June 16, 2014 by Paul Curtin
As usual, Ubisoft ended their media briefing with a stunning first look at a brand-new unannounced title that they’ve been keeping under wraps for some time. The unveiling of Rainbow 6: Siege was shocking, but an even bigger surprise was that the game was actually available to play behind closed doors at this year’s show.
Having a hands-on demo available the day after its announcement is rare these days and extremely rare at the Ubisoft E3 booth, considering that neither Assassin’s Creed nor The Division were playable this year and even Watch Dogs was hands-off last year.
Being the biggest surprise at this year’s show, Siege was one of the hottest tickets to get into. But we managed to get our way into a private screening where the devs played a couple rounds and even got to go hands-on ourselves competing against the likes of other top industry figures like Microsoft’s very own Larry Hryb, aka Major Nelson.
It instantly became clear while watching the developers play and playing ourselves that Siege really is as good as the demo Ubisoft showed off at their media briefing. With Watch Dogs not visually living up to its splashy 2012 debut, we can put any doubts you have to rest and confirm that Siege is the real deal and what you saw in that teaser is what you’ll get.
Jumping into our first game as the defending Team Rogue, we took the hostage upstairs into the master bedroom. Realizing that nobody had reinforced the front door that was left wide open, I quickly ran back down and boarded it up just as the attacking Team Raven started charging in. With the front door locked down, I left a little C4 present there and raced back upstairs to the bedroom. Trying to recreate what I had seen in the trailer, I started trying to shoot holes in the wall to get the vantage point on the front door… only to find that my SMG could only pop uselessly little bullet holes in the wall. A friendly teammate quickly ran over and with a couple blasts from his shotgun we had enough space to view the foyer below. The only problem was all of this distracted us, and nobody was watching our backs as the Rainbows swooped in from behind and wiped us out. Game 1 Team Raven.
Switching sides, it was now our turn for payback. After using our RC cars to survey the area and find where the enemy team had taken the hostage inside the house, we decided to go in through the backyard. As my team repelled up the back of the house and made their way to the roof, it dawned on me that I could just hang on the side of the house and pick off enemies through the window as they frantically ran around reinforcing the house. After taking out an enemy I caught running through the hallways, I was spotted and had to continue my climb to the roof to get away from the bullets flying all around me. With all my teammates already inside fighting, I saw the opportunity to take the same route that was shown at the media briefing’s demo. Using the ledge on the side of the house, I was able to quickly jump through one of the bedroom’s windows and pick off two enemies from behind, resulting in our victory after another intense shootout.
All tied up 1-1, we switched back to defense and took the hostage down to the basement. Laying down various traps like barbed wire, we locked the place down and got behind a shield-wielding teammate. Just waiting for the attacking team to make its move is nerve-wracking… feelings of claustrophobia instantly set in and only become worse when the walls started crumbling down and the attacking team came rushing in. Running from the explosion, I threw out my own satchel charge that I was able to detonate to take out some more Rainbows. Trying to recreate the shield and shooter tag team combo from the demo, I quickly got behind my teammate’s shield as he lead the way, only to find myself taken out with a quick headshot. Watching the remaining two players shoot it out as the clock ticked down brought back fond memories of what made Counter-Strike so amazing back in the day, and seeing my teammate score the winning kill was exhilarating… there was no fading to black here like in the trailer.
Unlike my hands-on time with Battlefield Hardline, playing Siege was packed with trailer-worthy epic moments that didn’t need months of practice to pull off. The idea of focusing on a small neighborhood with realistic destructible environments is exactly what the gaming community needs when everyone else is focusing on trying to have bigger and bigger open worlds.
From hilarious moments where teammates accidentally blew themselves up before a match even started to intense last-second standoffs while trying to escape with the hostage, every game of Siege felt unique. Rainbow Six: Siege was easily the best multiplayer we saw at E3 2014 and without question will be a huge hit in the competitive multiplayer scene and for friends just looking to have fun together when it’s released in 2015 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.