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(Pocket-lint) - It's not often that you get to trace the beginning of a game's development, but in the case of Rainbow Six Extraction that's entirely possible.

In 2018 Rainbow Six Siege got a limited-time mode called Outbreak where players in three-man fireteams got some fun objectives to complete in a setting blitzed by an alien zombie virus. It was great fun, and enjoyed such success that a standalone game was announced. Now, a couple years later, we're still waiting for it. Find out everything you need to know, right here. 

Rainbow Six Extraction Trailer and release date

Rainbow Six Quarantine (as it was then called) was first unveiled back in 2019 at E3, after the Outbreak event in Siege in 2018, with the promise of a release in early 2020.

That date is obviously far behind us in the rearview mirror, and seemed ambitious even then. Since then, we haven't been given a firm update regarding an expected release date, but there is hope that we're not too far off finding out more. We're now waiting to hear more during Ubisoft's big live stream for E3 2021.

Rainbow Six Extraction title

However, there's an elephant in the room here - the game's title. Multiple leaks in early 2021 indicated that the game, at that point called Quarantine, was going to have its name changed for reasons that aren't particularly complicated. 

The world has changed a lot over the last year, and concepts like outbreaks and quarantines have become far closer to home for many people, so it's only sensible that Ubisoft would want to steer clear of sounding like any sort of a grim cash-in on the global pandemic that has hurt so many. 

Now we know that it's called Extraction, thanks to the announcement video above, so we can get back to concentrating on the game itself, not its title.

Rainbow Six Extraction platforms

Extraction was announced back when next-gen consoles were just rumours, rather than physical releases people have in their homes, and as such was headed toward PC, PS4 and Xbox One. 

Obviously, that's now likely to be out-of-date information, and we're certain the game will release on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S as well when it does appear. In fact, it could even be a next-gen only title in theory. The most likely scenario, though, is that it's a cross-generation title that works on multiple consoles depending on what version you pick up. 

Rainbow Six Extraction gameplay

In terms of gameplay, we can take a lot of pointers from the 2018 mode from Siege - Outbreak. Based on that template, we'd expect Extraction to also be a three-person co-op game that sees players take on missions together.

The fact that Extraction is based around Siege's engine means you can expect tight gunplay and tactical options, and we're expecting that operator specialisms like those in the multiplayer title should be an option, to let us deploy a range of interesting gadgets as helpful tools. 

In fact, recently a 3-second clip of some gameplay leaked through Reddit, which makes all those assumptions seem correct, even if it's not much to go on:

It shows movement and gunplay that's clearly straight out of Siege, but alien gloop that's entirely foreign to it, and an environment that isn't recognisable, either. The game doesn't look like it's at too early a stage of development, either.

That small leak was hugely expanded on when streamers in late-March 2021 broadcast the game being played, breaking an NDA. These streams didn't last long after copyright strikes, and we won't link to them for that reason, but their content has made waves online. 

The gameplay showed what is apparently the game's tutorial, introducing players to a selection of operators from Siege, and indeed detailing the alien threat, called archaeans. It confirms that each mission (or Incursion) that players take on multiple objectives over a series of areas, some of them requiring intel-gathering and others asking them to plant trackers on alien nests.

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Airlocks take on the role of Left 4 Dead's safe rooms between zones, and any players left behind when the airlock seals will have to be rescued from slimy archaean trees in later zones, a stiff challenge seemingly. 

The emergence of these illicit gameplay glimpses has given us hope that an official gameplay reveal could be around the corner fairly soon, but we'll have to wait and see how accurate these leaks end up being compared to the real deal. 

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.