Rainbow Six Siege Has Turned Into One Of The Best Shooters Of 2016

The tactical, tough team-based shooter Rainbow Six Siege has picked up a lot of traction in the past six months. That's been possible thanks to the release of new maps, new character releases, updates and bug fixes, turning one of Ubisoft's more low-key releases of the past year into one of the best shooters out there. The game's old-school gameplay has also attracted a terrific community of people with whom to play.

Siege's rise in popularity isn't actually a shock. I've been playing the game since its December release last year and I can tell you, all signs were pointed in this direction right from the very start.

This isn't to say that the game did not come with its flaws.

Initial critic response labelled the game as a rather average shooter. At the time, the game only had one PVP mode, no dedicated campaign, and a only a handful of maps. Calling it average was actually being nice. To top it off, Ubisoft's "updates" weren't always stable either. Anyone remember the infamous T-Shadows? Characters would appear to have eight-foot shadows growing out of their bodies. This made identifying enemies and even staying in cover nearly impossible. It left the game nearly unplayable for an entire month before Ubi fixed it. Add in the presence of underage "team killers" and you have yourself the recipe for a pretty disastrous opening quarter to a well known franchise.

However, even with its rocky start R6 Siege now thrives and actually has a lot of people playing it and singing its praises. What's causing this buzz? I think it is one simple fact that I discovered the moment I turned it on: R6 Siege provides some of the most heart-pounding and gut wrenching gameplay available on the market. Combined with it's rather mature community, it's emphasis on strategy and team play, and it's unpredictable and unforgiving difficulty, Rainbow Six Siege sets itself apart as one of the boldest FPS's in decades. Not only does the game stand out among the rest of shooters in this era, it pummels them in terms of sheer gameplay and replayability.

Rainbow Six Siege Has Turned Into One Of The Best Shooters Of 2016

Rainbow Six Siege's success is not in it's ability to be fresh, but rather in its ability to be, well, old. From the moment I turned on the game back in December, I was immediately taken back to the '90s. I was back to sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of my mum's tube TV with the original Rainbow Six cartridge plugged into my N64. I played that game religiously. My childhood friend and I would try to beat the game, playing co-op on the harder difficulties. And when I say it was difficult, I mean it was painful. The game was rated T for Teen back then, but, trust me when I say it was meant for adults.

The only thing easy about that original Rainbow Six was getting killed. That was something I loved about it. It was the challenge. The computer was unbeatable. I saw grown men struggle through it. That alone gave me hope as a young 7-8 year-old trying to master a game technically only made for people two to three times my age. And now that I am two to three times that age, I can say that R6 Siege picks up amazingly right where it's older predecessors left off.

Today's shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield are more concerned with theatrics and run-and-gun gameplay. Granted, I think this is beneficial for the younger gamers of this generation. Let's face it, this is the era of Facebook, Snapchat, self-driving cars, and short attention spans. But what about us old schoolers who like a slow, chess styled challenge? This is where R6 Siege shines. The game is made for thinkers and strategist, for guys and girls my age who want to move slow and calculate, guys and girls who know that death could be waiting around that next corner.

Siege's more strategic style of play has attracted more mature players to the game. I have never been surrounded by more mature gamers. I've played with cops, ex-military, firemen, postmen, and even some colleagues from a newspaper I worked for. Everyone is so mellow and calm on R6 Siege, although you will have your cheaters and team killers. Ubisoft has done an amazing job in regulating them since the release of the game last year. For the most part, everyone acts with a level of class and respect. I have made many friends online playing this game. Most players I run with are older (late 20's- mid 30's). The fact of the matter is the game feels like it's made for adults. Unlike COD, this is the game where instead of getting cursed out after death, you actually learn something and can apply it to the next round, or even help your teammates survive the ongoing round by giving critical information. This is largely due to R6 Siege's emphasis on strategy and team play.

Success in R6 Siege is ultimately chalked up to the three C's, Communication, Communication, and Communication. I have never played a game that relied on the comms as much as R6 Siege does. Teams must plan and calculate their moves to be successful. I have spent many hours playing with and without my fireteam, and R6 Siege is a completely different experience without communicating with others. If you think you can get in there with no mic and lonewolf it all day, you will get your feelings hurt rather quickly. Updated information is critical to your own survival. So being a quiet, "I will kill em all" kind of guy won't get you or your team very far. Teams who coordinate their every move with one another usually obliterate teams with no communication. It's such a stark difference that you can actually feel it when you are against teams that have no strategy. Players get a chance to think outside of the box — whether it's by blasting through walls for entry, opening up floor hatches as escape routes, or even sniping from across the map.

