Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
(Ubisoft for Xbox One)
By Mike Delano
The latest game in the Rainbow Six franchise serves as a nice bit of counter programming during this holiday gaming season. While the other big shooters of the season (Halo, Call of Duty, Star Wars Battlefront) are focused on bombast, Rainbow Six Siege turns down the spectacle and explores tense, high-stakes combat in tight areas.
As an operative from one of a handful of the world’s elite special forces (SAS, Spetsnaz), you’ll either orchestrate or defend yourself from one of the titular sieges, which usually feature an overarching objective such as hostage rescue or bomb defusing. On offense, you’ll conduct recon and work with your team to scale buildings and strategically blast through walls on the way to your destination. On defense, you’ll erect barriers, reinforce walls and set up booby traps as you attempt to hold your position. I’ve always loved crowded, detailed interior settings just as much as wide-open battlefields when it comes to FPS battlegrounds, so these big indoor siege playgrounds are a blast, with multiple points of entry (rappelling from the roof and smashing through a bedroom window is never a bad way to make an entrance), constantly changing sight lines and debris flying everywhere.
A modest selection of short, one-player “Situations” familiarize you with the basics of the game, but the real meat is in the multiplayer modes. Traditional multiplayer has you competing against another team with a series of changing objectives, while the cooperative “Terrorist Hunt” mode tasks you and up to four teammates with completing an objective versus a team of AI opponents. No matter which way you play, the nerve-shredding intensity of these standoffs is surprising and satisfying, and Rainbow Six Siege has an addictive quality -` once you’re hooked, you may find yourself daydreaming more than you ever thought you could about breaching tactics and maintaining perimeters.