Back early in the year of 2022, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege received the Operation Chimera update. Inside it came a limited-time event called Outbreak, a PvE zombies-like game mode. This mode never returned in almost any shape or form since that time. Four years later, that event has become a full, standalone game called Rainbow Six Extraction. I’m left with so many mixed feelings concerning the game, given that it’s good from the gameplay perspective, but strays from exactly what the Tom Clancy games were all about.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction is really a spinoff title that can take devote the Rainbow Six Siege world. Following loosely in the events of the Outbreak event in Siege, a Soyuz rocket from Russia crashed at Truth or Consequences, Boise state broncos which triggered a parasitic outbreak into a crisis and soon right into a pandemic. Rainbow Operator Eliza Cohen (Ash) along with a handful of Operators from Team Rainbow mobilize from this threat.
In efforts to contain herpes, the Rainbow Exogenous Analysis and Containment Team (REACT) was formed. With Team Rainbow on board with handling this threat, many faces will be familiar to fans from the Siege franchise including fan favorites like Tachanka and Ela simply to name a few. You’ll play as or see these familiar faces interacting with you want these Ash. Thermite and Mira are also seen to become crucial in the organization’s efforts in quelling this extraterrestrial virus, more formally referred to as Chimera Parasite.
On one hand, it’s really exciting to see the field of Rainbow Six Siege expanding having a more narrative-driven focus. These Operators have so much untapped potential to have their stories told, particularly when many of us are drawn to their identities similar to their nationalities or quips.
On the other hand, seeing this franchise now going into sci-fi alien shooter territory feels like it’s defiling the legacy that Tom Clancy left. Had this just be a separate game mode like Call of Duty games have with Zombies, this is easier to overlook. The fact that farmville exists is puzzling, as you would expect.
Surprisingly, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction is a really fun game. It strays away from your typical zombie shooter games where you’d fight off massive waves of hordes. The sport is a lot slower, methodical, and tactical. You can’t just spray a lot of bullets right into a wave of zombies and stop hunting. You need to gear up accordingly when dealing with Incursions.
The game will throw you into four separate locales, ranging from places like New York City, Bay area, Alaska, and New Mexico. Each area is separated into three separate places of interest— or Hot-Zones. Comparing their sizes to Siege, these are significantly larger in scale and do bring back the destructible environments.
Upon entering a Hot-Zone, each mission starts you off at an extraction zone where you’ll be met using the hostile aberrations spawned through the Chimera Parasite, which are called “Archæans” (for stylistic purposes, I’ll make reference to them as just Archaeans or “Archies”). These Archaeans are sentient and anthropomorphic.
Their designs feel generic and follow the typical functions and roles of zombie enemies in games of the same genre. You've Grunts what are cannon fodder, the Bloaters and Breachers which are the volatile infected. There's also Smashers what are big nasties that take a lot to kill, but have a clear weak spot; then you have Apexes that are summoners. There are other variants, but you understand.
You’ll take on different layouts of enemies and various objectives in each mission. This is exactly what keeps the sport refreshing: you are able to become familiarized with mission objectives and enemy types, however they won’t maintain exactly the same places or instances every time.
The Archaeans will also be very lethal, even the Grunts. Like mentioned earlier, farmville is slower, methodical, and tactical. You need to know when and where you’d want to strike against these Archaeans. All it takes is for just one bad proceed to get killed.
The game does emphasize quite heavily on stealth, since majority of your guns come equipped with silencers automatically. It isn’t the only real viable choice here, however for many cases, a minimum of in the early game, it’ll help get you used to the tactical and methodical combative approaches. R6 Extraction depends on environmental and auditory awareness.
You need to know where footsteps are coming from, where possible Archaean Nests are laid so that you can prevent more Archies from spawning. You have to know any possible exits, crevices, and destructible environments you can use for a tactical advantage. Perhaps probably the most fun aspect of the game aside from its gunplay.
Rainbow Six Extraction is really dependent on the tactical options you’d use in Siege— the Operators you choose. Unfortunately, from the 62 current Operators from Siege, there are only 18 in Extraction. It’s a really small number, and hopefully, more of options are put in post-launch.
Luckily using the number we have, you will find plentiful mixtures of tactics to utilize. What’s slightly different here from Siege would be that the Operators in Extraction may use different gadgets than what these were accustomed to from the multiplayer shooter. If you use Tachanka, you can use frag grenades instead of his barbed wire or deployable shield.
The customization is very solid here around the gameplay and cosmetic level. There’s a great deal to explore despite the drastically cut roster.
Unlike a number of other class-based shooter games, Extraction doesn’t require players to grind heavily to get into endgame activities. The only real major differences between higher-leveled players and noobies would be the access to more gear, weapons, and some slight perks. Loadouts are as simple as selecting a weapon and gadgets, so Extraction is easy to get without having to be too lost or left behind.
One final facet of what keeps the sport refreshing is the Operator Status system. You've got a roster of 18 characters or Operators, however they could be injured or go MIA in missions. In the event where your Operator completes a mission with 1 health remaining, they'll be decommissioned in subsequent missions until their health goes back up. Should they fall in combat throughout an Incursion, they will be labeled MIA and be unusable until they are rescued by another Operator.
This results in a risk-reward system that also encourages the player to choose different classes. A minimum of this provides a sense of realism and tactical play that lots of like about the Tom Clancy franchise. You are able to die easily and when you need to do, there will be consequences afterwards.
There is a handful of rotating weekly endgame modes such as the Wall-to-Wall, Kick the Anthill, and Veteran modes which will test the various abilities and strategies players come up with. Then there’s the Maelstrom Protocol mode that forces players to only choose from a preselected number of Operators to defend myself against gradually harder objectives. This is the ranked mode of the game. All the endgame content will need a full squad to play, so you do need to bring your A-Game to make it out alive and join the ranks.
The game is rather short, and it’s properly reflected in the cost. Still, as the many mixed feelings here suggest, Extraction really might have been an expansion or new game mode to help keep the ever-popular Siege alive for many years.
Rainbow Six Extraction is a mixed bag of right and wrong. It’s carried primarily from the tactical, yet intense gameplay. In concept, it strays completely from what actually defines a Tom Clancy game. The slower-paced, yet intense gameplay is phenomenal, but it’s only because it’s working off the firm foundation laid for Siege in 2022. It’s a standalone title that loses footing in developing a more original identity by itself.