A new year has come and with it a new member to GamEir! I won’t go into too much detail here. My name is Jack and I am delighted to be starting off my time with GamEir with a review of Rainbow Six Extraction. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, and published by Ubisoft, Rainbow Six Extraction is a new game in the Rainbow Six Franchise. While Extraction may be a spin-off that came about thanks to the limited time event Siege had in 2018 called Outbreak, it isn’t without its own new ideas and mechanics but we’ll touch a little more on that later in the review.
Starting off Rainbow Six Extraction I was expecting it to be similar to its predecessor Rainbow Six Siege with some inspiration taken from the likes of Left 4 Dead and by extension Back 4 Blood. While my expectations weren’t too far off the mark in what my experience with Extraction was going to be like, they don’t quite fully hit the mark either and that isn’t necessarily for the best.
Day Zero: Invasion
Starting up Extraction before you’re even at the main menu of the game you’re thrown into a cut-scene giving you a fairly basic set-up to the premise of the game.
A race of Aliens called the Archaens attack the earth(even though all we’re shown in detail is New York City) with a weaponized parasite called Chimera. However, a new team called REACT has been set up to tackle this new threat. Now, fans of Siege will recognize some of the operators in this cut-scene, namely Ash, Mira and Thermite. Although, they aren’t the only ones you may recognize when it comes down to choosing your operator later on.
While I was hoping for more of a story heading into the game, its plot is very bare-bones. There are about 11 or so minutes worth of cut-scenes, (including the intro and the tutorial debrief) spread throughout the game. While to some that may not be a terrible thing, the premise that Ubisoft has gone for screams for something a bit more epic to go down. Ultimately it feels squandered here.
Inspiration from greatness doesn’t always equal greatness.
Jumping into my first incursion I could tell my expectations, while not completely off the mark, were going to be sideswiped by the first few enemies alone. Extraction, while taking some inspiration from games like Left 4 Dead, goes for a slow and tactical game-play style to get through the objectives.
Going into incursions guns blazing at any stage is going to get you killed within seconds if you’re not careful. Even the most basic of mobs can kill you within only a few attacks. That’s not to say it’s unfair in its difficulty though, as that will mainly come down to you and your teammates.
While the game itself looks absolutely stunning on the PS5, it’s definitely a case of more style over substance. In total, there are 13 objectives throughout the game, with each area having 3 objectives at a time. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to get used to doing those 13 over and over again. As a platinum hunter, I do enjoy a good trophy grind. As monotonous as they can be. But there are only so many times you can do the same objectives over and over again. This is made more apparent in-game as the only variation is the procedurally generated enemy and objective locations.
Repetition thy name is Extraction
The game-play and mechanics aren’t completely without hope though, as there are the added real stakes with the new MIA system. This ties into one of the games’ 13 objectives. If an operator goes down in the middle of an incursion they will become unplayable and labelled as MIA. It is possible to rescue them during another incursion. But to do so is one of the more frustrating objectives of the game. Teammates must carry the operator to an extraction point in that same incursion to achieve a rescue.
Is it a saving grace for the lacklustre amount of objectives in the game in comparison to how often the other 12 will repeat? No. But it does add that little bit of urgency to the game when played with friends. One wrong move and all 3 of you could easily lose an operator each. However, depending on if you’ve worked on other operators load-outs or not it can be easier said than done to rescue them.
Rainbow Six Extraction is a weird offshoot with some fantastic ideas. More often than not, however, it fails to hit those ideas home. It’s an ambitious game, but at its core ends up being too repetitive to stand toe to toe with some of its peers. If you’re a big fan of Siege, you may end up enjoying the change of pace Extraction brings to the table. But at the same time, it’s different enough to the point that hardcore Rainbow Six and possibly by extension Tom Clancy game fans may feel alienated.
To buy or not to buy, that is the question.
Would I recommend buying it? No. But if you’re a fan of Siege or co-operative shooters and you have some friends who’d be interested in playing it I’d recommend downloading it through Game-Pass instead. If you’re on PlayStation, I would recommend waiting for it to inevitably go on sale. If you’re a trophy hunter of any kind, I would steer clear. The trophy list itself contains a few trophies with some insanely silly prerequisites to unlock. For example, the Proud Papa trophy requires you to get all 18 operators to level 10.
Rainbow Six Extraction makes for a fun time with friends if you’re looking for something a bit more tactically involved. However, its repetitiveness and terrible grind let it down and more than likely it will wear on you over time.