Rainbow Six Siege Review

Ahh... a hard-fought victory
  • Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: 2 December 2015
  • Time played: 44 hours

"Co-op games. If only there were more good co-op games out there."

That’s probably the thought that went through my mate, Speirs’s mind while browsing the Steam catalogue for a new co-op game to play. Eventually he stumbled upon Rainbow Six: Siege which sounded like it had promise. He bought a copy of the game for himself and then generously gifted me a copy too! Chooooice!

Unfortunately, Speirs tried to play co-op with his brother but it turned out to be quite a challenge for them, so much so Speirs posted his first review on Steam ever, and it was a negative one.

Fair cop

Anyway, by that stage, I had only played maybe one or two of the tutorial missions known as "Situations" so things already looked grim judging by his account, although eventually I managed to get through all the Situations and even played a few rounds of 5v5 as well as Terrorist Hunt (co-op mode against bots). So, 44 hours later, how is it?

What I like:

Less is more approach

In Rainbow Six Siege you get to pick an "operator" to play with which specialises at a particular skill and has their own unique weapons loadout. For example, Sledge is able to breach barricaded windows and doors in one hit with a breaching hammer while I.Q. can detect enemy explosives. Each operator has a different special ability which adds a degree of role-playing and the game enters the territory of class-based shooters like Battlefield or Team Fortress 2 as a result.

I also love the limited choice of weapons (1 of 2) which reminds me of BF2 days. They’re also applicable to whichever faction you play as, e.g. the SAS can use the L85A2 and the GIGN can use the FAMAS. Although there are some weirder choices of weapons in there too (Magpul FMG-9 for the SAS? Seriously?)

It's actually fun

When it works, it's heaps of fun whether it be on Terrorist Hunt mode or Multiplayer; In Terrorist Hunt mode, you can team up with four other friends to do co-op missions against AI terrorists, whether it's defending a hostage against their attacks, extracting a hostage, disarming bombs or just plain "kill 'em all". It's a great co-op experience and an excellent alternative for those who prefer to play with their close circle of friends instead of subjecting themselves to the Idiots of the Interwebs - because let's face it, even though you've read those reviews saying the community on Rainbow Six Siege is "so nice", we're speaking in relative terms here - you've still got your mix of top blokes/gals and douches.

Speaking of Multiplayer mode, if playing against humans is your cup of tea, this is the mode for you. Multiplayer mode pits a team of five players versus another team of five where you get similar modes to Terrorist Hunt but with slight alteration to the rules. Also, since you're up against a small team of lethal human players, different operators are more effective in Multiplayer that might not be as effective in Terrorist Hunt.

In fact, the game is very addictive once you've had a taste of victory because it's often hard-earned.

The game also has a Ranked multiplayer mode that I didn't bother trying and you're also able to play the Terrorist Hunt mode in "Lone Wolf" mode (i.e. solo) although these missions are meant to be played with a full squad so it's usually quite a challenge doing it alone against hordes of AI terrorists.

Different avenues of attack

This is the bread and butter of Rainbow Six Siege. On each map, you'll have different avenues of attack but not just two or three doorways; despite there being many walls or rooftops that are impermeable to any damage, there are enough left to make things interesting and unpredictable. To mix things up even more you can choose at the beginning of the game where to spawn and defend (at least on Terrorist Hunt mode). Consequently, while knowing a map inside-out helps, unlike other FPSs where you can find prime camping positions, no such thing really exists in Siege due to the fact the enemy can alter the map to give themselves a tactical advantage.

It's like Counter-Strike, but tactical

It's like Counter-Strike to a degree but describing it as Counter-Strike would be selling itself short. Unlike Counter-Strike, you have drones and cameras you can use for gaining an edge in intelligence, defensive barriers such as barricades and reinforced walls, booby traps that can kill or injure unsuspecting enemies, and the ability to rappel up and down walls. It's not just a matter of camping at the bridge in de_dust and mopping up everyone with an AWP and deagle.

Just lying around

I appreciate the attention to detail they’ve managed to incorporate into this game, even something as simply lying down on the floor instead of going prone on your stomach is something that you hardly ever see in FPS games yet it helps so much with the realism since why aren’t you able to do such a thing? Rainbow Six: Siege gives you that flexibility.

What I dislike:


Matchmaking takes time and for the first few games I tried to play of Rainbow Six Siege it took several goes and waiting for 15-20 minutes before I could finally enter a game. I’m never sure if it’s because the time I play just has low traffic or whether there’s something wrong with my connection (or if it's simply because I'm playing the least popular game mode). However, another night, everything worked flawlessly – I managed to play with four others with a ping of 100 on my ADSL2+ connection. Also, when I eventually convinced two clanmates to play with me, it was then much easier to find an available game (three fifths of a squad anyone?).

Ultimately, I think it would still be better if they had a server browser with dedicated servers though.

Also general connectivity issues are a pain too where sometimes you lose connection to the master server and are unable to play any multiplayer (it is primarily a multiplayer game after all). I also did experience a similar situation to my mate Speirs where I couldn't join a game with my wife even though she was in the same squad, but eventually we found out this was, again, a server issue, rather than anything else.

Not as tense as SWAT4

On a spectrum with Counter-Strike on one end and SWAT 4 on the other, Siege is definitely closer to SWAT 4 but isn’t quite there yet. SWAT 4 encourages you to use less lethal methods and to also follow proper police procedures like telling the criminals to surrender before shooting first. The more criminals you are able to arrest, the more points you are awarded. In SWAT 4 there’d always be that tense moment where you’re shouting at a criminal to drop their weapons wondering if they were going to comply or whether they were going to blow your face off. Gripping stuff, but not something that is present in this.

Score – 8/10 (Pretty Good)

Besides the occasional connectivity issues I can't really find much else to fault with Rainbow Six Siege. The dynamic nature of the maps where you're able to open new avenues of attack to gain a tactical advantage means you'll always be kept on your toes. Intelligence is key but so is co-operating with teammates since unlike other FPSs where you can be a jack-of-all-trades, in Siege each of the operators are meant to serve a certain purpose, and if you squander that special ability, it's game over for your squad. It's a very addictive game and definitely my favourite multiplayer game for the past couple of months.

Is the game worth $64 AUD?: Almost, but a fairer price would be $50-60 considering the game is effectively multiplayer only. Although the conundrum about purchasing later when it is discounted is whether there will still be a community to play with! But this is the issue with just about every multiplayer game out there and is not limited to Rainbow Six Siege alone.

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[ LINK: Official Rainbow Six Siege Website ]