Rainbow Six: Siege has a lot of promise. It is already fun, but needs a lot of work, which is why the alpha is here.

Rainbow Six: Siege Initial Alpha Impressions – Loads of Promise

Rainbow Six: Siege has a lot of promise. It is already fun, but needs a lot of work, which is why the alpha is here.

The Rainbow Six: Siege closed alpha has been running for a few days now, and there are already plenty of things that make it fun, but also it has a few issues beyond just performance and stability. So let’s talk about what exactly the game is as well as what works and what doesn’t.

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What is Rainbow Six: Siege?

Siege is a 5v5, one life per round, terrorist (TE) vs. counter-terrorist (CT) battle. The overall aim of both teams is to eliminate the opposing team, without killing the hostage or either capturing or keeping the hostage safe depending which team you’re on.

TE’s aim is to guard their hostage, they have many tools at their disposal to barricade themselves in a room. Using wall, door, or window reinforcements, to barbed wire and everything in between they must stop CT from taking the hostage, or getting their whole team killed.

CT’s aim is to find and grab the hostage or just kill all of the TE team. They also have their own gadgets to use, from breaching charges to a sledgehammer, and both lethal frag grenades and non-lethal flash bangs.

Before a round starts, both teams vote on where they will enter the fight, and you pick from five different ‘classes’; only one player can pick each class. Then each round starts with a one minute planning phase where each team prepares for the round to come. CT uses little remote-controlled two-wheeled drones, to scout out the area and locate the hostage, where TE uses this time to barricade themselves into a room, or generally reduce the entrances to the hostage that CT can take.

What do I like about Siege?

Destruction is a big part of the game, you can shoot little holes in anything wooden and they splinter just like you would expect, you can then use this to look through while keeping yourself reasonably concealed. A pain to fight against for sure, but it keeps you on your toes, and it’s great fun to successfully pin down the enemy team allowing your teammates to maneuver around.

Want to blow holes in ceilings and floors? Use a breaching charge, and then enter the room with multiple teammates for a complete surprise.

R6 Siege destruction

Everyone needs to listen to what’s going on. Paying attention to not only what you can see but also what you can hear can give you the advantage, even if you’re on the defensive. The ability to hear CT put down a breaching charge allows you to fire through the door knowing you will kill or injure someone, or activate a remote gas bomb you placed earlier. If you know ahead of time, you can just simply relocate to better defend when they do breach. Listening allows you to be proactive, not reactive, which is the difference between successfully defending/capturing the hostage or losing the round.

Siege does not have classes but has mini-classes, there are five for each team and only one player can select each mini-class. I don’t consider them full classes as they don’t drastically change how you play, but enable you to support your team in different ways. There are no a sniper, shotgun, or SMG classes, which is great! If this makes you worry, fear not! As, for example, you can select a shotgun for a mini-class who also uses an SMG, or and select an SMG for a class who can also use an assault rifle. Instead of the mini-classes changing your play style, it’s the guns.

There is no perk or XP system (which still may be featured in the final game).

On the CT side, there are two mini-classes which can use breaching charges and one of them has the use of grenade launcher. One mini-class can use a sledgehammer, which is super satisfying to use, to break through walls or doors. There is also a riot shield, which can only be used with a pistol or one-handed weapon.

On the TE side, one class can use a disruption device to stop any remote explosives (like breaching charges) to be used within a small area. A mini-class can put down barbed wire to slow the movement of enemies, and one can throw a remotely detonated sticky gas grenade to temporarily obstruct the path of the enemy. For more information on these mini-classes take a look at this helpful video thanks to ArekkGaming.

R6 Siege mini classes

Where Does Siege’s Alpha Stumble?

Voice communication is an essential part of the game. However, most players don’t use it. “This isn’t a fault of the game, but of the players,” I hear you say. And you are half correct, but why isn’t there any text chat?

Just some sort communication with other players a must, even a radial menu for a standard set of commands, like enemy directions, or maybe fire, regroup, or heal commands. It would be nice to have something that allows for communication built into the game beyond voice coms.

Bullet penetration is crazy, you can fire through several walls and the bullets don’t appear to lose any power. When you fire through something a bullet will lose momentum, thus losing its power and becoming less lethal. So two things need to happen for this, I have two ideas for this, one complicated and one much simpler. The complicated option is the need for a full ballistic simulation, like the ones seen in the Arma series, but not quite as hardcore.

Of course, this means all objects also need programming to affect the bullets correctly, and this can take a long time. So I propose my simple option, bullets can only travel through one object, and they lose 50% of their damage. If the object is just made out of wood, like a door reinforcement, then the bullet will only lose 20% damage. And then some surfaces need to be bulletproof, like objects that are made of thick metal.

R6 Siege barrier

Final Shot

Beyond the expected crashes from an alpha build, there isn’t much wrong with the performance of the game it runs very smoothly. There is currently some noticeable lag, and I’ve managed to shoot people multiple times and get the hit marker, only to be killed. Then when watching the kill cam, it shows that I did not fire a single bullet.

I really like what I see at the current state, and I can see tons of potential in the game, both competitively and cooperatively. It’s fun, exciting. Siege is a tense frenetic fight against time, and you can easily dip in and out of the game for short bursts.

I’m excited to see how the game progresses when it goes into beta, which is coming to PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Then beyond that the critical reception it receives upon launch. I have my fingers crossed to getting to the beta also.

Image credits go to Ubisoft.

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Pierre Fouquet
-- Games are a passion as well as a hobby. Other writing of mine found on at www.scrncheat.com