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The disappointment over the cancelation of Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6: Patriots back in 2011 was palpable. Then in October last year, author Tom Clancy passed away at 66, leaving fans worried that the upcoming Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege would be halted or nixed altogether. But Ubisoft wishes to respect his name by developing this first-person multiplayer shooter as best they can, and though I'm not a person who regularly plays online multiplayer, its cops-versus-robbers scenario had me itching to grab my hands on the keyboard... or the controller. Take your pick.
It's unclear whether Rainbow Six: Siege has a single-player campaign of any kind, but this title will be focus primarily on its multiplayer offerings. Whatever the case, the concept works. In the hands-on scenario shown at Ubisoft's booth at E3 2014, a team of five highly trained officers called Raven Shield must rescue a hostage from a house fortified by an opposing team of five masked men named Rogue Spear, who are given about a minute head-start before the cops breach their defenses and attempt to complete their mission within a spare three minutes.
On defense, the Rogue Spear can board up windows and main entranceways with extremely high efficiency (they should be hired as carpenters ASAP) to force the other team to breach certain doors and attempt to find an opening without getting themselves bottlenecked. They can lay down barbed wire to slow the officers down, place metal barriers for cover, and check cameras to locate their position.
On the flipside, Raven Shield can rappel up the sides of the walls, apply breach charges on fortifications, and operate a drone that can move from room to room in the house even during the extra minute that Rogue Spear has to prepare. One officer can even hang back with a sniper rifle and hide in another house across the road. As long as there's a clear line of sight, which can be created if a teammate fires bullets into the destructible wall, it's a sound strategy.
The component of destructible objects adds to the already high tension of being eliminated with only one well-placed shot. No respawning allowed here. Everything needs to be taken into consideration, including the initial load-out which will impact a player's overall mobility and versatility with flash bangs and grenades. Firing at a thin wall or even a ceiling can force an opening to another room that can surprise the enemy or create flanking opportunities And destroying terrible IKEA furniture never hurts either.
Eliminating every person on the opposing team is an automatic win (in the best of three rounds), but the hostage situation and tight time limit will force contact. Once Raven Shield has the hostage, the offensive and defensive roles switch. It's impossible to defend against every possible angle, so it's about understanding strengths and weaknesses as they change over the course of the match.
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege plans to invade in 2015 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.