Let me tell you about one of my new all-time favorite games, Rainbow Six Siege. Now the game isn’t actually all that new. Published December 1, 2015, the game is nearly 2 years old at this point — something actually pretty significant for those interested in playing, but more on that later.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It was released worldwide on December 2015 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game puts heavy emphasis on environmental destruction and cooperation between players. Players assume control of an attacker or a defender in different gameplay modes such as hostage rescuing and bomb defusing. The title has no campaign, but features a series of short missions that can be played solo. These missions have a loose narrative, focusing on recruits going through training to prepare them for future encounters with the White Masks, a terrorist group that threatens the safety of the world. – Wikipedia.
Now I first heard about this game about four months ago when Achievement Hunter started their “Git Gud” series in the game where they try to improve their skill and teamwork to “get good” at the game. I finally broke down and bought the game myself because of how fun it looked and had it recommended by a friend who said his team was looking for one more. Unfortunately they don’t play often anymore, so I’m often playing solo which is very difficult in Siege which promotes and rewards teamwork. When you first look at Siege it’s easy to compare it to a typical shooter like Call of Duty. However I guarantee after your first match you will never feel that way about it again. You can go several rounds, several games even, without getting a kill — especially as a beginner. The learning curve is steep and the skill needed is not easily acquired. You can’t get by in this game with just a quick trigger finger, oh no. You need a quick trigger finger, extensive map knowledge, sound tactics, effective teamwork, and hours upon hours of experience to survive in this game.
Allow me to explain
One of the most overlooked aspects of any shooter is map knowledge, and in R6 Siege it’s actually a bigger deal than usual. See in a game like Call of Duty you can still progress relatively easy without learning all the best spots on the map to hide, rush and set up to prepare for the enemy. In Siege however, these are essential. Is there an unsecured hatch on the roof above you? Can someone blow a hole in the wall behind you? Can the defending team spawn-peek your location ending you before you even breach the compound? These are all questions you should be asking and preparing for at the beginning of the match. You also need to develop this knowledge to make the map work for you. If you’re defending two bombs, for instance, it’s a good idea to blow holes in the walls separating the bombs in case the enemy starts defusing the one in the other room. Or for attackers, taking out the cameras the defenders use to spot and communicate your location to the nearest roamer. But at the end of the day, map knowledge is one of the many factors that will determine the winners from the losers.
One could argue that sound tactics are just another element of map knowledge, but it certainly deserves it’s own section. Perhaps the best indicator of where your enemy is coming from is the sound of their own footsteps and actions. If you’re not playing this game with good headphones, you’re not playing this game. Some players will shoot holes in every wall, floor and ceiling to get the most accurate sound source possible. Siege is pretty unique in this aspect as sound travels from the nearest source. So if an enemy is coming from the right, but only your left wall has a hole in it, it will sound as if the enemy is coming from the left. However if every wall has a hole in it you’ll likely hear the enemy coming long before they reach you. Keep in mind however the size of the holes matter as you can still be shot through them. You’re also quieter when you walk crouched instead of sprinting and the speed and armor of your operator also determine how loud you are.
Likely the best way to determine who will win a match is which team is actually working as a team. Who’s using headsets to effectively communicate with their team, can make quick and accurate call-outs, has strategies planned out on how to attack or defend, and honestly already has a good deal of map knowledge and experience in the game. This game is harsh to newbies, and speaking from experience, especially so for those who play lone wolf.
So yeah that’s my breakdown of R6 Siege, and while daunting to start so late in the game’s life it’s still easily one of my new favorites. After dealing with the grind, it’s so rewarding when you get a headshot or have a great game. I’ve also met a lot of cool players through the chat and over on Twitch where I’m also streaming this game pretty regularly (ahem check it out here. And honestly as accurate a review as I think this is, I’d recommend checking out IGN’s review here by Ryan McCaffrey. It’s pretty solid and goes into great detail on the game.