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A long, long time ago, there was an often forgotten period of time where Xbox Live was in its infancy and Halo 2 had yet to release. A period of time where online console gaming was approaching mass adaptation, but there was not yet a big green Mjolnir-clad Sherpa to show us which way we should be directing our time. Communities were being formed across many different games, and friends lists were growing exponentially as each opti-matched session came to an end. However, just because there was no single landmark title to govern this new online world did not mean there was no ruler during these lawless times. For there was one long-forgotten king, and that king was Ubisoft. The French/Canadian juggernaut was all in on multiplayer gaming during these times and offered stand out experiences like the original Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, and, of course, the immensely popular Rainbow Six 3. While there were other popular online, first-person shooters before Halo 2, like Unreal Championship and Return to Castle Wolfenstein, it was Rainbow Six 3’s strong emphasis on three major design pillars that allowed it to separate itself from the competition: Tactics, Teamwork, and Tension.
After the success of Rainbow Six 3, Ubisoft spent the next decade trying to change the formula several times in various ways, with varying degrees of success, until everything came to a crashing halt with the announcement, and then cancellation, of the ill-fated Rainbow Six: Patriots. However, out of what was arguably the biggest low point for the series came its biggest success, Rainbow Six: Siege. Siege launched seven years ago, and although it released to a somewhat lukewarm response due its lack of content, the game has grown into one of the best and most complete multiplayer experiences found anywhere. It has become the most played game Ubisoft has ever produced, constantly on top of both Steam charts and consoles. This turn around is based in part by the team always having an ear to the community, being quick to address balance problems and to add content to the game. More importantly, however, it is because Ubisoft Montreal took an introspective look at what made the series popular in the first place way back at the dawn of Xbox Live, with a laser focus honed in on those three T’s (Tactics, Teamwork, and Tension), putting them back at the center of every design decision. In fact, it is due to Rainbow Six: Siege’s immense success that we are here to today to talk about Rainbow Six: Extraction, the newest game in the Rainbow Six family.
After originating as an extremely popular event within Siege called ‘Outbreak’, where players took a break from killing each other to team up and fend off swarms of infected, Rainbow Six: Extraction positions itself as a stand alone experience aiming to greatly expand on what Outbreak offered, as well as better aligning itself with the core pillars of Siege. You see, while ‘Outbreak’ was fun, it could often devolve into Left 4 Dead territory, where the tension is lessened because the stakes are lowered and those large hordes often invoked your inner Starship Trooper instead of your inner Tom Clancy. On paper, expanding the Outbreak mode to better align with the pillars of Siege is a decision that makes sense, since the focus on those fundamentals is what brought Siege the success it currently has in the first place. In reality, however, this is not an easy task. The team work, and to a lesser extent the tactics, may translate, sure, but most of Siege’s tension comes from the fact that you are facing off against human players whose tactics can’t often be predicted and whose attacks can come from anywhere. Above and beyond the translation of the Siege framework, Ubisoft needed to find a way to justify the existence of this game as a standalone title and, more importantly, justify the price, considering ‘Outbreak’ was a free mode that appeared as part of an in-game event. In fact, I actually took to the Rainbow Six sub-reddit, along with polling several random people in Siege lobbies in the lead up to this review, and a large portion of players were actually somewhat miffed that this was both separated from Siege and was not free. On top of that there was a last minute price drop, and the inclusion with Xbox Game Pass has lead many to question the value proposition of Extraction. It is safe to say that Ubisoft has a lot to prove here with Extraction, so let’s dive in and see if they were able to deliver.
Tom Clancy’s… Aliens?
During the ‘Outbreak’ event, a Russian space ship, carrying and alien parasite named “Chimera,” crash landed in the city of Truth and Consequences, New Mexico. An epidemic was triggered and team Rainbow was sent in to clean up the mess and deal with the alien threat. The near cataclysmic event was one that the powers that be were not prepared for, and it was due to this that the idea to form a new entity charged with handling all future extra-terrestrial threats came to be. Rainbow Exogenous Analysis and Containment Team (REACT) was formed with a mandate to contain and assess exogenous threats to earth and also to study them in the name of science. Unfortunately, shortly after the formation of REACT, it became clear that the events at Truth and Consequences was not an isolated event, as outbreaks began to pop up in San Francisco, New York, and Alaska. REACT was sent in to set up containment zones, and it is your job as a Rainbow Operator to contain the outbreak and gather information on our new enemy, the Archæan’s, so we can understand how to beat them.
