Look, what a curious thing: in the final stretch of 2021 two games of the similar profile have arrived, such as GTFO and Ready or Not. Both have first-person shots, although a good part of the game is decided with complementary tools and communication. They are tough, too; you need a good combination of reflexes and strategy to be victorious. And in both, they let you go in the middle of a hostile environment to complete objectives that switch between missions. What’s even weirder than that? Well what Ubisoft jump on the bandwagon with another similar game. We are talking about Rainbow Six: Extraction, which I have been able to test recently.
It’s actually my second time playing it because the publisher had already invited us to participate in an introductory session on R6 Extraction that I was able to talk about last June. Returning to action after these months has been a really curious experience, because it clearly shows at what pace developers can work on a game “off” compared to what we see on the most bulky live servers: this build feels more organic than the previous one, the interface is more reactive, it is a more solid product. But I digress. You’ve come here to see what kind of game it is, if it’s okay, and if you should go for it.
Let’s start with a review.
Rainbow Six: Extraction es a shooter cooperative for three players in which the R6 Siege operators join forces once again, with the goal of protecting Earth from an alien virus that has wreaked havoc on American megacities that suffer so much in Hollywood action and derivatives. If joining R6 with the Martians sounds familiar, that’s because this installment stems from an experimental PvE mode that came to its predecessor through an event available for a limited time (Outbreak, it was called that one). The Archæans that we face on this occasion are more complex than those we saw at the time, of course, because we are facing a qualification standalone. Built on the mechanics and characters of R6 Siege, of course, but independent nonetheless.
And does it convince? I have to say that I’m not as excited about their successful indie “alternatives” Ready or Not and GTFO — I don’t put Escape from Tarkov in the same bag, as that’s PvP — for reasons you’ll find below, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. absolutely. In fact, I think if you haven’t yet had a chance to dive into this kind of cooperative action hardcore, is probably your best option. Like it or not, being a large and established publisher Ubisoft is clear on how to manage the theme of the accessibility, so even when some missions get stuck, at least it won’t be from being lost with game mechanics or not knowing what to do. Because you’re going to get stuck, of that you can be sure; It is where the grace is, in noticing that the challenge is too great for you. The real question is how big.
If you have already played Rainbow Six: Siege, you will know that it is not one of those games in which you shoot everything that moves like it happens in Call of Duty, no; it is a very tactical game where each shot has a meaning (where is the attacker? what weapon is he using?) and a real weight. One shot to the head is enough to kill you, one to the body leaves you in bad shape. In R6E you are not so squishy, but don’t think you can hold out long anyway. If you advance carelessly, things will get ugly soon. You still kill the first enemies on the map without much difficulty, but that makes everyone else on the alert. Then, when the time comes to heal, you see that there are no first-aid kits for everyone: those who are worse off are cured, and something else. But sure, the next level it’s harder than the previous one and you start life badly.
R6E is more accessible because it lets you retire on time, but if you fail, it punishes you like few others
Hope you get the idea. But I recognize that it is something that many other games have explored before, and what makes this one unique is giving players the opportunity to make a bet: “We have a casualty, do we continue with the mission or do we withdraw on time?” The same question that is asked in TV contests, well, here it is a matter of life and death. As in many other aspects, this is a matter of negotiation: it is not enough for each one to fulfill their role, it is also necessary align strategies, assess risks and rewards as a team, deal with unforeseen events in an organized way. In that sense, it is very faithful to R6S. But he also adds some ingredients of his own harvest, such as extraction mechanics which gives the game its name.
What happens when you screw up? Normally, you see a screen of game over, and start over. But Rainbow Six: Extraction is not content with that, so in an attempt to energize and go a step further in combating the feeling of repetition, it chooses to win. When a playable character is declared MIA (Missing in action) you no longer have him as an active in your squad. Simple as that. He stayed on the previous mission. The good news is that you can rescue him: the next time you visit that area, there is a good chance that the objective of the mission in turn will be to save that same agent that you have lost to rejoin later. It’s a way of generate anguish, but also fun. Personally, I see it a bit like those ranked nights in your favorite game where when you win you keep playing because you’re on a roll and when you lose you refuse to fold with a loss, so in the end they give you 4 in the morning and there you go
Each mission has three random objectives, each one harder than the last.
My squad comrades and a server had trouble getting out of our games with flying colors — we played remote and the native keyboard was AZERTY, I’ll say no more — but we didn’t hesitate to keep trying over and over again for … a long time. And that is good sign. By the time you want to realize it, the operators who have not fallen end up so badly injured that to continue advancing you have no choice but to return to the first missions to buy time while the others heal. It’s a way to prevent players from finding winning strategies to exploit a specific game-breaking mission. The point is that if you want to avoid that negative play cycleYou have to learn to admit that sometimes the challenges are too big for you and you have to withdraw on time. An extraction maneuver is organized from the collection points on the map, or the fallen soldiers are evacuated before continuing, and something else.
And not only from addictive difficulty The thing is going, because there are a good handful of ideas that I see genuinely interesting.
- There is a substance that soaks the entire scene, conditioning the maneuverability of the agents.
- The objectives of each mission are numerous and varied: from typical like capturing areas to others like attracting a certain living enemy.
- Although they are not very well characterized, the aliens have good synergies with each other and do not repeat themselves.
I don’t dare to issue a final verdict on this yet, because I have barely been able to play for a few hours, but these are definitely issues that I will keep very much in mind during the writing of the analysis: elements that, I suspect, will play a key role in assessing the product.
Fun and well differentiated, that is where the assignments go
´I said above, that despite this interesting game dynamics where anyone can find a fair challenge, Rainbow Six: Extraction I have not liked as much as its more direct competitors. I have thought a lot about what is wrong with me: not the shooting sensations, of course; Nor is it in the distinctive features of the game or the graphics. Rather, I think it’s a question of immersion. There is a difference between “this game is fun” and “you have to try this, it is unique”. A component of genius it goes a bit beyond the basic functions.
Rainbow Six: Extraction is a very well put together product, but also an austere one in code composition. Archæans, without going any further, don’t inspire the aggressiveness or oppression that their GTFO counterparts do channel through animations and growls. Something similar happens with mapped: they are well chosen, they are fun to play in them; But forget about tensing up every time you open a door or turn a corner like in Ready or Not. R6E has things clear, it is a game of tactical action that seeks to entertain with a type of unusual design in triple A publications.
That is not bad. On the contrary, it is great. But I understand that among enthusiasts, foodies, and connoisseurs, the consensus will hardly be in favor of the Ubisoft game. Who is R6E for then? I would say that for the very hooked at Siege, those who find GTFO too slow or difficult to learn or those who are looking for another alternative to the usual FPS. With everyone else, we’ll talk in a few days with a view to the analysis.
R6E will be available on January 20 on computer through Ubisoft Connect (formerly known as Uplay) and PC Game Pass.