With its taut, tense action and destructible environments, Siege is the best Rainbow Six for years – if only Ubisoft would rethink its business model
Death is a contradiction in the modern competitive shooter. Call of Duty and Battlefront, the big mainstream titles, are all about empowering the player and making them feel like a one-man army – easy enough in single-player, if your explosions are big enough, but much harder in multiplayer. And so dying becomes an inconvenience, with near-instant respawns alongside constant experience points for common in-game actions. Even if someone plays badly, goes the reasoning, it should still be rewarding.
You won’t find such sunshine and lollipops in the Rainbow Six: Siege. The earlier entries in this Tom Clancy-branded series were popular for their unforgiving, simulation-heavy approach to virtual combat, and when later titles attempted to make this more accessible, they predictably flailed (with the exception of the excellent R6: Vegas). Siege is not just a return to form, but a return to first principles – and it’s not aiming at Call of Duty, but at Counter-Strike.