No, you’re not going loopy. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege did come out way back in December 2015. We reviewed it then on Xbox One and, despite some connectivity niggles, absolutely loved the tactics-based FPS action game.
Since its release, Ubisoft Montreal has supported the game with a whole manner of different expansions and updates. However, as we start to get to grips with the new generation of gaming, they have delivered the biggest update to the game yet.
And if this generation has taught us anything in its short time so far, it’s that games themselves can evolve almost seamlessly to keep up with the times. It’s a good job too, with new releases being somewhat thin on the ground. Yes, this is not a “new” game, but Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege has been optimized for Xbox Series X|S. But first, let’s recap what it’s all about for the newcomers (including myself).
The game sees two teams of operatives pitted against each other, in a similar setup to Counter-Strike: one team attacks, and the other defends. There’s usually a bomb involved, or some other nasty devices, and what inevitably ensues is a close quarters, tactical firefight.
There are plenty of different maps to duke it out on, and there are numerous different characters (attackers and defenders) you can play as, each with their own weapons and equipment. Rifles, pistols, shotguns, drones and grenades make up just part of the small arsenal that is available to you. Despite each match having pretty much the same structure (if you’re not a fan of this I’m afraid you won’t find much to enjoy here) the clever thing about Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is that events unfold differently each time.
This is mainly because the entirety of the game is played against other human players (unless you pop off to the training grounds or learning area to hone your skills). These are, by the way, useful in order to learn the basics, and more importantly save you getting schooled by some cocky 13 year olds online.
Combine the human element with the sheer variety of playable characters, and you’ve got yourself a serious amount of different combinations, which translates to a different experience each time you play.
There are a fair few “rooms” if you like, which matchmake under different conditions. To start, I’d advise heading to the Newcomer room to play against other rookies of the game. Once you’ve had some practice, there’s Quick Match and Discovery – a time limited custom game which changes regularly – to dive into. You’ll unlock ranked matches when you get to level 50, and start to earn some bragging rights. Don’t worry though, as it’ll take you a while to get up there so you should be half decent by then. Should be.
A big part of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is found in the progression and customisation. As previously mentioned you level up by gaining XP after matches, but you will also earn renown (the in-game currency) with which you can buy all sorts of goodies with. These range from weapon skins to items for your character, ultimately allowing you to add a personal touch to who you play as.
You can also buy credits with real money, and these can be used to buy loot packs and the like, if you should wish, or you can spin to win these after emerging victorious from a match, so you don’t have to spend real money to access in-game loot. For every match you play, your winning percentage will increase, so eventually you will be guaranteed to win a loot pack. After you do so, your chances will drop right back down again.
Now, I must be honest. I don’t normally enjoy games such as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege because, well, I’m not very good at them. However, once I got to grips with the game mechanics, I found it to be very well-designed and a joy to play. Unlike the last time we went hands on, the online matchmaking is now quick and stable and I have managed to play a whole stack of games without any issues whatsoever.
However, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, the biggest draw for players is that the game now runs in 4K at up to 120fps and features render scaling. This means things run very smoothly indeed, and it looks great. The best part is that those of you who own the game digitally will be able to upgrade to the Xbox Series X|S version for free. And if you don’t? The optimised Deluxe Edition of the game is available on Xbox Game Pass too. This doesn’t include everything, but there’s plenty to get you started, including a fair few attackers and defenders to play as.
In order to cause minimum disruption to the game’s online community, cross-platform play has also been implemented amongst console families. This means Xbox One owners can play against those with an Xbox Series X, and all the other combinations that go with it.
Thanks to some current-gen wizardry, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is looking better than ever – you wouldn’t be able to tell at first glance that it’s a five year old game. It seems Ubisoft Montreal has no intention of letting this one gather dust, and now is as good a time as any to dive in and check it out for yourself. Now, if we can have some news on Splinter Cell 7 that would be great…
The thriving online community and wealth of customisation options lay down potential for endless hours of tactical firefighting in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege on Xbox Series X|S; all you need to do is get on with how the game works, because then it very much sticks with it from the off. The PvP element keeps the action fresh, tense, and most of all fun. And now it’s had a visual facelift, what possible excuse do you have for not giving it a go?