After the unfortunate cancellation of Rainbow 6: Patriots, many fans worried if there would be complications with their beloved series. Between September 24th and October 4th, fans were able to play a closed beta of Rainbow Six: Siege and give feedback to developer and publisher Ubisoft. The version of the closed beta I got to play was on the Xbox One.
It's important to remember this was only the beta and most of everything shown is subject to change, but how much will exactly change by release has yet to be seen. With that being said, there's an issue with the graphics right off the bat.
Upon booting up the game and getting into a match it's clear that there was pretty noticeable graphical downgrade from the E3 footage. The graphics in the Siege beta weren't bad by any means, but it's still rather unfortunate that they weren't nowhere near as pretty as early footage from E3. Siege runs at 1080p on PS4 and 900p on Xbox One.
In my time with the beta, I never ran into any issues with the graphics and the frame rate remained consistent, for the most part. The graphics were passable but, like I said before, they aren't anything that will blow you away.
Without the support of dedicated servers, the beta for Siege suffers from frequent lag and difficulties joining games. I encountered more error messages and (what felt like) near infinite loading screens than actual game time. This is a serious issue that needs to be fixed by launch.
The gameplay in Siege is where I believe most people will have split opinions on. Hardened Rainbow Six fans that have been following the franchise for a while will probably the miss the more tactical team-based gameplay of previous entries, whereas, newcomers and fans open to innovation will probably be happier with Siege's faster paced action oriented gameplay.
The two multiplayer modes offered in the beta (other than Terrorist hunt) are both Offensive and Defensive modes that are essentially take over a bomb planted by the Defense. It was actually pretty fun playing on defense and barricading the area of the bomb in an effort to keep the Offensive team out.
The problem with this though is that, in most of my game time, players did not care about the bomb and simply only wanted to kill the entire enemy team before they were killed. This especially went with people who didn't use mics.
No matter the player you might be, it is absolutely essential to play with friends that have mics or random people with mics. There is no other way of communication and it's almost a death sentence to play without mics, at least for the offensive team. Defense doesn't necessarily need mics, but it's better with them.
There were actually only 2 times where my team and I distracted the enemy team, stealthily made our way to the bomb, and defused it. I would complain more about the lack of stealth and players wanting to kill everyone rather than going for the objective, but that may be more of a gameplay style for Ghost Recon.
The classes (or in this case, "Operators") were seriously disappointing. In previous Rainbow Six games you could customize your character's individual armor pieces and clothing, but in Siege you don't get to do any of that.
Instead, you choose your Operator (after unlocking them with points), choose which gun you are most likely to use the most (you can change it any time in the menus), and then you get to customize that; that's it. The reasoning behind the absence of character customization is beyond me, but it's still severely disappointing nonetheless.
The variety of guns is about standard in what you'll find in most shooters. You have assault rifles, sub machine guns, shotguns, and handguns. Nothing really stood out to me, besides the shields. The shields can either be your best friend or worst nightmare.
Only a few classes on the Offensive team can use a shield, but all that team needs is one player in a shield class to tip the odds unfairly in their favor. The only way to kill a player using a shield is to shoot them from the side or the back. This makes it easy for them to rush into a room and kill everyone with their handgun and their teammates following behind.
Many walls, windows, floors, and ceilings in the environment are destructible. Creating your own door ways and flanking the enemy is a welcome addition to Rainbow Six; just don't expect the same destructibility of the Battlefield series.
The unique cover system that was found in Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is gone, and now has simplified it to a lean feature. While aiming down the sights, players can click in either left or right stick and lean left or right. It was an interesting feature, but I rarely found myself using it.
As a long time Rainbow Six fan, I have to say that I'm intrigued to see Siege in action at launch. Nothing in the beta really worried me about the overall quality of the game, but there were features in the beta that saddened me by being absent.
If Ubisoft listens to players and fixes the aforementioned problems with Siege, then Siege will have the capability to rival the current FPS giants that have, arguably saturated the market. I wish Ubisoft a good luck in the endeavors.
Stay tuned with us here at novoGamer for future Rainbow Six news.