone to play both versions and say different. All that said, the console versions of the game come in a bit lower on Metacritic, at 74.

Sometimes when critics pan something, I gain hope from the user reviews which rate it higher. It feels like a win for the people. Like when Roger Ebert would stick his nose up at something which would later become a classic, and people would later remind him that he just didn't "get it" at the time. But this time, the user reviews are even lower, at 7.1. Guys, you're killing me.

But there's another type of vote which arguably matters more, and that's the vote with your wallet. With the current Steam sale going on, right now R6 Siege is its third-best seller, behind GTAV and Fallout 4. Yesterday, it was in the #2 spot. Siege has had nowhere near Fallout 4 levels of advertising, so a lot of these sales are coming from word of mouth.

I think they're responding to the fact that this is a new kind of shooter. Call of Duty and CS:GO had good years but they're largely the same as they were years ago. Siege takes the best parts of high-level Counter-Strike play - the information wars and mind games - and fleshes it out, while keeping some potential for twitch shooters to make the difference with their aim.

Cameras, drones, gadgets and counter-gadgets will all let players know where the other team is before the shoosting begins. The mind games are intense. Information and misinformation. Distraction. Trying to create one entry point (never really possible). And the game isn't without its amazing, shareable moments, such as being blown through the floor you were standing on and then continuing the fight.

But as with anything new, it can take some people a while to understand it. One element in particular which people might have a hard time with is the pacing. Just like a high-level CS match, sometimes it can take a while for the enemy to actually move in on you. In CS, this is a deliberate tactic to make you lose focus, though a player new to the game would think it was boring. In Siege, it can be much the same — though the round can last several minutes longer, and there's a lot of keeping tabs on your enemy to do in that time.

One criticism I've heard is that the game is pay-to-win, which is absolutely not true. It's very easy to unlock a handful of operatives right off the bat, which is all you need for a good time. You'll have them all before long without paying a cent.

If you were thinking of giving this one a go but got turned off by its score, give it another look. I won't say "this is the game for you", because who can say that but you? Think hard if what you want is another CoD or CS, because this game isn't that — it's a step towards the slower, more cerebral side of those games. It's that moment in a clan match when you're trying to find the enemy and plan your attack, spread over a few minutes before the all-out craziness. It's slower, yes — but man, it's great when a plan comes together.


Comments

    Played the beta, didnt find it anything special.
    Played the full game, still didnt find anything special about it.

    Played it on xbone and loved the Shit out of it. Its let down by having a non existent single player, but when you get a decent squad together and start communicating it can get bloody tense. Plenty of variety in the gadgets and operators, everyone has a certain ability that can make or break a round. Great fun, love the destruction too.

    " Call of Duty and CS:GO had good years but they’re the same thing."

    Wow. I... wow. Was on board until this part.

      It's funny because every rainbow six game has been the same thing for years.

      When was the last time CoD or CS revolutionised FPS?

        I may have misunderstood you... I took it as you saying that CoD and CS are the same game.

        If that's the point you're making then you might want to rewrite the sentence in the article because as it stands, it reads as if you're saying CoD = CS and I can see how people would highly disagree with that.

          Mmm, you're right. I'll change that bit.

          I wasn't confused. I don't feel like many people would be. If you wanna nit-pick clickbait articles, there are much better examples of convoluted writing.

    Too many games not enough time. Multiplayer only shooters are what I seem to have cut from my gaming diet.

      Same here, if there isn't a decent single player campaign, I'm not interested. I had hoped R6 allowed you to play the multiplayer game with AI bots, but without it, I'm not interested even though it does look like a great game.

        almost all of the game is single or co-op + vs AI. So if you like playing vs AI, you will love this game. I love it, I've spent about 200 hours.

          Cool, I didn't know that. Thanks, I might have to take a look.

    You're right, we should give it more praise.

    Man, I'm so glad they made us pay top dollar for a free-to-play model game full of microtransactions. Normally I'd be happy if the content matched the price, but they instead may me pay for future content I'm going to have to pay for anyway, leaving me excited over wondering what will be released!

