Rainbow Six Siege – Thoughts after Open Beta

Just like before a great concept that was destroyed by a single problem. Should you play and get the game? Is it perfect or is it unplayable?

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Rainbow Six Siege is truly a fascinating game that has a lot to offer to gamers. As someone who has spent the past couple of days testing every aspect the title has to offer, I feel like there is a lot that can be shared about the progress this product has made. The obvious first question which most players ask when they want to try out a new game is if there are any horrific bugs that might interrupt their playtime, and to be quite honest as I have given over thirty hours in deep exploration of the latest installment in the Rainbow Six franchise, I had trouble finding game breaking issues that might cause you to give up on enjoying the wonderful world of Siege. Well, that actually is only true for the gameplay and mostly for the singleplayer experience because come multiplayer you are in a world of hurt.I was quite lucky to get in early to test the game on the 25th of November (that was the initial launch of the beta or what Ubisoft refers to as “closed beta”) and to be honest I was looking forward to playing as much as I can because ever since I saw the E3 2014 gameplay premiere, fascination for this game was all that my mind had as an idea. Deeply was I disappointed. Upon entering the game I was shocked to find out that the matchmaking wasn’t working at all and this isn’t an over exaggeration. The situation was one I simply hadn’t encountered before in a multiplayer game and a beta that was leading up to the launch of the game on December 1st. Now let me explain-when trying to join the matchmaking system that will bring you into a game, you will simply be stuck in a loading screen if you are even lucky enough to find other people to play with.It isn’t that the game isn’t popular enough so you are left with a couple of like-minded individuals to interact with but Ubisoft has definitely had problems with the way it matches players into playing together.It just wasn’t working. The Multiplayer was complete broken at that point in time.I can easily say that the first day of the Beta I spent more time trying to join a game than actually playing and it was made even worse because Ubisoft was trying to implement fixes very often and for long periods of time meaning the game became unplayable during those maintenance updates.

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                                                   (Exothermic charge ready to do it's job)

The first update which was suppose to iron out the major matchmaking problems took over six hours to happen and it didn’t improve anything but since the publisher behind the game had already promised to release the open beta on the 26th of November, they had to push it through so people could enjoy it. Although there wasn’t much time left in the day, each and everyone that wanted to be a part of the testing-now could be. As I was already very hyped about the release of the title, I had to try my luck again that day and see if I could finally be a part of the normal multiplayer goodness and quickly realize that once again I would be stuck in loading screens and lobbing hoping that some miracle would happen and I will be able to show off my amazing breaching skills. I do have to admit that the PC community probably had an easier time during all of this outrage over the broken Multiplayer because at least we had less maintenance updates while Xbox One and Playstation 4 players had to sit through some serious outages which usually lasted about thirty minutes to an hour ,but were happening so often that there was no point in playing that same day. So, if you are asking what exactly all of us were doing during this time-we were reading and posting on the official Ubisoft forums,reaching out the PR staff and expecting answer on how the situation will be handled and the question that everyone had on their minds-will the game be fixed for launch (something we are about to find out in just 6 hours from now).

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                                                        (Hostage rescue is in the final game)

There was basically silence from the people working for the company and no one was giving straight answers.

One interesting thing to mentioned was a topic that was created about the tickrate that Rainbow Six Siege multiplayer had, and that became a PR disaster for Ubisoft. User “Milk” on the Siege forums was the one who had created this thread, and asking the important question. You would be surprised how fast a Ubisoft representative jumped on that claiming that he would pose the question to the developers of the title and get back to us.Twenty pages later we are still waiting for someone to answer us that very simple question.If you are wondering why tickrate is such an important aspect of a multiplayer only game, then I will gladly clarify. It has do to with the poor hit detection while playing. A couple of short videos have already appeared on Youtube that have shown how people fire at an enemy, but not a single shot registers as a hit, and that of course is enough to make people angry and to be blunt again-they have every right to be. For instance a game like Counter Strike:GO should have 64 tickrate servers, which is more than good while Rainbow Six Siege has been claimed by users to have 15 tickrate (keep in mind it is not official, but considering the poor hit detection, it is quite possible). The difference is pretty big and for those of the gaming community that were looking for a truly competitive experience-that would turn out to be a giant problem.

There was a sort of working mode in the game-Terrorist Hunt.

