|Release Date||January 20th, 2022|
|Genre||First Person Shooter|
*A copy of this game was provided by Ubisoft to FYIG for review purposes*
Ubisoft has been a company that has been very hesitant to head outside of their wheelhouse in recent years. It hasn’t been until recently with games like Riders Republic and Immortals: Fenyx Rising where they’ve started to embrace some new ideas. Ubisoft games have been very formulaic for many years now and they’ve managed to turn off a lot of players who feel each new game is just more of the same. I came into Rainbow Six Extraction with that feeling in the back of my mind. I was a big fan of Siege and played hundreds of hours on that game over the years so it was exciting to hear how they would use that framework in a new PVE game. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t translate as well against CPU enemies as I would have liked it to.
Extraction explains a little bit of its sci-fi plot with some short cutscenes and codex entries that attempt to help you understand the large obelisks that are popping up all over the world unleashing parasitic zombies called “Archaeans”. These enemies were first introduced in the 2018 limited-time Outbreak event in Rainbow Six Siege. The same operators you see in Siege make their way over to Extraction here as REACT operators. It’s admittedly a bit weird to see these two worlds blended together with Siege being a bit more on the realistic-ish side while Extraction is completely sci-fi.
Rainbow Six Extraction resembles more of an expansion to Siege than a full-fledged spinoff and I would argue that even the $39.99 USD price point is a bit much. It feels more like a $19.99 DLC add-on than something that should stand alone. All of the operators are ripped straight out of Siege down to their special abilities, most guns, and character models. The environments are pretty tight and mostly feel very similar with little variation with a few exceptions here and there. The levels are mucky and dirty with ooze and liquids glistening in the hallways. Enemies range from bloated beasts to monsters resembling minotaurs. Your operator is encased in a yellow foam when they are incapacitated to preserve them. It’s all pretty unsettling in a good way. Extraction really nails the dread that it wants you to experience.
The gameplay is very much focused on co-op adding in the mechanics from Siege and slowing down the pacing quite a bit. Stealth is huge in this game and that was one of the things that I was really looking forward to but it just didn’t quite feel as satisfying as I expected it to. You can go through most of a level completely silently taking out everything without making a peep only to face an objective that makes it impossible to complete that way. At that point, things turn into a run-and-gun game. That’s just not what Rainbow Six is about and therefore those situations feel tedious and far more difficult than they should even on easy difficulties.
The best way to play is definitely with two other friends. You can play alone, as a duo, or as a trio but Extraction is definitely at its best when playing with people you know. Playing alone was very boring to me. A lot of the fun factor in Extraction is executing a plan with buddies and if you’re not doing that, it can be kind of basic. Even playing with random people can be a bit of a pain during some operations. If your playstyles don’t match up, your operation is probably going to be unsuccessful.
Extraction has 4 different zones divided into 12 levels with 3 random operations every time you spawn in one of those levels. It’s not like you’re playing through a campaign here. Every level plays out the same way and it’s one of my biggest gripes with the game because things get old very quickly. Sometimes you’re luring a tough Archaean to a trap, other times you’re rescuing an operator, or maybe you’re putting trackers on hives? The objectives are pretty varied so it isn’t the exact same every game but there’s nothing that gives you a break from the monotony and after about an hour, you’ll most likely have had your fill.
The one thing that Extraction does very well is that it makes you think about risk versus reward in a way not many games do. Once you have completed one of the tasks, your team can decide to pass through an airlock to complete another task or extract and bank all of the points you’ve earned. It can create conflict between teams as one may want to push on but the rest may be happy with the experience they’ve earned. The extra caveat to all of this is that when someone falls to the horde, the other players have to carry their body to an extraction point or else they won’t be able to use that operator again until they return to that level in the future and attempt to pry them loose. It’s a cool thing albeit a bit annoying. If you end up losing all your operators, the game will give you back the first one you lost so you’ll always have at least one at your disposal. If an operator is lost, they will also lose some of the experience they’ve gained until you level them up to level 10. Even health carries over between deployments and sometimes you have to wait for an operator to regain some health before you’re able to use them again.
As good of an idea as Extraction was, I don’t feel like it’ll have the longevity to remain a popular game for more than a month or two. It’s a grindy game that asks you to build up XP for each character (and allows you to lose some of it if you have a bad game) and complete challenges to even get to the other levels on top of keeping up your overarching XP to do so. The only reward is more cosmetic skins, weapons, and skills to go through the same handful of levels doing the same handful of activities. This works in a PVP game where each game is dynamic but in a PVE game, the AI can only do so much.
Rainbow Six Extraction is a good game in short bursts but one that ultimately doesn’t have much replay value in its current form. I’ll be interested to see if Ubisoft can grow this game like they did with Siege after a very rocky start but right now, I can’t recommend this one. I admire what it’s trying to do but it just doesn’t provide enough of a reason to keep slogging through it more than a couple of hours.
|Great horror atmosphere||AI isn’t dynamic enough to keep this game compelling|
|Keeps you rotating operators||Not enough different scenarios/levels|
|Too much grinding|