      Come on, paid skins aren't a big deal and they're only cosmetic. Paying for operators is honestly a pain in the ass and costs way more than any sensible person should ever pay and can be unlocked by playing and learning the damn game.
      Plus the recruits aren't bad if you do end up stuck with them. They have the choice of every non-unique weapon and equipment item in the game.
      They don't *make you* pay for anything other than the base game. You can pay to unlock some things (like future dlc operators), but even those you can unlock by just playing the game and saving up the in game currency.

      I bought the regular version and I don't remember anybody making me buy anything. I'm excited about future maps but I'd rather pay when they actually come out. Love the game!

        I wasn't excited about this game- thought it would be a flash in the pan. But once u get some operators and get on a good team it can be addicting. Way more strategy and love the terrorist hunt. Would have to say this is the game of the year so far.

    What a time to be into multiplayer FPS's. CS stronger and larger then ever, Squad has been a blast to play and I really enjoyed the beta for Siege(Bought the game today). FPS's requiring communication between strangers have been what I've wanted to play for years since watching people play ARMA 2 & 3.

    The game is fun when you can play it but all the stuff around the game sucks.

    The micro transactions in a full priced game and the fact that it has major issues finding games and getting you into games consistently.

    I reckon I spent more than an hour just on load screens yesterday while playing. The game doesn't take a long time to load, it just sometimes freaks out and sits on a load screen for like 10 minutes while everyone in chat shares a general hatred of Ubisoft and uPlay.

    Also the netcode is terrible, I get killed by people the millisecond they pop their head out then in the replay it shows them lining up the shot for 2 seconds first. Don't even get me started on how often the matches become 3vs5 or something similar and it doesn't bother to fill the slots for the entire match.

    Last edited 28/12/15 6:02 pm

      This is the main thing that has put me off the game. I don't even see the guy that apparently popped out behind the wall lined me up then head shot me. I'm not on a bad link and have sub 20 ping yet this still happens...

    Siege is fucking awesome. My new go to mp shooter and im not big on them but still i find myself sinking a coupla hours in everyday

      I find that my couple hours a day is about 3 hours matchmaking/dead/loading vs 20 minutes in game.

        That's coz you lick poos

          What a well thought out response.

            Nah, he rite, u def lik poos. ;)

            Matchmaking can be frustrating at times, but in my experience it's certainly nowhere near 3 hours waiting to 20 minutes playing by any stretch of the imagination. Hopefully some of the issues can be nailed down with the next update in a couple weeks. (Don't think they've announced an update yet, but with the last one they said they're going to do monthly patches)

    Siege is my number 1 game for 2015! Why, cause I seriously can't stop playing it (ps4), I've started Fallout 4, Halo 5, AC Syndicate, but all I want to do is play Siege!!! I've unlocked every operater and currently have $25K coins I've earnt which will be enough to buy a new operator when released. Great fun, especially in the ranked matches as most players are very strategic and use mics. So glad Kotaku posted this, agree 100!!!

    I loved the previous installments, but I'm holding off for the inevitable price drop and multiple patches that will improve the matchmaking and gameplay.
    The issue with RB6 is that the games are heavily dependant on communication. This is great fun if you have a good team, but can be frustrating if you don't.

    I am not sure if you have maybe played the game only a little or you have gotten really lucky with the horrible matchmaking and disconnecting errors, same with hit registration. Not going to get deep but the 78 is probably just right or maybe a little too high, with all respect to Ubisoft and Uplay, there are so many problems with the game, technically (disconnection, high pings, matchmaking, and more) that it is very sad to see such an extremely tactical and team-based game go down as "just another cool Tom Clancy game". As I tell many people, "This game would be extremely successful and popular if not for its technical issues and Ubisoft is not taking the strongest action to resolve this. Anyone who has played the game and experienced every aspect of it as long as me would agree. No offense at all, but it feels like a bunch of kids trying to find out how to work such small servers! Attempts are being made but if attempts aren't made successfully quicker this game will drop drastically... very fast...

    i played the beta... whats so special about it? honestly, playing the game slowly and tactically with the team is what got me killed 100% of the time. treating it like counterstrike and cod made me unkillable, godlike and unstoppable. the majority of the teams i was on usually said something like "what the hell man" and "oi" or "stop it dickhead". to which i was completely bewildered. I WAS WINNING THE GAME FOR THEM, and they cry like bitches. was there a hidden agenda in this game that i did not know about? was i ruining some sort of points system for the team by the way i was playing? i couldnt know because it was a new round every 30 seconds. i didnt know how the drones worked or why people criticized my use of them every single round.

