Gaming

Slow grind to get ahead in Siege for solo players

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege's mission mode offers various operation goals set over a variety of locations, which you have to tackle alone.
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege's mission mode offers various operation goals set over a variety of locations, which you have to tackle alone.PHOTO: UBISOFT

Still, Clancy's new series has potential on multi-player front and will appeal to strategy buffs

Hours into my first play of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, it became a test of perseverance.

This late entrant to last year's class of shooters offers a sleek menu, but perhaps lacks features to keep casual players constantly engaged. The menu offers available missions, a section to unlock operatives, a place to shop and a community site.

Mission mode offers various operation goals set over a variety of locations which you have to tackle alone. Before each mission, a brief cut-scene introduces you to the operative that you will play as. Players then have to formulate their strategy and test the abilities of their assigned operative role.

Unfortunately, if you're not comfortable with the operative's tactical style, you are bound to make mistakes during the mission.

  • 8/10

    RATING


    PRICE: $59.90 (PC), $69.90 (PS4, version tested), $69.90 (Xbox One)

    GENRE: First-person shooter

What I like about Siege is the freedom to approach the missions my own way. I prefer storming through windows, doors and walls. This game taught me that leaning against walls for cover is not always a good idea and going in, guns blazing, is a sure way to suicide.

I took about 30 minutes to complete one stage when I was required to clock less than nine. The trainers from my Singapore Police Force reserve service days would shake their heads if they knew this.

There are three objectives in each mission. Meeting them gives you a high score that is translated into "Renown" points, the in-game currency to unlock new specialists and weapon upgrades. Unlocking the next team member within the same squad costs more points, so you have to work harder or replay at higher difficulty settings.

Failed missions give you a lower score and the frustration of slow progress will eventually sink in.

This is when you will feel tempted to spend real money on boosters, a common option in many games nowadays. With Siege, you can purchase credits or get the Season Pass for a better value.

The lack of both a story campaign and a cooperative option in the single-player mode is glaring.

These omissions lower the game replay value. Grinding for points to unlock operatives and enhancements within the current play modes is going to bore you sooner or later.

The good news is that Ubisoft intends to offer its downloadable content for free. There are no details yet, but a 72-hour booster (worth about $4) was made available on the PS Store recently at no charge.

What I like about Siege is the freedom to approach the missions my own way. I prefer storming through windows, doors and walls. This game taught me that leaning against walls for cover is not always a good idea and going in, guns blazing, is a sure way to suicide.

With drones, opponents can scout to determine my location and then employ many breaching techniques to take me down.

Conversely, as a defender, I have many tools to slow down and trap infiltrators. Having one life per session demands a systematic approach and, since communication with team-mates is vital in order to win during online multi-player sessions, it is wise to invest in a better headset.

A recent December patch was supposed to address various online matchmaking bugs, but I still encountered the occasional user menu lags and disconnections.

I hope console versions will get a similar graphics upgrade, like the 4K resolution support for the PC version. Ubisoft should also consider bringing back face-capture mode and radical camouflage prints. Those really raised the bar in avatar customisation and made online play more interesting in the last game.

Siege is a deep game about strategy - which gamers can learn about from studying the user uploads on the Rainbow Six Siege website. It is a bustling community with much potential, although that depends on how long fans remain interested.

• Nizam Mohd is a freelance writer.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2016, with the headline 'Slow grind to get ahead in Siege for solo players'. Print Edition | Subscribe