Weekly Game Review: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Siege


Tristian Richardson, author

In this Game Review, we’ll be going into the world of Rainbow 6. Most people refer to it as R6, so I’ll be using R6 for the name throughout this article. Most of you readers may recognize the name Tom Clancy, and may even have heard of his book of Rainbow 6. If you have read it, you may have a one up more than some do. Ubisoft has done a number of games in the Tom Clancy universe, mainly Rainbow 6. This Rainbow 6 game was released on December 1st, 2015.

To all who don’t know, Rainbow 6 is a highly trained and skilled anti-terrorist unit with members worldwide. Tom Clancy made a book and the thought of Rainbow 6, but Ubisoft made the game version of them while following Tom Clancy’s vision of what Rainbow 6 stood for. The lore of the game consists of R6 having no real threat and of no use to any government, so they were disassembled, until the a new terror organization called the “white masks” came about which caused the reinstatement of the R6 unit. Rainbow 6 is an international unit, having over 50 ops from all across the world.

Not much is really known about the events leading up to the game itself, besides Rainbow 6 was gone until a group attacked an university. We know a lot about each op, like some of their backstory, where they come from, who they do or don’t along with behind the scenes, and some of their psychological profile. The profile on each is really detailed, besides the report on vigil. Vigils are very detailed on what they know, but they know very little.

Each op has a different ability. Some have the same ability, such as Thermite and Hibana being able to hard breach. Most ops are wildy different; Sledge has a sledgehammer to soft breach, Rook has armor for the team, and so on.Most ops have a synergy with another op; Thermite and Hibana, for example,  have a synergy with Thatcher. The synergies do bring a number of different ways to be able to play the game with a squad of 5. Each game is different and to secure victory you need to find a way because the most counters of possible, while keeping strong synergies in the squad. Usually a lot of counters means strong synergies, but now all the time. What do I mean by counter? Each operator in game has a synergy and counter, how many and how good the synergies/counters do vary from op to op. A full 5 man squad can counter most ops, but not all. So, use them to your advantage if you ever play.

In this game, both the offense and defense are a part of the team Rainbow 6 that is facing off.  There are different game modes to suit the fan base of the game, but all three modes are only in one playlists. There is “Quick Match” that was originally known as “Casual”, then “Ranked” and the “Unranked” playlists, with the “Newcomer” and a few other seasonal playlists. Each one is has different rules and is played by different crowds, but are all fun in their own way.

Quick match/Casual is the typical 5 against 5 playlist, in which the winner is the best of 5 rounds. This playlist is the better way to start up and play any operator you want to play as, and is a guarantee the op(s) you want to play as don’t get banned. It’s the only one to feature all maps besides the seasonal ones and two that got pulled from rotation. It’s also the only one to have three types of objective based matches/gamemodes, which are: hostage, secure area, and bomb.  In this one, no operators are banned, then the teams play two rounds as offense or defense, then switch and play two rounds. If one side hasn’t won three rounds by then, there will be a tie breaker at the end.

Ranked and Unranked are the same, but in Ranked you lose or gain points in a ranking system while in Unranked you play the same way without any gain or loss in said points. These modes are different than others since it’s best of 9, or 4 rounds won with a two round lead. The modes also starts with a ban; each side gets to choose an offensive and a defensive operator, including an option for a no ban on each side to ban from use for the match. It’s supposed to help a team make sure they are as effective as they can be. One feature is that this list has fewer maps than casual/quick match has. Casual has a grand a total of 14 maps, while Ranked/Unranked has 12 maps. Unlike Casual, these playlists also have a level minimum you need to meet before you are able to play. For Unranked you need to be level 10 or higher, and for Ranked you need to be 30 or higher.

Next up on the playlist is Newcomer. This is just like Casual, but between 3 maps. It’s suppose to help lower levels learn the game. Between the playlist only having 3 maps, one game mode, the max limit of being level 50, and people making smurf accounts to play less skilled players, it’s not exactly what Ubisoft imagined it would be like. The same rules apply as in Casual; it’s just supposed to be for less skilled people, but people abuse it.

The seasonal playlists are just playlists for a specific map that was remade, or made for a holiday or another theme. It could be any thing as simple as a map with a different look for Easter, to a remade map for Halloween, to a whole new map leading up to a big event such as a tournament. Those are just some examples from over the course of the past year. Seasonal playlists typically last a month or so, then are taken out.

The main tactic in the game that is widely used is just to pick an op you know, and just try to take down as many of the enemy teams as you can, but that is generally easy to counter unless the individual is really good. Only squads of 5 that are pretty high ranked actually coordinate their efforts into making a great 5 man squad. There are different jobs each op can do or help others do. The squads are built around one job, but usually are easier to counter, but are easy to play and put less stress on each person since they aren’t the only one with that job. Squads that are built around synergy and are suited for multiple scenarios do need more communication and teamwork, but can be next to impossible to counter in most matches when done right.

Rainbow Six Siege does have a real learning curve and even pros are still learning new stuff on the game. With new ops every season, along with reworks happening often, there is always more to learn. Rainbow 6 isn’t for everyone, and the community isn’t the nicest, but it’s still fun if you know how to play and have a crew. I personally enjoy it enough if one of my few friends needs a 5th man, or just wants me to hop on, I will. I don’t enjoy it enough to play it constantly and have it as a mainstay, but it is a game I will remember. It’s not my main style of games, but a lot of gamers do think it’s an amazing game.

If  you do plan on getting it, you should wait for the next gen since the game will run better and there are rumors it may become free to play. The developers of the game said they would like for the game to become free to play, but they have not confirmed if it will. Even if doesn’t become free to play, it is wildly popular in E-sports, and will be for years to come.