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    Tom Clancy’s: Rainbow Six Siege, Terrorists, your game is through

    When it comes to Rainbow Six Siege, one thing is for sure: it’s going to be completely different from the likes of Call Of Duty and Battlefield. Sure, those two titles have their differences, but Rainbow Six stands alone in the approach it is taking to realism and tactical gameplay and that makes it incredibly interesting.

    There’s no health regeneration and if you get dropped in one of the game’s five-on-five matches, that’s it. You’re done. There are opportunities to revive teammates (unless they’ve been taken out with a headshot), but even then, they can easily be finished off by the enemy before you get to them and only come back with low health if you are successful. In other words, this is a shooter where mistakes aren't an option.

    Siege is a more cautious brand of shooter, then. That goes double given that the level of destructibility the game offers means that you are never entirely safe. If someone spots you and sees you retreat through a doorway, they can still take you out by shooting through the wall behind which you’re taking cover. Barricaded in a room with a hostage and think you’re safe? The opposition might use a charge to blow a hole in the ceiling above you and rain down fire from up high. As well as being technically impressive, it should be evident that you can destroy anything leads to some intriguing gameplay possibilities.

    The point of making Siege a game where anyone can be dropped quickly at any time, is to encourage you to approach it with the tactical frame of mind that’s necessary to get the best from it. That starts with the planning phase where, in Hostage Rescue mode, the terrorists have one minute to fortify their defensive position while the special forces perform recon. Teamwork is vital. If you’re playing as the defenders, there’s no point running around, barricading different windows and doors at cross purposes. You’re best off deciding how you plan to hold your position and working as a team to fortify it. The same goes when playing as the attackers. You’ll get the best results by working as a team trying to solo your way to victory is a sure way to get yourself killed.
    This need to plan, support and attack as a unit is one of the coolest things about Rainbow Six, but it also presents some potential problems. In the game’s closed alpha, we’ve seen terrorists barricading their own teammates out of the room they are defending and good guys taking out their allies with hastily-slung grenades. If you end up playing with people that don’t work as a team, then, Rainbow Six Siege can quickly collapse. Even when people do try and work together, they’re not going to be able to properly do so without using voice comms. You need to be able to tell your teammates when and where you’ve spotted an enemy, you need to coordinate on when you’re going to breach a room and make your move, you need to agree on who is going to watch what door, and so on. If you end up playing with people who aren’t on voice comms, the game just isn’t going to be as good as it should be.

    Granted, part of the cause for players not working as a team can be attributed to the fact that they’re new to the game and haven’t yet got their heads around it. That’ll get better after release. When it comes to the voice comms issue, this is something that you won’t have any problems with if you can get four other friends to play with you. If not, we’ll just have to hope that the game ends up generating a community of talkers.

    What we’re seeing so far is a game that’s got a great concept and that looks like it could be exceptional once developer Ubisoft Montreal has ironed out some of the issues and players have gotten to grips with its systems. It’s a game with a true commitment to its core concepts. ‘Destructibility’ is not a gimmick in this game; ‘tactical’ is not being used as a buzzword. These things are key mechanics of Siege and, when they work as intended, lead to exciting moments. Will those moments emerge frequently enough to keep Siege engaging in the long run? That’s the question Ubisoft Montreal still has to answer.

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