A Q&A from E3 regarding Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege – because we need to know more!
1. What is Rainbow Six Siege?
Rainbow Six Siege is the upcoming installment of the acclaimed first-person shooter franchise developed by the renowned Ubisoft Montreal studio for the new generation of consoles and PC.
Inspired by the reality of counter-terrorist operatives across the world, Rainbow Six Siege invites players to master the art of destruction. Intense close quarters confrontations, high lethality, tactics, team play, and explosive action are at the center of the experience.
The multiplayer gameplay of Rainbow Six Siege sets a new bar for intense firefights and expert strategy in the rich legacy of past Rainbow Six games.
2. What are the key innovations of Rainbow Six Siege?
From the start of the project, our focus has been to bring back the godfather of the tactical shooter. The first big challenge we set for ourselves was to adapt our DNA—tactics, team play, and intense action—to a new and unique multiplayer experience.
Our direction for this Rainbow Six is based on one word: SIEGE. The siege gameplay promise embraces the counter-terrorism reality. It consists of a 5vs5 asymmetrical close quarters combat scenario between two opposing teams in indoor environments. One team will try to counter the assault by building a stronghold and fortifying it; the other team will lead the assault by using demolition to breach into the stronghold.
One of our biggest wins—which is core to the siege concept—is our procedural destruction technology. We are showcasing technology which is only possible thanks to next-gen and that will give an unprecedented level of freedom to players.
- Rainbow Six Siege is all about tactics, team play, and action.
- Our gameplay promise is the SIEGE. An asymmetric confrontation. Destruction vs. fortification.
- Our biggest tech breakthrough is indoor procedural destruction.
3. How would you describe the Rainbow Six fantasy? What makes it different from other shooters?
Rainbow Six is based on the reality of counter-terrorism units (CTU). The CTU fantasy is what really drives the game’s vision, the siege, and what truly differentiates us from the competition. Counter-terrorist units have very different tactics compared to the special forces/military units found in other FPS titles.
Counter-terrorism units are experts of indoor encounters. Therefore, their training in close quarters combat and demolition is adapted to confined environments. They are “short range” specialists. The situations they handle are also very specific; from hostage rescue to airplane hijacking, the way they handle each situation is highly surgical and lethal.
4. Can you describe siege gameplay in more detail?
The word “siege” defines the core gameplay experience for the overall game.
Rainbow Six games usually take place in indoor environments where you have one team leading an assault and an enemy team trying to counter that assault. Gameplay wise, siege is an asymmetrical confrontation between two opposing forces, attackers and defenders, with two completely different roles and means.
At the center of the siege you have a tug of war between fortification and destruction.
Defenders need to counter the attackers by fortifying their position and building a stronghold, reinforcing walls and floors, using barbed wire, deployable shields and mines, and more. They need to control and obstruct open spaces, create bottlenecks, watch the environment carefully, and trap their attackers.
Attackers, on the other hand, need to breach the stronghold and eliminate the defenders using observation drones, sheet charges, rappelling, and more. They need to find weaknesses in the defense, create entry points, and surprise the enemy using coordinated assault tactics.
5. What multiplayer mode are you showing at E3? How does a match play out?
The specific mode we are showing at E3 is called Hostage Rescue.
Each match is 5vs5 and lasts 3-4 minutes every round.
Each siege is unique, depending on the situation or the location, but every siege has a similar process – different steps the player will go through.
To win a match, the defenders need to maintain control of the hostage until time expires. Attackers need to extract the hostage. If either team kills the hostage, their team instantly loses. Another winning condition is to kill all of the players on the opposing team.
Planning is the first phase. The planning phase takes less than 30 seconds. While looking at a tactical map, players need to select their class and insertion point.
Then, the preparation phase begins. This phase is crucial. During this phase, attackers get to use observation tools (i.e. drone) to locate the hostage, analyze the enemy’s defenses, and scout out enemy positions. Defenders need to quickly fortify their position.
Finally, the match begins. The timer is set at three minutes. The attackers’ goal is to extract the hostage before the three minutes elapses. The defenders’ goal is maintain control of the hostage. During this time, the players will attempt to execute the plan the team agreed upon and outwit their opponents through communication, tactics, and skill. Each player only has one life, one chance, so every decision becomes paramount. Players will have different load outs and tools depending on the class they chose and, of course, if they are attackers (i.e. C4, rappel) or defenders (i.e. barricade, barbwire).
6. What impact does procedural destruction have in the game?
Destruction is at the heart of the siege gameplay. Leveraging Ubisoft Montreal’s proprietary Realblast engine, players now have the unprecedented ability to destroy environments. Walls can be shattered, opening new lines of fire, and ceiling and floors can be breached, creating new access points. Everything in the environment reacts realistically, dynamically, and uniquely based on the size and caliber of bullets you are using or the amount of explosives you have set.
As you saw in the E3 video, our procedural destruction is a material base system that is realistic and non-scripted. The material you shoot breaks differently based on what size and caliber of bullets you use or the amount of explosives you set. It will never break the same way twice.
Core to the siege gameplay experience, procedural destruction gives the player the ability to modify the level design in real time by creating holes in walls, floors, and windows using weapons or explosives.
In Rainbow Six Siege, destruction is meaningful and mastering it is often the key to victory.
7. Players have one life in each match without the ability to respawn, why?
While play testing and tweaking variables, we discovered that giving players only one life actually builds an incredible amount of tension while still encouraging team play, both key pillars in the Rainbow Six franchise.
This notion encourages players to develop strategies with their teammates and communicate to apply and adapt their strategy as needed. Therefore, the planning and preparation phases are key moments in a round, a time when players can choose the best insert point and approach.
Even when killed, players still have a very important role because they can access cameras in the building and share information with their teammates who are still alive.
Finally, what’s great with our game is that the rounds are fairly short (3-4 minutes) so players never wait more than 2-3 minutes when dead.
8. What modes can players expect in the game?
Rainbow Six has always offered a strong multiplayer component. Therefore, when we started working on Rainbow Six Siege, we established an objective: create a fun, innovative adversarial multiplayer experience that respects the Rainbow Six DNA.
The development team are avid FPS players, so we knew that if we had fun with our multiplayer mode, we had a good start for this new title.
We can’t reveal any details, but we realize that Rainbow Six has always been known for quality solo / co-op gameplay, including Terrorist Hunt, so expect more information on these modes in the future.
9. Who is developing the game?
So far, the entirety of the development of Rainbow Six Siege has been managed by a team of avid FPS players at Ubisoft Montreal.
10. What engine and technology does the game utilize?
We are using the Anvil-Next engine, a proprietary Ubisoft engine that is used on many AAA projects such as the Assassin’s Creed franchise. It is a common practice within Ubisoft to share technology and key learnings between projects. Of course we’ve been working with Anvil-Next for a couple of years now and made it our own for Rainbow Six Siege.
The game’s destruction is powered by Realblast, an internal Ubisoft technology developed by the Montreal team. The Realblast team has been fully dedicated to Rainbow Six for the past year and a half and has implemented their tech in our engine and game.
With our game set indoors and being fast paced, we are making sure that 60 FPS and low latency are mandatory so that player’s input is fast and responsive. Also, the game will be only playable in first person view like the original Rainbow Six.
11. When is the game coming out and on what platforms?
The game will ship in 2015 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.