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The Unsung But Volatile Genius of Rainbow Six: Siege

About a week ago, Ubisoft released loot boxes for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege, dubbed “Alpha Packs”.

 

Every time you win a game you receive a wheel will spin, with which you geta chance to win an alpha pack. If it lands on the white bar, you get the pack, congratulations! If not, then the chance increases by 2-3% and you’ll have to wait until the next win. Considering the XP bar in the game gets higher  by each level, that means granting Alpha Packs once per level is out of the window. And you can’t spend real money to keep grabbing them. It’s Renown only, the currency used in Siege to unlock cosmetics, attachments and operators.

 

And I believe that this is another in a consistent string of great moves Ubisoft have made with this game.

 

 

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I believe Rainbow Six: Siege to be one of the few 10/10 games that has been released in the past 5 to 10 years, and one of the best multiplayer experiences I’ve had in my life. So far, I’ve clocked around 350-400 hours since I began playing in November of 2016, and that number is going to keep climbing as time goes on.

My praise goes as far as it can, I have not played such a unique shooter since TimeSplitters 2 graced my Xbox in 2002. Its the Hero format but placed underneath a microscope. Tactical one-upmanship and quick thinking rules the roost, as opposed to whatever team composition you’ve been rocking since you won a Ranked game and dropped double digit kills. Yes, you might have convinced yourself that you’re the best Bandit around, but what happens when you meet a Bandit on the other team better than you? Or a teammate who’s a better Bandit?

 

Really, you have to mix your mains.  You can’t rock one of each and win, that simply isn’t a viable option. Your team changes most of the time, all of them are going to look at where you are on the map and think on their heels on who would work best. Yeah, Coastlines’ Penthouse objective is easily well-guarded as Smoke, with only four entrances that can all be surveyed by one spot, but your Caviera is KIA and your Doc is on the other side of the room, unable to stim you in case you get shot.

 

 

And that’s where Siege shines. Its unpredictability is a virtue that you always have to watch. You can’t simply tank all 5 enemy players as Montagne, you can’t rush to grab the hostage as Ash on your own, you need backup, distractions, plans. You play Overwatch, Paladins, any other hero shooter, and you can do everything on your own. I’ve seen it happen, hell, I’ve done it myself. Here though, unless you’re better than everybody at every game ever, you’re not going to win this on your own. You’re not the only person who can spawn-peek, pixel-snipe and use that stupid Valkyrie glitch on Bank.

 

Really, that’s my only complaint that gets my knickers in a twist. The Valkyrie cam glitch on Bank is one of such game-breaking proportion that it makes a match on that map such an annoying experience. As an attacker, your screen will be bombarded with “YOU’VE BEEN SPOTTED, MAN, YOU’VE BEEN SPOTTED”, and as a defender, you’re going to focus on the 5 constantly moving blips around the maps. Aside from that, Bank is one of many great maps that strengthen this game.

 

The maps of Siege are another high quality reassurance. At time of this writing, there are 16 maps, all of them uniquely designed for either different operators or different play styles, and all of them work great, except Yacht, because no one likes Yacht. But out of all 16, the best of the best are Kanal, Skyscraper and House. Three areas which, in my humble opinion, are some of the most well-designed multiplayer maps in any video game, ever. They’re up there with Halo 3s’ The Pit, Call of Dutys Crash and TimeSplitters’ Mexican Mission.

 

 

Every map has a memorable spot. Every operator is a perfect counter for another operator. Every 1v2-5, one-tap and turn on is one worth recording and saving. And the only problem I’ve thought of gameplay-wise, is a glitch on one map. However, you probably already know why Siege is good, its tight design compelled you from the start. So, why am I making this Op-Ed if you already know this?

 

Well, in the hopes that one or two people read this and start playing it and joining in the fun. But also because I’d like to raise a toast to Ubisoft mastering one part of the FPS formula. They’ve created a stellar experience, one with an almost mirror shine. And I sincerely hope that they continue on this hot streak. The net code hiccup of Red Crow is one of the bigger issues they were able to buff out but we now have another issue with that development. Operation Health.

 

 

Operation Health was introduced by Ubisoft in order to combat the net code issues introduced in Red Crow, and along with that, add dynamic hitboxes to operators and make Siege Ranked less of a toxic experience. And in order to do this, they’ve pushed back the next handful of new operators who were set to be released 2 months ago. That’s all fine and dandy, but why did they push the new operators back?

 

Siege, while an almost-always unique experience, is not limitless. And with the newest operators Mira and Jackal tried and tested, it’s only a matter of time before player interest wanes. Yeah, there might be 30 operators here now but it’s been almost two years since its initial release and age affects everything. You might have created an almost infallible game, but not everyone is as big of a fanb- I mean, player as me.

 

But aside from that? Keep it up, Ubisoft. The game is a blast to play, the tourneys are exciting to watch and I patiently await the new operators and maps that come with the next major update. I hope you don’t screw up.

Sam Taylor
Compulsive Siege player, Todd Howards biggest hater and the largest collector of Indie Games this side of the western hemisphere. TimeSplitters 2 is also objectively the greatest game ever made.

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