Rainbow Six Siege Review

December 20, 2015

2015 has been a big year for multiplayer-only AAA titles, with Evolve and Star Wars Battlefront releasing earlier in the year, and now Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege rounding out the trio of titles. The big issue discussed with these previous titles has been a lack of content, leading to the games quickly becoming stale. Ubisoft has taken a slightly different tack with Rainbow Six Siege, trading large, open battlefields for smaller and more claustrophobic settings that promote strategic play, as opposed to a more run and gun style of shooter. Is it enough to keep Rainbow Six Siege fresh compared to other multiplayer shooters, and is there enough content to keep it going in the long term?


Rainbow Six Siege takes the best of both methods employed by those games, with a variety of unique characters called Operators, much like Evolve’s Hunters, and a variety of maps and match types, much like Star Wars Battlefront. What results is a game where every match can feel different, because there is always a large combination of pieces that can be changed from match to match. Each Operator, split into either an Attacking or Defensive leaning, has their own special ability, and also a specific set of weapons and accessories that they are able to swap between prior to a match. For example, Doc, who is designated as a Defensive Operator, has the ability to shoot a healing syringe to bring friendlies back from the brink, whereas Sledge has a sledgehammer that he can use to smash through walls and barriers. There are a total of 20 different Operators in the game that you need to unlock – you start the game with none. You unlock operators by collecting currency from watching tutorial videos, giving you enough to unlock at least your first Operator; playing the single player situations that introduce you to each match type; and by playing the main multiplayer matches. This means that it will take you a while to unlock all 20 Operators, giving you something to work and progress towards for some time.

The single player Situations in Rainbow Six Siege serve not only as an introduction to the various match types in the game, but also as a proving ground. Until they have been completed, you won’t be able to access the Ranked multiplayer mode. While you will be able to access the Casual modes, it means that only players who have shown at least a modicum of skill will be placed into ranked matches. You will run through these Situations, each giving you a star ranking of 1-3 for completing special objectives, as a one-person army. They are far from easy, with each situation generally having between 5 and 12 enemies to take down around your objectives. When death comes from only a few body shots, you can find yourself failing pretty quickly if you aren’t careful. This is also the only mode of gameplay you can access in the game if you aren’t connected to the internet.


As you would expect, the multiplayer modes are where the real meat is in Rainbow Six Siege. Each match starts with a 40 second preparation phase, during which the terrorists fortify their position and the Operative use drones to try and search for their objective, be it the terrorists themselves, a bomb that needs to be defused or a hostage to rescue. Fortifying your position is one of the most important aspects in every match and plays directly into the much-vaunted destruction. During this fortification phase, you have the option of placing 2 metal screens, which can be used to fortify wooden walls, floors and drywall, which can be fully breached by explosives. These metal barriers can withstand normal explosives and charges, making it harder for Operatives to make their way into your position. While some concrete walls and steel walls cannot be breached, most walls and floors can be fully or partially breached. It’s possible to shoot holes in walls and floors, giving you a vantage into a room to fire into, or you can completely breach walls and floors and throw a grenade in before running and gunning your stunned opponents. It brings a lot of strategy into the game that isn’t seen in other multiplayer shooters.


With the maps in Rainbow Six Siege being relatively small, you would expect them to look pretty great, and it does indeed look nice. Environmental design and art style leave a little to be desired at times, with some environments being a bit simple. However, there are a large number of small details, with rooms being filled with the various knick-knacks and furniture you would expect to see. The destruction looks great, and the physics work well. It feels fun to shoot small holes in walls and kill your opponents through them.

Rainbow Six Siege is a fun multiplayer shooter and is a great baseline for Ubisoft to start from. Content is still a little thin, which seems to be a trend with multiplayer-only shooters, but Ubisoft’s published plans to release new Operators and maps for free over the next 12 months gives it more room to grow, as opposed to other titles making you buy a $50 season pass for new content. Rainbow Six Siege is my personal pick of the currently available multiplayer-only shooters, with its strategic character-based gameplay working better than its competitors.


-Unique Operators
-Fun destruction models
-Highly tactical gameplay


-Art Design is somewhat lacklustre
-Could do with more content

Overall Score: