Review: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (PlayStation 4)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege: Official GBAtemp Review

PlayStation 4 2,951 views 2 likes 16 comments
Reviewed by Thomas Hugh, posted Dec 10, 2015, last updated Dec 12, 2015
Dec 10, 2015
  • Release Date (NA): December 1, 2015
  • Release Date (EU): December 1, 2015
  • Release Date (JP): December 10, 2015
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Genres: FPS/Tactical
  • ESRB Rating: Mature
  • PEGI Rating: Eighteen years and older
  • Also For: Computer, Xbox One
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
Rainbow Six Siege is a realistic tactical squad based first person shooter and the latest game in the long-running Tom Clancy franchise.
Thomas Hugh


When I think about the Rainbow Six series and the titled Tom Clancy games in general, I wouldn't call myself a massive fan of any of them. With that said I have played nearly all of  them since the original 1998 Rainbow Six on the PSX, to Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell and even H.A.W.X. I have fond memories of playing Island Thunder 12 years ago on the original Xbox, but the most recent Rainbow Six game that I was really into was Rainbow Six Vegas 2  on the 360. That was 7 years ago; we haven't had a Rainbow Six game on console since 2008. Here is Ubisoft Montreal with Rainbow Six Siege, a squad based first person tactical shooter. 

We have a situation

Unlike previous Rainbow Six games, Rainbow Six Siege (R6S) doesn't have a campaign, instead it has 11 single player 'Situations' which are basically training levels to get you to grips with the mechanics so you don't get slaughtered when you take the plunge and start playing online. Situations put you into one of the 11 maps the game shipped with, along with a task of taking out a number of terrorists, defusing a bomb or rescuing a hostage. Playing these missions alone is your only choice and can initially feel pretty tough as R6S is a somewhat realistic and hardcore game.

My first Situation was to rescue a hostage from a house in the suburbs. Easy I thought, I am a Clancy  vet, this will be a walk in the park. I spawn into the level, am given the objective and off I go. Slowly moving towards the house that is surrounded by abandoned squad cars (where are the damn police?) I start to ascend the stairs to the front door and instantly get shot at from my left side. I turn and see there is a guy on the porch that I completely missed. 2 rounds from my R4-C  and that sucker is down, but so is my health. 100 health will literally last you 2-4 hits depending on where you take the damage, I am now at just 24 health. Approaching the front door, I peak inside only to be met with a volley of bullets, and with that, my rookie body slumps to the floor and I am dead. Welcome to Rainbow Six Siege.

Unbeknown to me, I should have first scoped out the area with my remote control drone. Equipped with a camera, these small 2 wheel gadgets can zip and zoom around the map largely undetected. I sent mine up to the porch, tagged the enemy who dropped my health so quickly previously, moved into the house, tagged a guy on the above balcony (who probably killed me on my first attempt), tagged a guy to the right of the foyer and then manouevred my drone upstairs to the first floor where I found the hostage, barricaded in a small room guarded by more of the terrorist scum. Having the enemies tagged made my task feel a whole lot more doable, and certainly less daunting. 

Now my drone is out of power and the camera feed dies. I could use another but I figure I have my objective clearly laid out and my targets are all marked. I slowly crouch-walk towards the house, iron sight the enemy on the porch, headshot, he's dead before he even knows I'm there. I move up the porch stairs to the front doorway, attach my breach charge to the front door, it's primed and ready to go. I move out of the way to the left and trigger the charge. After a loud explosion the front door is breached and I throw in a flashbang, move into position at the left of the doorway, take aim, pop the guy inside on the above balcony with 2 or 3 shots, turn to the right and headshot the last guy in the foyer. My path is now clear, but I know there is still a terrorist with the hostage.

I move up the staircase, slowly, methodically, constantly checking my surroundings, waiting for the inevitable barrage of bullets to come from an area I failed to check. It's intense, every move could be my last. There is no health regeneration, no first aid packs; it doesn't get more real  than this. I make it up to a bathroom to the left of the first floor balcony. The barricade to the hostage room is still intact. I attach another breach charge to the surface, stand back and blow a hole into the target room. I look in and can see the hostage on her knees with her hands bound behind her back, I know there is a terrorist just to her right, but out of my view. I don't want to risk her being executed so I go back into the hallway, circle around to the other side of the room, attach another breach charge on the opposite side of the wall to where the enemy is standing, take a deep breath and trigger the device. The wall explodes into a pile of dust and debris and the captor is on floor, presumably dead. I put a round in him just to make sure, grab the hostage and start to make my way back to the front door. 

For some unknown reason my hostage can't move or walk without me holding her, forcing me to switch out weapons and use my side arm, the trusty-looking Five-SeveN USG. I guide her back down the stairs towards the now-empty doorway of the house, still constantly checking my peripheral vision for any stray enemies. Is this it? Am I home free? We leave the building the same way I entered and start to descend the porch stairs, the path to the extraction point looks clear. I decide to make a run for it... Ultimately that decision was a big mistake, out of nowhere 3 more enemies appear from behind the abandoned police cars, blocking my exit. Before I have the chance to react I'm hit, too many times to count. The screen fades to red and once again I've been killed and failed the mission. So close, yet so far.


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If this sounds awesome that's because it is. It feels great when your strategy is sound and you complete a mission, barely scathed with time to spare and a hostage intact. It's just a shame that these Situations are so shallow. Once you know the enemy placements and paths, you will complete the objectives and kill everyone on the map with no trouble at all. There is no randomness to the proceedings which is a real shame as it would give you more reason to keep playing them. All you have is Normal, Hard and Realistic (1 shot death 99% of the time) modes to toy with. There are a ton of options for how you tackle each mission, but at the end of the day these Situations are just filler for not having a single player campaign. They'll last you a couple of hours, tops, prep you for the real  game, and then you'll probably never play them again. 


