Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Seige gameplay preview: Fortify, attack and destroy in intimate multiplayer
It's been over five years since we played a Rainbow Six console title, with the latest title Seige being Ubisoft's "just one more game" moment of the 2014 E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles.
The resulting tactical shooter, which we played behind closed doors at the Ubisoft stand at the show, is a game all about planning and take-no-prisoners execution. The "multiplayer first" approach sees you play as either an attacking Rainbow Six side looking to release a captive hostage, or the defending side where it's your job to defend.
The action takes place indoors, so the play arenas are small and intimate which adds a rapid style of play. Single shot kills aren't uncommon either, giving a gritty realism to gameplay.
Rather than most shooters' rapid-fire style, Rainbow Six: Seige is all in the planning. Whether it's fortifying windows, blowing holes in the walls or floors, setting up bomb traps, or barbed wire to slow down stairway access, there's a 60 second pre-roll to the action that's crucial for tactical play.
As the attacking side you can scout the area with miniature drones to make mental notes about the hostage location, relayed in real-time via headset chatter. Seige is a game where you really do need to talk to your team because spotting something crucial in a three minute bout could be the difference between winning and losing.
We played three rounds shifting through different character options which also impacts the style of play. Go in with a riot shield and your character will be a lot slower, but able to put up a wall and act as stalwart defence for your team's position. Go in with light armour and one shot will likely take you down, but you're much quicker. Combine variations of these choices across the team of five and you've got a greater tactical chance.
Rainbow Six: Seige is an adrenaline ride to play; a game that requires thinking and proper team coordination. From the destructible play arenas to the various ways to fortify and attack, there's originality aplenty here and it looks like a true next-gen game.
The only criticism we foresee is that once players learn the ins and outs of a map it will be easier to know how to conquer your opponents. And if there aren't enough variations to the maps then the intimate and quick style of play might lack longevity. But that's all down to Ubisoft: if enough is put into Seige then there will be loads to get out of it - and that's before we've even seen what the single and co-op campaign modes will be like.
Rainbow Six: Seige will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2015. And we can't wait.