Rainbow Six Siege Has Turned Into One Of The Best Shooters Of 2016

The way the game pans out is ultimately up to you and how you and your team want to assault or defend. I love this aspect of the game. It let's the players choose how to interact in these environments. There have been many times when I was the Marksman on our fireteam. I would follow closely to whoever wanted to be my shield (Usually Blitz). They would enter a room and absorb any fire with their shield and then drop down so I could pick off targets while shooting over their shoulder. While it didn't work every time we did it, this strategy was a bread a butter for my team for a long time. This is just small example of the endless tactical strategy of R6 Siege. There are no prompts or tutorials to give you this type of knowledge, either. My friends and I came up with ideas like these in the planning room or on the fly via comms. Yes there are other games like the Battlefield franchise which rely on communication and strategy as well. However, it's R6 Siege's unrelenting and unforgiving no-respawn system that truly sets it above the rest.

To put it simply, this game is excruciatingly hard to play. When you die in a round, you are done. It doesn't take much to die either. One bullet can take you out, especially if it's to the head. Combine that with the fact there is no radar system (except Pulse's heartbeat sensor) and no regenerative health and you got yourself one of the hardest games to stay alive in. Death is lurking around every single corner in this game. You never know who is about to come crashing through a ceiling, bursting through a wall, or waiting to somewhere secretly on the side of the map to come and flank you. This unpredictability is the absolute selling point in R6 Siege. The fear of the unknown is hard to describe if you have never played this game.

I have legitimately been scared while playing. I would sometimes freeze and not want to move anywhere out of fear of being flanked. I chalk this up to the amazing sound design of the game. With proper headphones, you can hear everything happening in the world around you. This is especially eerie when playing on the defensive side and hearing the attacking team either through the wall or the floors above and below you. You know they are there, but what exactly are they doing? Are they preparing to breach? Or are they setting up a diversion to catch your attention? This type of tension is gut-wrenching. However, that is what I enjoy most about it.

Even playing on the same map two matches in a row can result in a completely different style of game. Yes, there are teams that run the same gameplans or guys who sit in the same spots at times, but that is all up to the gamer and how they want to play. Being an experienced Rainbow Six guy (have played every one of them since the original PC version) I can tell you that I still play the way I did when I was a young kid. I am still slow, methodical, and very cautious of my actions, because I know too well what could happen if I am not. I feel like I am 7-8 years-old again. This is the one game on the market that continues to give me that feeling.


Comments

    I was really digging it at first, but kind of fell off when I started to get smoked every round. Should fire it up again, although I'll probably still get smoked every round...

      I think that's the problem with going into any FPS that has been out for as long as this one has. The initial batch of players have dropped off, leaving just the hardcore who pay it regularly. A newbie going in there like that against players who know the maps, know the tactics and have unlocked all the gear is going to get absolutely pounded and probably not stick with it very long.

        Now is a good time to start as the game has been cheap on humble store and g2a, there's a wave of new players

    I feel the specialty character selection is the biggest detriment to the game, plenty of cheesy ways to play that hurts the otherwise excellent choices you can make.

    I usually put in about 3-4 hours each weekend and still love it. The game is great fun and it constantly evolves.

    Love this game. The single biggest thing is that you need a mic. You will be amazed at how much better your team plays when everyone is talking.

    Siege seems like a decent game, might pick it up soon on the cheap. Usually not one to correct grammar, but so many errors in the article.
    Combined with it’s rather mature community, it’s emphasis on strategy and team play, and it’s unpredictable and unforgiving difficulty
    it’s ability to be fresh
    where it’s older predecessors
    it let’s the players

    Great article! Good to hear the point of view from another passionate player of R6 Siege. I've been playing this since release day, battling all the haters and trying to convince them that even though it's a little bare boned, it's an excellent tactical shooter unlike any before it. Bar a shortage of maps, I never had any issues with the game early on. I have always been happy with it. Granted, all the updates have improved the overall experience.

    Agreed, best shooter ive played in years. however while the community is mostly pretty cool. I have encountered on numerous occasions teammates who teamkill or kick you from the game for no other reason other than they dont want to play with you.

    I guess it comes with the competitive nature of the game but people tend to have massive tantrums if they think youre not playing in the correct way or youre not of the skill level they are. its a shame really..

    How do you rank it compared to TLOUR Factions?

    Excellent game, even though I'm enjoying the bf1 beta I'm having siege withdrawals.
    I didn't think the game was that bad when it launched but it certainly has improved.
    The fact more people are playing it now than when it released says a lot about its quality.

      I didn't play it for the first month now that I think about it, must have got it within days of the first update. I'm kinda glad when I think about the shadows thing :P

    I love it. But still wishing for an old Rainbow Six game where you can control multiple teams like Rogue Spear.

    Ok this quote literally had me in tears crying its funny but not true in any sense hahahaha

    has also attracted a terrific community of people with whom to play.

    Hahahaha thats funny! there is no such place. It does not exist and will never exist.

    What is banned total up to? 4500? or 6500? its a lot no matter hahaha online gaming is horrible because of the human equation. For that reason I will never pay for online only game.

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