Rainbow Six: Siege – Not for the Quiet Type

If there were ever a game that demanded constant communication, it’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege. Lone wolves, strong silent types, and jerkwads need not apply here. To be successful, a team of operators needs a good leader, open microphones, and at least the semblance of a plan.

We played a couple matches of multiplayer Siege at the E3 2015 Xbox games showcase, and aside from being insanely fun, the game plays at a decidedly different pace from other team-on-team multiplayer titles we’ve tried. Character movement is slower than, say, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but pacing feels somehow faster thanks to the relentless timer and the foreboding sense that someone is either coming for you, or lying in wait for you.

We played on the Workshop map, a tightly enclosed space with plenty of verticality. Our job, at first, was to take down the terrorists who had secured an enclosed area inside the workshop. We could’ve rappelled up onto the roof, or come in through the windows, but we chose instead to make use of Siege’s amazing destructibility and go directly into the structure – through one of the walls. A couple of sledgehammer strikes later, we were in. Unfortunately, the enemy was waiting for us.

Once the jig is up in Siege, the game becomes all about calling out where enemies are, determining what allies need, and trying to maintain order in total chaos. In other words, it’s a tiny bit like a real firefight. Because different character classes have different strengths – for example, Sledge has the wall-bashing sledgehammer, while Thatcher can use EMPs to take out security countermeasures – it’s critical that you not only build your team properly at the start, but have a leader who knows when to trigger his teammates’ abilities. Setting the right barricade here, or blowing a little observation hole there, can make all the difference in getting the drop on your enemy.

Now, all the emphasis on teamwork doesn’t mean there aren’t individual skills to be honed in Siege. Certain operators, like Ash, are best used from long range, and that means you need someone with some sniping skills. Other classes are flankers: When your team pins the enemy down, these guys are specialists at running around the edges and getting the drop on enemies – so you’d better have a player who knows the levels and how to move efficiently through them. And that’s really what makes Siege so much fun. When it’s clicking on all cylinders, when the adrenaline is pumping, when people are shouting commands, bullets are flying by, and the plan is all coming together – it feels like ordered chaos. Like you’re a single part of a greater whole. And when you win, well, that’s the best feeling in games, right?

We can’t wait until Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege hits Xbox One on October 13; just remember that when it does, don’t keep your mouth shut. Believe us, this is one game in which your teammates will actually thank you for speaking up.