Much like Star Wars Battlefront  earlier this year, R6S is a multiplayer only game that is also thin on content. The multiplayer modes are the main meat of the title giving you the grand total of 2 options; 5 vs 5 death match or Terrorist Hunt. 5 vs  5 is the most fun of the 2 modes. You choose a loadout from characters known as Operators, mercenaries each with their own special traits and abilities. Take a look at these guys, they mean serious business:


Unfortunately all of these guys are locked away; starting out as a Recruit Operator  you only have basic abilities and weapons. Each successful kill or mission will earn you some Reknown, an in-game currency used by the game to give the player some kind of progression. You can unlock Operators in any order you like, as long as you have enough Reknown to 'buy' them. Operators are separated into 2 groups of attackers and defenders and have their own personalities; the aptly named Sledge carries a shotgun and sledgehammer by default, and can breach doors, windows or even walls and floors with a single swing of the aforementioned sledgehammer. Smoke can use remotely detonated chemical gas charges whereas Doc can revive downed teammates with a shot of his Stim Pistol. You'll want to unlock all of the Operators as soon as possible as there can only be one of each character in a match per team, which even though is most likely for balancing issues, is quite frankly, ridiculous. Say you join a lobby ready to get stuck in but you weren't quick enough to pick one of the 20 (10 for attacking, 10 for defending) Operators you have unlocked, well that's tough, be someone you don't like or play as competently, or be forced to pick the Recruit and miss out on a special ability. Imagine playing Call of Duty online and not being able to play as the class and loadout you want because someone else chose them first. Obviously R6S is a tactical game where class-roles can really matter, but it still feels unnecessary and can be very annoying when you don't get to choose who you want each time you enter matchmaking.

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Online Multiplayer

5 vs 5 breaks down into attack or defend. If you are on the attacking team your objective will be to wipe out the enemy team, defuse their bomb or rescue a hostage that is in their possession. You need to have a good team that use mics and communicate. If you go lone wolf thinking you are Rambo you will die very quickly, and most likely piss off the rest of your team. Attackers have 30 seconds before the round kicks off to send in their drones and map the area, but in this same time the defenders are able to lay mines and razor wire, reinforce walls and doorways with barricades to box themselves in, set down shields and move into defensive positions. When the 30 second drone run is up, the match starts and it doesn't take long at all before the level starts seeing some real carnage and destruction. Holes can be blown into pretty much any surface, making tactical entries and kills very satisfying. You can grapple hook rooftops and abseil smash through a window to give you the jump on the enemy team. The defending team can melee poke small holes into walls and floors to spy through and take pot shots at the attacking team as they move up on their position. There are no respawns so you better make damn sure you are on point and have a thorough plan of attack or defense. If coordinated properly there are some real amazing moments to be had in the game, unfortunately for me, 9 times out of 10 my team didn't have mics or players were just out for themselves and not interested in any team work, ruining the overall experience.

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One of the best moments I had in the game was in the only other mode available, series favorite Terrorist Hunt. THUNT  is played on the same 11 maps with the same objectives with AI enemies spread around the map.  In this particular match I was lucky enough to be part of a great team who all had mics and were happy to communicate and coordinate. The mission took place at a university building where a poisonous chemical gas had been set off all over the area. This made our visibility awful and to make it even worse we had to wear gas masks to breath, further obscuring our vision. The objective was to enter the building and disarm a number of bombs using a timed defuser. We only moved as a group in a line, like in the movies, like a real squad of bad asses! I won't go in to what happened but it was the first time in years that I had played something online that made my heart race. It was an exhilarating experience.


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As well as Reknown there is another in-game currency called R6 Credits that is used to buy Reknown booster packs, weapon attachments like scopes and grips and also a number and variety of weapon skins. Most of these are optional but some of them will give players an advantage over other players. These offerings have no place in a full priced game, especially one that only has 2 gameplay modes. Instead of making up these microtransaction systems, why not make some more real content? Why can't we just earn XP and unlock stuff like the good old days? In what world is a weapon skin worth £4.99? 1/10th of the game's retail price! Just look at this nonsense:


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This is free to play rubbish in my fully priced, light on content, retail game. Why is it in a game that only has 2 modes on 11 maps? Either make the game free to play and add in all this junk, or don't. You can't have it both ways and expect players to support the title.


+ Realistic gameplay
+ Level destructibility
- No single player/coop campaign
- Lack of game modes
- In-game currencies & microtransactions
8 Presentation
Siege looks very realistic with excellent level design. The destruction is brilliant and Operator bios are a nice touch. I particularly loved the Presidential Plane level.
8 Gameplay
When it works as intended there is nothing else quite like it in the competitive shooter market. Tactical gameplay working as a team feels great and is when the game truly shines. Matches can be exhilarating providing you find a good team willing to work together.
7 Lasting Appeal
The series has always had a single player campaign and most of the more recent titles have had 2 and even 4 player coop, so it hurts to see what is otherwise a great game fall short in the content department. Without a great team to be a part of it's hard to see people sticking around for long in Rainbow Six Siege.
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
Rainbow Six Siege is both exciting and disappointing. Finally a realistic team-based shooter but it doesn't feel like a full priced game and is marred by microtransactions. If your game is light on content compared to previous entries in the series and you still put in microtransactions, you are going to annoy the fan base, and if they are anything like me, assume all you want to do is milk players of their cash. That aside, there is a great base game here but it's just not enough.
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