    Rainbow Six Siege Is Criminally Overated. the wall breaching is decent.

      I've never been trumped by a run in COD style player. But they ALWAYS make my games more difficult when they're on my team. Then when I try to explain why I want them to stop they get mad and yell at me like a child. I thought I was playing a tactical team shooter geared towards a more clever audience, which is the main problem with this game. Too many people see it as "just another shooter" where you can run in without thinking and get the win. Tired of seeing it and I'm tired of them giving Kapkan kills.

    If the game didn't have a tonne of bugs it would be rated higher. Playing with friends is extremely fun... when you don't get separated into different games or stuck in a loading screen for 10 minutes. For a game with a long beta this really should be unacceptable. People need to have higher standards of a triple A game.

    Calling any score in the high 70s a "miscarriage of justice" is evidence you need an education in the definition of hyperbole. The game is so heavily dependant on so many factors and variables that not everyone will have access to or skill in. When simply playing the basic game requires such complex levels of communication, planning and teamwork without any way to play the game outside this framework - it scores in the high 70s - which is great.

    Played it at a friend's on PS4. Didn't like it. I knew it was different to the old Vegas games I used to love, so did the righty and went in with low expectations. It met those expectations. Seems to be another Evolve but with much better graphics.

    But that is just me personally, my mate loves it and good on him. We are all different and that's why we have choice. Hopefully for the player base that loves the game the servers will stay full as there is nothing worse. Have fun!

    It deserves that score just for the abysmal tickrate and netcode.

    Last edited 28/12/15 6:07 pm

    such a great game! Unfortunately like most things we are buried under the weight of pop culture. The Halos and Cods of the world reign supreme because the are far more accessible and easy to digest. That saying the age demographic must be fairly young like the music industry is now. Depth in most things (and Gaming is apparently no exception) is something that lacks in most realms of entertainment these days, and those that try generally are over looked, when they should be looked over.

    Rainbow Six Siege is criminally Multiplayer only.

    Too bad they don't make Rainbow Six games anymore. Siege is an ok tactical shooter but it's not Rainbow Six.

    I found Siege problematic. It doesn't know what it wants to be. It's fairly complicated tactically and seems to want to be a heavyweight competitive game, but then... Those extremely easy, casual, dumbed-down, cod-like shooting mechanics.

    Doesn't make sense to me to make your game fairly hardcore in the teamwork aspect but not in the basic mechanics.

    Not to mention the "microtransactions in a $60 game" bullshit.

    And the "$60 for a game that's online only" bullshit.

    ...And I'm STILL mad that there hasn't been a Rainbow Six game since Raven Shield.

      Not that long ago, I hopped into a R6: Vegas 2 coop match. Was really surprised that the servers were still up, and that there was an Aussie team running a session.
      Failing that, you could try the SC:Blacklist Coop - the matchmaking sucks, but there's usually a fair amount of willing players.

        Vegas and Vegas 2 are also not Rainbow Six games ;). But I did have quite a bit of fun with Vegas 2 co-op back in the day.

        I liked Blacklist quite a bit as well, been a fan of the SC series forever.

        Without the planning screen where I can set up the waypoints of my multiple different teams of operators and points where they wait for a trigger to proceed etc. as in R6, Rogue Spear and Raven Shield, and without an earnest attempt at realism (although scenarios were a bit over-the-top) it's not R6 to me. It's some other action game masquerading under the brand power of R6.

        Unfortunately the original vision for the series is impossible to sell to the kids these days, so I don't see that coming back any time soon.

    last patch broke it on xbox one. Was working fine prior.
    bad enough the server issues but with these shitty console crashes being reported it's only going to get worse. Funny thing is Ubishaft do not respond to support tickets in regards to this.

    It's basically fps camping glorified with gimmic destructible enivornments.

    Evolve's found a new friend.

    Last edited 28/12/15 10:38 pm

      This game gets my blood flowing faster than any shooter in the last decade. But yeah, I play on ps4, there hasn't been a single decent tactical shooter since Socom Confrontation. Guess it's not everyones cup of tea but I LOVE it. Ranked matches with competent players are extremely intense and engaging. Definitely underrated.

