As much as we are prepared for change, nothing quite comes close to it than the actual thing. Just ask the folks behind Rainbow Six Quarantine, the co-op PvE shooter that was first announced by Ubisoft back at E3 2019. Fast forward to the present, the pandemic has significantly affected development, and the game has seen few updates besides its inevitable delay. However, the team at Ubisoft has been working hard at perfecting their version of a co-op experience that will satisfy many, and judging from our recent hands-on, the newly reborn Rainbow Six Extraction has much going for it.
While the name change is timely, the core of the gameplay remains broadly similar to what has been shown off thus far – players will team up in trios, made up of Operators from Rainbow Six Siege, albeit refitted for the more sci-fi world of Rainbow Six Extraction. Instead of hostile humans, the fight is up against the terrifying and extraterrestrial Archaeans.
Rainbow Six Extraction Details
This evolving alien threat is not to be taken lightly. While you may have been used to human ingenuity fighting against other teams in Siege, your missions and objectives in Rainbow Six Extraction will require a different kind of cunning and precision to succeed.
Dropped into different maps made up of three sub-maps in incursions, players have to endure a gauntlet of ever-rotating objectives and enemies in scenarios that demand you to ask yourself: is the risk worth the reward?
In every incursion, you will have the option to extract at any point. This allows teams to bank rewards from any completed objectives. Of course, if you want more, you will have to keep going, but the further you go, the more difficult things become, so do you abandon your team just to make sure you get out alive, or does everyone want to go down fighting? This choice will be vital as you venture into every incursion in Rainbow Six Extraction.
To make things even more intense, Ubisoft is making sure you suffer the consequences of recklessness. If a teammate falls during an incursion and is not saved in time, they enter stasis and go Missing in Action. As a player, you are essentially out of the current incursion, but more importantly, that particular Operator will not be playable until they are rescued — nothing like losing your favourite and best Operator to make you think twice about losing your cool.
The Thick of the Action
That most certainly will not be easy, especially if the Archaeans have something to say about it. Born out of the limited-time Outbreak event from Rainbow Six Siege, these more evolved beings have become more adept at tearing apart human flesh. Not only do you have to worry about falling prey to a wide range of Archaens and their unique abilities, but the different objectives you have to complete will also change how you approach them as well.
Every sub-map will feature an objective, and they could be any of the following and more:
- Specimen: Lure and capture an Archaean, alive
- Decontamination: Obtain samples from contaminated nests
- Nest Tracking: Remain in stealth and plant tracks on inactive nests
- Triangulation: Locate and activate laptop stations to gather intel
- Serial Scan: Secure areas of interests, while holding off the Archaean swarm
- Hunt: Hunt down Archaeans and summon an Elite Archaean to hunt down
- Rescue: Locate the VIP and get them out of danger
- No One Left Behind: Activated only when a teammate is down, bring them to safety via the Extraction Zone
- Shutdown: Disable a parasite tower with the help of explosive charges
- Sabotage: Ensure explosive charges go off by defending against the Archaeans
- Biopsy: Collect a tissue sample from specific targets via a stealth takedown
With different maps and sub-maps set to be thrown into the mix, no two objectives will play out the same way. In one instance, you may be shooting your way to success with objectives the prioritises your combat skills, but in another, you may fail miserably because staying subtle is not your strong suit.
It takes a well-rounded set of skills to overcome the odds, and you best be making sure your team is up to the task, as the Archaeans are not here to play.
Monsters in the Dark
Just like how players will get access to the different Operators with unique skills and abilities, the enemy is not a pushover either. From the Nests that spew out more aliens to the ever-encroaching Sprawl that threatens to cover the map and slow you down, keep your eyes peeled for danger from every corner.
Grunts can close the distance quickly and tear you a new one, while the Spiker provides ranged damage. You most certainly do not want to be caught in between a gang of Breachers, which will detonate on impact and end you in an instant. The Lurker provides another threat, staying invisible and buffing others to do the same.
Although the hands-on did not allow us to glimpse the Archaean army fully, the encounters with them have left a deep impression on how they can challenge seasoned first-person shooter players. Hence, teamwork is essential in Rainbow Six Extraction, and you go solo at your own risk.
Thankfully, the Operators have some aces in their sleeve to level the playing field somewhat, as skills and abilities can grant tactical advantages against such an overwhelming foe. Detecting all enemies without a certain radius will allow you to plan your movement, while explosive charges that deal high damage are always handy to have. And not to forget, being able to heal or revive from a distance can be the difference between a full team or one Missing in Action.
The drone also returns in Rainbow Six Extraction, giving you more flexibility in scouting out the sub-maps. There is also the new REACT tech, new technology developed to deal with the Archaeans. Depending on your playstyle, the Recon Drone, Body Armour, Explosive Harness, Ammo Satchel, and more will allow you to add value to the team.
Missing in Action in Rainbow Six Extraction
The hands-on demo also allowed us to experience the unique mechanic of Missing in Action in, well, action. When an Operator goes MIA, they are taken off the board for future incursions unless you can rescue them. Thrown in as objectives in the sub-maps, it is vital that you succeed to bring one of your own back from the fold.
But it is not going to be easy. Now, locating the captured Operator is easy, but dealing with the Archaeans will prove more challenging. Teams will also have to deal with a rescue sequence that can be hectic and intense, such that when one player tries to pull the Operator out of a Chimera Archaean Tree, the others will need to be extremely alert.
You will need to hold off enemies while also ensuring that you shoot down pulsating fuels pods trying to maintain the tree’s hold on the MIA Operator. Succeed in this extraterrestrial tug-of-war, and you will still need to escort said Operator to the Extraction Zone without perishing to get them out. And once they are back, they will require some time to recover from their injuries. The sooner you can save them, the better it is.
Although the short experience was not enough to give us a full taste of what Rainbow Six Extraction is all about, the signs are positive and intriguing. By taking an established stalwart in Rainbow Six Siege and transplanting elements into an extension like Rainbow Six Extraction, Ubisoft is looking to continue the success in another vein.
The co-op aspect is tight and enjoyable, and the Archaeans look to be a worthy enough threat to keep players coming back. Add in rotating objectives and maps, and the stage is set for another successful multiplayer shooter to add to the studio’s roster. There is much to look forward to if Rainbow Six Extraction manages to keep the fun infectious and the support constant.