Who knew that after years of Rainbow Six Siege being a big hit that Team Rainbow would move from a PvP to a PvE experience? Well, in Rainbow Six Extraction, we see just that as Team Rainbow goes toe-to-toe with Earth’s newest threat: mutating aliens. This first-person shooter from Ubisoft is a 1-3 player experience that sees players going on Incursions to fight aliens and complete objectives while offering some new, challenging mechanics while bringing back some well-known Operators to play. And while we do have a general review of the game, honestly the best way to review this game would have to be through a Rainbow Six Extraction co-op review.
Will players who enjoyed Rainbow Six Siege also enjoy Rainbow Six Extraction?
Kyle: I only played a little bit of Siege, but the gameplay feels very similar. It is going to come down to whether players prefer the PvP aspect of Siege or the PvE of Extraction. It should feel pretty familiar to Siege players though, which is appealing.
Mick: Last I checked I have over 500 hours played in Rainbow Six Siege. Extraction feels like a fantastic entry point for those who feel overwhelmed with Siege, while also being fun for those who are lapsed or actively play. Ubisoft did a great job translating Siege mechanics to a PvE setting. From the gadgets to the gunplay to the Operators’ abilities. Everything plays well. Plus, if you got a squad all set already, y’all would be all set to tactically take down the Archaeans.
Quinn: If PvE turns you off, this isn’t the game for you. But if you enjoyed Siege for its pacing, diversity in Operators and their abilities, and just love the tactical side of the game, Extraction will be not only very familiar gameplay-wise, but you’ll get addicted to it fast. Just, instead of fighting other players, you’ll be fighting mutant aliens.
How do you like the MIA and health mechanic?
Kyle: At first I was opposed to it, but after a while, it really grew on me. Especially the MIA mechanic, it was neat to have to rescue operatives instead of just waiting on a timer. The downside is it makes progression take longer since you can’t just use the same operator over and over again, but it does make you try new Operators and tactics when playing.
Mick: Like any mechanic that feels like it takes away from my experience, it felt daunting. But it actually fits well. The whole goal of Extraction is working to level your Operators up to get better guns and upgrades to your equipment. The health mechanic is a soft way to force you to try out new Operators and to level up several Operators at once. As for the MIA, I can take it or leave it. The only real negative of it is it forces you to replay a level and if you fail, you lose Operator experience (unless they’re level 10) and overall experience. That part feels harsh in a game full of situations that can and will go wrong very quickly.
Quinn: Personally, I love both PvE and punishing games. There’s nothing like struggling to come out on top that’ll get your adrenaline pumping. And that’s why I really enjoy the MIA mechanic. It adds just the right amount of incentive not to get overconfident. Additionally, the health mechanic is definitely a much-needed one. I like that the game forces you to not only share Operators with other players—for a better Rainbow Six Extraction co-op experience—but to expand your arsenal so you don’t specialize in just one type of Operator.
Is the game too punishing?
Kyle: Not really. The game definitely rewards playing intentionally, you can’t just run and gun, but once you learn how the different enemies operate and how the different locations are mapped out it becomes a little bit easier. There is definitely a learning curve, but it does reward your hard work and patience.
Mick: I think the punishing portion of the game comes with the learning curve. Similar to Siege, there is a steep learning curve early on and it requires you to learn fast. Learning where an enemy’s weak spot is, which eliminates them in fewer shots, how to optimally complete objectives, or not to be too brazen is a lot to learn to start off a very technical game. But that hurdle’s height can be changed with difficulty and gear optimization.
Quinn: There is definitely a challenge to the game but I don’t think it’s overly punishing per se. It’s going to take you a few runs to really get a hang of the enemies and the objectives, even with the great tutorial system Extraction offers. So you’ll definitely get beat up a bit on your first few Incursions but sticking with it will land you not only more understanding of the gameplay expected of you but also reward you with gadgets that will help you get over that steep learning curve.
Is there enough diversity to keep the game interesting over the long run?
Kyle: There is a decent amount of location and objective variety to start, but I do see it getting old after a while. It can stay fresh with the addition of new locations or mission types, and the number of Operators will also keep it feeling fresh and new.
Mick: This may be the biggest hurdle for Extraction. While at the start, yes. Especially as you focus on studies and raise the difficulty when you feel confident enough in your and your team’s abilities. However, I can easily see the game getting stale very quickly if new Operators, objectives, and areas aren’t added on a regular frequent basis. At least Ubisoft confirmed that they will have regular events that add new threats to spice up the gameplay which should make for a great, lasting co-op experience in Rainbow Six Extraction.
Quinn: At the start, there’s a lot of Operators, guns, gadgets, and abilities to contend with along with plenty of maps to explore and objectives to complete. But eventually, it does get a little stale. There are only so many combinations of enemies and objectives that you’ll encounter, especially on lower difficulties. Thankfully Ubisoft has added some interesting Endgame content that should keep the game fresh.
Overall, if you’re a fan of Rainbow Six Siege, you’ll love Rainbow Six Extraction for its pacing, gameplay, and Operators. It’s challenging but oh so fun, and the MIA mechanic really spices up the PvE experience. If Ubisoft keeps updating the Endgame content in Rainbow Six Extraction, then this is definitely a great co-op game to check out.
Rainbow Six Extraction is available on Jan 20th on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S through Gamepass, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.