Rainbow Six: Siege beta impressions – hope you’re in for the long haul…

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Rainbow Six: Siege is a game that one day I think I will have a lot of fun with. But in order to do that I’m going to have to go through an incredibly arduous journey of failure and I just don’t know if I have it in me. Seriously, even with the amount of time I have for gaming in my schedule, I don’t know if I could commit to essentially training myself in order to have a good time in one particular title.

As we wrote about yesterday, the Rainbow Six: Siege open beta has begun, and after some server connection issues I have managed to get a couple hours of playtime in. The basic premise is two teams of five either defend an objective or assault it. Rounds begin with the defending team having time to fortify their positions while the attackers use covert drones to try and scope out objective/enemy locations. Attackers then use that information to mount an offensive, and defenders have to hope they were clever enough in their set up to withstand it.

When things go haywire is when the game really shines, because teamwork comes into play in a more serious fashion and the tension really mounts. The round is over when either the objective is secured by the attackers or one of the teams is completely wiped out.

rainbow six siege grenade out

“Who needs to secure a bomb when a well placed grenade will deal with the entire team?!”

For the wipe-out victory to work, Siege has no respawns, similar to games like Counter Strike. When you’re done, you’re done and you can either watch your team-mates’ perspectives or view any surviving surveillance camera feeds to try and warn your team of further attacks. While the effort to make dead players still feel useful is appreciated, no respawn tactical games like this make for a very steep, and often frustrating, learning curve. I didn’t survive for more than the opening minute of nearly all the games I played, because trying figure out where you’re going, what the enemy might be doing, and what the best plan of attack is was often cut short by a swift bullet to the head. This cued me having to wait until the round is over to continue trying to get my head around things, only for it to most likely happen again.

My lower skill level is definitely partially to blame here, but I would also blame the beta’s lack of a tutorial. Hopefully the full release has a more substantial one, because right now all it has is videos telling you what some of your equipment does in relation to breaching/fortifying walls and floors and how to deploy them, all of which is little help once placed in a match with live players who are using gear that you have no idea about.

rainbow six siege barricades

“What the hell is that spinney thing?!” “I don’t know, but all I was told to do was fortify things so I assume that’s how we win!”

All of this frustration would definitely be alleviated over time once you gain a better grasp of the mechanics and learn the ins and outs of various tools. But there’s one other thing that you will definitely have to learn and that is the map layout, including all the entry points, surveillance camera locations and probable hiding spots.

For example, I once successfully discovered the objective location with my spy drone only for it be seen and destroyed. I was then given a menu asking me where on the map I would like to spawn to commence my infiltration, but since none of the enemies I spotted nor the objective I located were marked on our map, I had no idea where I needed to be heading and therefore had no idea the best place to start. Of course, if I knew the map inside out like some of the people I played with, I’d know exactly which entrances I’d taken with my drone, what defences I’d seen and how best to proceed. But none of that is marked, so you better hope you memorised your route!

rainbow six siege squad

“Intel spies tangos in the bathroom!” “Where the hell is the bathroom? I’VE NEVER BEEN TO THIS GUY’S HOUSE BEFORE!”

That’s what I meant about training in the beginning: Siege seems to me like a game where you need to effectively spend time drilling the map layouts into your head before you can have any fun, otherwise you’ll feel like your blundering around, dazed and confused, until someone very quickly blows your head off. When the situation goes south and the tension mounts things do get really fun, but only if you’ve survived long enough to be around to take part.

I can see Siege really appealing to “hardcore” competitive shooter players and they would probably turn their noses up at the kind of assistance I feel the game needs to offer. But I only suggest these changes because I can see a lot of people being turned off the game once they hit the proverbial brick wall that is “learning the ropes”.

Then again, people really got into DOTA 2, which I hear is fun once you’ve smashed through 400 or so hours of having no fun. Go figure!

Have 400 or so hours of fun with Tom on Twitter: @tomdheath. Don’t forget to follow @load_screen and like us on Facebook.

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