Title: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: January 20, 2022
Reviewed On: PS5
Genre: Tactical Shooter
There’s something to say about the staying power of the Rainbow Six series. Modern entries have adopted an online flow, but many find themselves still invested in 2015’s Rainbow Six Siege. Now, Ubisoft gives us Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction to branch off of this online-only concept and introduces a few other systems. This cooperative mission-based experience borrows elements of Siege but finds plenty of ways to be an enjoyable shooter to play with friends.
Rainbow Six Extraction wastes little time setting up its premise. However, when you first see the main menu, a lot of the content is locked behind milestones. Yes, this is an online game that requires you to play and play well if you want to see everything it has to offer. Each match puts you in a containment zone where you’re tasked with three missions across three connected zones. The order of the rooms and missions are random, and experience is granted for missions completed and enemies taken down. It’s possible to go through an area without completing a mission, though, so there’s room for error.
I will say it now. Rainbow Six Extraction can be challenging. Failed missions simply stayed failed, which is a potential bummer if you lost a teammate while trying to complete one or ran out of time. If all players fall in battle, they are unusable for a few rounds. It’s possible to play again to attempt a recovery, but there’s a lot of consequences for losing to consider. It forces players to play more methodically and not rush into a situation without being prepared. However, a time limit and an increasingly higher number of enemies spawn into the level.
If a time limit wasn’t enough, the ecosystem slowly becomes corrupted by a parasite that spawns more enemies unless these pods are dealt with. This only adds to the tension as you make your way through rooms watching out for enemies and slowing down the spread of the parasite.
There are 13 missions available that involve a pretty wide variety of objectives as far as missions go. While I enjoyed some of them, such as the escort and defend mission types, I found that the timed intel missions should have allowed a second attempt if failed. The time limit on these missions is exceptionally quick, so given the option to attempt to try again would have been an excellent additional risk for players to beat the clock.
Returning to the fact that this is a challenging game. Enemies become increasingly more problematic throughout each area. As you knock out spawn points, they do inevitably return, but the enemies will eventually overcrowd you. This requires you to have the health and ammunition to survive these waves and knowledge of each Operator and their special skills. Each Operator has an ability they can use in a match that is often essential to survival. Expect many of your first runs to end in failed missions as you become accustomed to navigating the levels and completing mission types.
There’s a variety of enemies types, but I found them all to be rather boring in design. They were all just so ordinary alien enemies with swords for hands or ones that blow up when shot. Further, some elite enemies can be annoying to deal with as you either have to destroy them or attempt to extract them using a trap.
However, this makes the game’s opening moments pretty taxing on players as they simply attempt to understand the game flow. What’s worse is that you may find yourself running low on operators during this time as they are unusable for a few matches. You end up unlocking more operators over time, each with a customizable loadout, but there’s a significant difficulty spike that may limit early fun. Regardless, while playing with friends, I managed to have fun whether we won or lost, but then again, we weren’t playing competitively.
The different zones offer a constant stream of stuff to unlock. Everything you do in the match unlocks new items and increases your experience. However, after a connection issue, my squad was kicked from the game, and when a member reset their game, we were all penalized for 5 minutes to join a random match. Thankfully, we had a full party, but I hope this doesn’t affect random only missions.
The most promising prospect about Rainbow Six Extraction is just how massive it can be. There are so many possibilities for new mission types, abilities, enemies, and zones through updates. It’s a fun game out of the box, with the most significant limitation of being an online-only experience.
Besides that, playing with friends is perhaps the best way to experience this game since it does require a decent amount of teamwork and strategy. One issue I had was that there isn’t a jump action. I know jumping isn’t the most graceful or tactical thing to do, but there were times where I felt I needed it. At least you can climb and vault over stuff, though.
Rainbow Six Extraction can be fun in a casual setting, but it caters mainly to the hardcore tactical shooter fanbase. This isn’t a bad thing because it’s fun as hell. Everything you do in a match is rewarded with a constant stream of in-game items and new areas, but this is only after a few hours of finding your bearings in zones and understanding mission types and operators. However, after that, the game opens up exceptionally well, with so much promise to continue with additional content and ways to strategize with friends.
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