    Rainbox Six Siege has horrible graphics, mediocre gameplay (admittedly, probably because you can't eliminate human failings) and a fairly lacklustre framework (incl 'story'), so I'll just sit here quietly and defend the metacritic score (even if I think it's a bit generous).

      @bj Horrible graphics? Really? What platform are you playing on because PC looks fantastic, even without the Ultra Texture pack.

        Played Beta across all three platforms and full-game on PC and PS4. Universally underwhelms.

          I played Alpha, Beta, PC and PS4 final - Alpha and Beta are irrelevant though - the full game is out.

          Can you confirm you find the graphics on PC underwhelming, I just don't get that at all. What settings, what about the free ultra texture pack?

          I'm playing it with a GTX780 without the ultra textures and it looks fantastic throughout.

          Last edited 29/12/15 8:50 pm

          You do know that this game has 4k textures?

          Last edited 30/12/15 12:52 pm

            Running a 760 and an i5, and yes to 4K textures. Must be a perception thing ...

    Here's a cool way to kill an enemy that I found out. I would put a C4 charge on a wall on the inside wall of a hallway for example and look at the cameras or drone and wait for the enemy to walk passed the wall and blow it up. They can't see the C4 charge since its on the otherwise of the wall so, boom, there he goes. Didn't even know what hit him. I did this quite a few times.

    I agree with this article, the score is too low and doesn't represent the quality of the game - it's more a comment on the level of content, ie lack of single player campaign. What there is though, is great multiplayer gameplay, for more than one shooter demographic.

    I did a bit of research into why the user meta score was so low - results published at http://agr-s.com/r6siege/heres-why-sieges-meta-score-is-less-than-80/

    Here's why I think a score in the 70s is actually pretty accurate.

    1. It's not really rainbow Six. It's not slow, calculated and we'll planned out assaults. It's a twitch shooter.

    2. It's multiplayer only. It suffers the same problem as games like evolve. If the community dies, it becomes unplayable. It's not CS with half a million active players.

    3. It costs the same as a full AAA title. Again, same issue as SW battlefront, titanfall and evolve. Low content games with premium price tags. CS is cheap, COD has single player, coop and various other modes.

    4. The game really shines when you have a well coordinated group of friends. Playing with randoms is painful. Skill gaps can be huge. There's not much in the way of matchmaking. If you have no friends to play with, you're not going to get as much out of it.

    Each of these things individually aren't a problem but together they make it hard to justify the price tag. I can easily afford it even at full price, but having played both beta weekends I just know that I won't get much play time out of it, especially when it starts competing with other games or other hobbies.

    On its own Seige is a great game. But when you look deeper, start comparing and start playing it, you see that there are serious issues. If it ends up having a strong player base then that will at least solve some of concerns but I'd wait a month and see if anyone is still playing it.

      @Inquisitorsz

      I agree with most of your points, but one point you make I feel is unfair, and is why I penned the article I linked to.

      >1. It's not really rainbow Six. It's not slow, calculated and we'll planned out assaults. It's a twitch shooter

      > Here's why I think a score in the 70s is actually pretty accurate..
      >On its own Seige is a great game.

      Would you really rate a "great" game 70%, surely that would be above 80%?

      I do not agree with down voting a game because it is not the game you wanted it to be, a game should be judged on its own merits, surely.

      Nobody could disagree with you that that Siege gameplay and content is for the most part different than the original R6, however, it is a fantastic game that is finding increasing players every single day in spite of what is a mediocre meta score. This daily rise (steam charts) could be attributed to word of mouth for recognition that Siege is great fun, and has more depth to it that many give it credit for.

      Play a Terrorist Hunt on Siege with your squad IS like playing T.Hunt on the original - but (shock) it is MORE fun, thanks to the extra bells and whistles.

      If people are going to avoid it because of a perception that its not true to its roots, that's a shame, a real shame, because it's a solid game, and great fun. It's the only game that has me wondering when I can squeeze in an extra hour of gaming on a daily basis, and its been a while since I felt like that about any game - and this is a sentiment I've seen mentioned elsewhere too.

      In summary, yes I'm as disappointed as the next gamer that there is no story campaign, but I disagree with down voting because without a planning phase* and a campaign it is not "R6".

      *Planning Tool is available out of the game on the official website.

    Ooh you're really bringing me around, I can't wait to play the campai... aww I made myself sad...

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