Initial release date: January 20, 2022
Series: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six
Mode: Multiplayer video game
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 5, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, Microsoft Windows
Developers: Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal
Engine: AnvilNext, AnvilNext 2.0
"Review Copy Provided By Ubisoft"
The Rainbow Six franchise has come a long way from the late 90’s and has consistently reinvented itself and evolved over the years into the outstanding tactical shooter in Rainbow Six Siege. Siege has been a mainstay in the tactical shooter genre and has been climbing the ranks to the point of rivaling Call of Duty and Battlefield. So now we have a further evolution of the formula from Siege in the form of Extraction which is a three-player co-op shooter that has players taking down aliens, yes ALIENS!
So, when I say Aliens, I’m not talking in the sense of Xenomorphs from the Aliens franchise but moreso are parasitic that infect whole areas by blanketing areas in in a black stick matter while also kidnapping and killing various individuals. These aliens are known as Archaeans and it’s up to the crew of operators’ players are familiar with from Siege to take on this alien threat. If you’re interested in the game’s lore, then you’ll find an incredibly deep amount of story to be had with the benefit of it being completely optional for those who want to dive in and immerse themselves into it.
From a gameplay perspective, Extraction is substantially different from Siege in that you either play missions with a three-person team or solo and are tasked with completing objectives within the various maps that are divided into three zones that’ll have you fighting off and tagging the Archaeans. Each mission will have you selecting from a variety of characters to choose from each with their own skillsets, loadouts, and attributes with no two operators functioning the same. Each operator effectively plays their role in being a specific class such as medic, recon, assault, and the like giving you a variety of ways that you can take out the alien opposition and if you play with others then you’ll be able to have a stack out your squad with a balanced set of operators allowing you to hit the Archaeans hard and clear the zones as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The gunplay feels weighty and has you utilizing precision the same way you would in Siege in that most enemies will be able to be instantly killed in one hit. You may assume that the game plays out in ways similar to WB’s Back 4 Blood, however, Extraction strongly encourages that players approach every encounter stealthily given that you can easily be killed by the Archaeans especially if and when they decide to swarm you.
Given that levels are multi-part missions that drop you into maps divided up into three zones, playing with others makes the experience substantially more fun than playing alone as there will be parts where you have to rescue captured operators and will need to task one player to removing them from the alien matter they are encased in while another player focuses on shooting down the extremities that are trying to hold onto the captured operator and the last player has to hold down the fort by combating the wave of enemies coming at everyone. You will run into other scenarios where you will need to attach trackers to alien nests or kill specific super enemies and more and I’ll just say that each encounter is an incredibly tense, terrifying, and thrilling experience that I highly recommend you go through with a crew of friends.
The risk vs reward system that Extraction will have you hooked on is amazing and what makes it even better is that along with a level progression system and a slew of customization options is the fact that if you die in a mission, not only is your operator MIA and will need to be rescued as alluded to earlier but you also will de-level as a penalty for failure giving every operation a level of tension and stress that will not have you feeling like it’s a cake walk. Unfortunately, the single player aspect of the game is where this title crumbles onto itself as the missions can tend to drag out and you can find yourself in some often-unwinnable situations that would otherwise be manageable with a crew or at least one other player along for the ride.
So, is Extraction worth it? If you’ve got Gamepass then I definitely say give this game a go and if you have a few friends to play with then no matter the platform I’d say it’s more than worth it. However, if you plan to play this game solo then I don’t know if I can honestly recommend this to you as it can get not only tedious but repetitive and will start to lose a lot of its luster. For all others, this is a game that I can see you getting a ton of replay-value out of especially if you are looking for a new co-op shooter or already enjoy Siege and want to play as your favorite operators in a new environment. Rainbow Six Extraction is already one of the most solid games of the year and here’s to looking forward to UbiSoft sustaining this game with tons of content for years to come.