The TerroHunt is On
Initially, I was planning to label this as a hands-on preview, but I don’t wish to deceive you guys. I played so little of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege that it hardly counts as having played it at all. You see, I literally went only a minute into a five-man infiltration of a terrorist-held French consulate before I was unceremoniously shot down at the front door, permanently booted from the mission without ever setting foot inside the building.
True story, and an embarrassing one at that. You’d think being among my fellow game journalists and Ubisoft representatives would have inspired a better performance out of me. Alas.
Sad though it was, that quick demise drove home to this newcomer to the Rainbow Six franchise its trademark importance of tactics above everything else. This is not a shooter where running and gunning like in the arena days of Quake is a viable option. It’s one where movements need to be made carefully, team coordination is key, and everyone must always be on high alert and ready to respond swiftly and decisively at a moment’s notice. And even then, the threat of death is always one blown-apart wall and enemy sneak attack away.
The highlight of Siege’s presence at E3 was a newly-confirmed R6 classic, Terrorist Hunt, or TerroHunt for short, a single-player or co-op mode that pits player-controlled counter-terrorists against a whole map full of angry AI radicals. Fans of the series will be happy to know that it is returning in its original form (though with a few twists here and there), but there are also a few new variations to keep things fresh.
Ubisoft’s representatives showed us press folk one of these variations, a mission-type revolving around locating and disarming bombs strewn about the map, all while fighting off numerous enemies and making one’s way through various boarded-up doorways and other impediments. With the tools available, ranging from riot shields and EMP grenades to scout drones and sledgehammers, it’s possible to approach the TerroHunt from many angles. Rappel up to a second story window and sneak up on the enemy from above or blow up a wall standing in the way to catch their attention… those are both valid siege options and the kind of tactics available to counter-terrorists.
It pays to be able to switch gears on the fly, because, as my little noob story up top implies, things can get intense in a hurry. Rainbow Six: Siege boasts some very hard AI opponents all around. What’s more, they’re smart, capable of changing tactics when needed and even using players’ tactics (blowing up walls, rappelling in through windows, etc.) against them. Combined with the tight (and destructible) interiors of Siege’s maps and the fact that players can’t respawn, this results in an incredible, unnerving tension that looms over everything one does. One can never be too sure that the wall they’re standing next too won’t suddenly be hole-punched by gunfire from the other side, or that the room they’re defusing a bomb in won’t be besieged from two entrances at the same time.
To summarize, unpredictability is one of TerroHunt’s major selling points, and Ubisoft is working to ensure that that unpredictability keeps throughout multiple playthroughs thanks to a “siege generator” system designed to provide randomized missions with unique rules, enemy count, obstacle positions, objective locations and so on. Better yet, matchmaking will be included for those who don’t have friends immediately on hand. Good news for those who like to be on their toes and have the odds stacked against them in their FPS outings.
Though I certainly can’t say it from firsthand experience, I have to say that Ubisoft is doing some interesting things with TerroHunt. And with the game set to also include a scenario-based campaign and the 5-vs-5 PvP mode that the publisher has been hyping for the last year, there looks to be plenty for R6 fans to chew on when the game arrives for the PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 13.
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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