If you have played previous Rainbow Six games than you should be familiar with it even though in this instalment it has taken a swift turn to the way it is played. In Siege you are no longer required to take out a certain amount of enemies to finish the mode, but instead have objectives to complete-in the beta it was disarming two bombs and I am not sure what will happen in the final product.From what I have gathered as information previous to this beta test terrorist hunt had the same idea as the Rainbow games before Siege but apparently changes happened and let me tell you what I dislike in the new variant of the mode-the enemy swarm. Now you won’t get much of a challenge if you play on Normal because the AI is pretty dumbed down and will most likely miss you body when firing but if you switch up to Hard then things get interesting. It isn’t only extremely difficult to clear out the building before pursuing and objective(that is why most players would clear out only objective areas), but it is hard to defend while bombs are getting disarmed because waves of enemy AI just keeps on spawning to no end. While you have a team of 5 operators trying to complete these objectives, you have to face at least fifty enemies to win the game and they are pretty powerful and aim well. They can take you down in a couple of shots and tend to use the breach mechanic a lot.Let’s just say that I was able to complete Terrorist Hunt in hard difficulty only six or seven times while I played over sixty games.

As we continue on with our story we approach the 28th of November and I am aware I skipped a day but I have to talk about another issues which was presented to me on that day. Matchmaking still wasn't fixed, you were still stuck on loading screens, but now I had trouble getting out of them because both the escape key didn't want to react and get me out of those situations but also “F10” which should pop-up the options menu was refusing to work. I I do not know how largely this problem affected the community, but I heard from three different people that they were experiencing the same problems as me. At this point I was kind of unaware of how the game could turn out to have even more cripples along the way to enjoyment but you always have to expect the unexpected.

(The video is in German but showcases exactly what I am talking about)

Is it all bad?

Well no! It is possible to say that Ubisoft wasn't listening to the community most of the time during the open beta, but at least before that they had made a couple of changes to the gameplay. Operators who are carrying a shield have been nerfed greatly or to be more honest now they are strictly support. If you want to charge into an area and shoot to kill everyone inside while being protected completely-that won’t happen. This is actually a good thing because in previous testing phases a lot of people were doing exactly that because pistol accuracy when shooting from the hip was great-that is no longer the case. Now you will possibly miss the enemy with most of your bullets. I can give a fair example because Blitz was the operator that brought me the most fun. You really have to strategize with him-when to defend yourself in tough situation and when to attack when you think the enemy is spent. Using the original pistol that Blitz has with sixteen bullets in the magazine even at point blank I was able to only get five shots into the enemy’s body so, it is best that when you need to kill someone and are sure that you have the upper hand, press the zoom button and take the shot because headshots most of the time are deadly. Since we are talking about Blitz I would like to bring up the issue with the useless operators. The first one on the list being Glaz. Yes, I am aware that most would argue with me on this because they would assume that a sniper is needed in this game but the maps aren't big enough for one.

Sniper are ideal for open environments where you can position yourself at a top of a hill or a tower and take out enemies running below you from there, but Siege doesn't offer such positions or if it does they are pretty limiting to your view. 

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                                                          (Cooperation is the key to success!)

You can see such a sniper spot right in front of the building on the map "House". Climb the ladder and set up you sniper there but you will only be able to see exactly into a single room and that doesn’t help anybody unless all of the enemies are there which isn’t the case 90% of the time. What is also wrong with that particular spot is that it is too exposed to enemy fire. You can be taken out very easily, there is nowhere to retreat if you need to and unless you are a sniper genius who can dodge enemy fire, then you can understand what I am trying to explain. Glaz just wasn’t made for Close Quarters Combat which this game is forcing you to use.His weapon is powerful and if you take away his ability which is using a special scope,then perhaps you can plunge him into the action but then what makes him special isn’t there anymore. Another operator I personally have a problem with is Doc. His speciality is reviving teammates which are in a downed stater. The issue here is that this happens rarely. Most firefights end with death and not a second chance to get into the battle. Shots are mostly lethal and since everybody in the game can revive teammates when close to them I seriously can’t fathom why Doc is needed. Last on the list is Montagne. He is basically Blitz but even without the ability to flash your enemies which leaves them exposed to quick headshots. Montagne can fully deploy his shield to protect the entire front of his body but if you just crouch with Blitz then the same effect is achieved,most players do a lot of crouching in Rainbow Six Siege because correct me if I am wrong-it lowers the noise your operator makes while moving. That has been something that almost every stealth game has introduced as a mechanic.

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Bringing back the Multiplayer issues.

I will share with you the state in which the game was exactly on the 30th of November one day before the official launch. The way to sum it all up is-great gameplay that will keep you entertained for months to come but will outrage you with all of it’s server and matchmaking problems. Yes, Ubisoft had extended the beta by an extra day, probably because they wanted as much information as possible on the issues with matchmaking before they launched the final game but isn’t it a little bit worrying that the people who bought it now have to sit behind their computers and wonder if what they have paid 60 american dollars for would be working as it was intended? I can possibly look into the future and claim that it won’t be just because the time that is left before the launch isn’t even to fix something of this calibre.


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