You may be asking yourself how this fits into the evolved version of the Tom Clancy universe that Ubisoft has curated over the last several decades, and the answer is hard to come up with. However, while alien parasites don’t seem to fit in with the modern military themes of games past, everything else is very accurate. The situation at hand is outer worldly, yes, but how the game’s protagonists react to it is very on brand. The weapons, gear, maps, jargon, etc., all align with what you would expect from a Tom Clancy game. In fact, tonally and aesthetically, the game world feels like it was ripped straight out of The Division, as maps are cluttered with tons of detail and environmental story telling. It even includes a bunch of interactable objects that queue mini audio logs, along with a few pre-rendered cut scenes sprinkled about, all to help flesh out the world. While I really do appreciate what’s there, and while they likely didn’t want to overwhelm people who are just showing up to shoot aliens with too much story, I do kind of wish there was a little bit more. It is something they alluded to, however: adding more in time. The game also features a codex that is filled to the rim with tons of detail and lore for this extension of the Rainbow Six universe. It is there for people that want to seek it out, and it also does not get in the way of the drop in nature of this multiplayer PvE shooter. So, while I doubt that you could draw any comparisons to an actual novel written by Tom Clancy, I think it does actually fit…kind of.
In Extraction you play as one of 18 Team Rainbow Operators, plucked straight out of Siege, who have joined REACT to help with the Archæan threat, and you must go on incursions within the regions of San Francisco, New York, Alaska, and New Mexico containment zones to complete objectives either alone or with a squad of up to three members. Each zone has three “Hot-Zones,” which are each broken into three sub-zones that are each approximately three times, or more, the size of a typical Siege map. Ubisoft has said they wanted each region to feel like a new, unique biome, and I think they did just that. Each hot-zone and their respective sub-zones all have unique layouts and interesting landmarks, so the experiences of hopping between maps does add a good amount of variety, which was good to see. I will say, though, that one major departure from Siege is that the layout of these maps is significantly more horizontal; you wont be spending any time repelling up the side of buildings in Extraction, sadly.
Once you choose a hot zone that you want to go on an incursion in, the game will randomly assign three objectives for each of the sub-zones you will be venturing through. These objectives can be combat heavy, like eliminating an elite target or destroying an Archæan landmark, or be much more stealth heavy, like rescuing a VIP or placing tracking nodes on Archæan nests. If you are brave enough, they can even be travelling through a singularity gateway and going mono-e-mono with the game’s boss characters, the Proteans. Each time you complete an objective, you are given a choice to extract and get out of there with the XP you have gained thus far, or enter the next area to attempt to complete the next objective for more rewards, with the difficulty rising with each consecutive objective completed. On top of that, the game also offers four difficulty levels, which range from having only a few low-level Archæan, all the way up to full Archæan ecosystems and additional mission modifiers that add further levels of difficulty beyond simply adding more difficult enemies. What makes this even greater is that increasing the difficulty does not simply increase the enemies’ health or damage like in most games, but it instead increases their numbers and their tactics. Which difficulty you choose at the start of the incursion and how far you are willing to go end up being crucial decisions because you definitely do not want to die within a containment zone… something we will talk about more a bit later.
First, lets talk about the Archæan’s! There are four tiers of Archæan’s that range from rank and file grunts that you can easily defeat with a head shot, all the way up to hulking berserkers that can just as easily end your run. When I first saw the Archæan’s in screen shots, I will admit I was worried that they looked a little samey considering they all share a color pallet and a similar texture, but that is more then made up for by their distinct game play characteristics and how they animate during gameplay. After encountering them all, I can very easily tell them apart. Then, there are the Proteans. Just as REACT have been studying the Archæan’s, the Archæan’s have been studying human beings. The Proteans are mature Archæan life forms that only appear in the games higher difficulty levels. Taking the shape of Rainbow operators, Proteans are able to deploy enhanced versions of Team Rainbows abilities as well as some of the abilities used by their Archæan siblings(?). They are also encased in a hardened Archæan carapace (likely in a way to explain how much health they have) and act as the boss encounters with a destiny-like health bar that you have to widdle down by dumping tons of rounds into. These are some of the coolest combat encounters in the game as the Proteans are incredibly strong and dangerous, taking some serious strategy to take down.
Overall, the dynamic nature of the objectives within Rainbow Six Extraction’s hot zones make every incursion play out differently. The enemies are very satisfying to fight: popping a head shot on a grunt, breaking open a nest, or blowing up a breacher setting off a chain reaction of explosions are some of the many things that never get old. Also, at higher difficulties the Archæan’s are very intimidating. In fact, playing this game in early access before the servers were fully live, I was forced to do a lot of solo incursions, and anytime I played at anything higher than the easiest mode, it felt like I was playing a horror game due to the isolation and the game’s very good ambience and sound design.
The Right Tool For the Job
We talked about the maps, the objectives, and the enemies: now let’s take a look at whose shoes you will fill. While Extraction is very much its own stand alone experience, it still exists in the same universe as Rainbow Six: Siege, and, as such, it has borrowed 18 of the operators from Siege’s roster to fill out its ranks. Ubisoft has said they wanted to include popular Siege operators they thought would fit the mechanics of Extraction, like fan favorite breachers Hibana and Sledge. However, they also said they wanted to use Extraction as an opportunity to give operators who are not chosen as much a chance at redemption, like Capitao and Tachanka. Similar to Siege, each operator fills a role, and filling these roles becomes a very essential part of your strategy when playing at higher levels. When you start you journey in Extraction, you will have immediate access to 9 operators, and you can unlock the remaining 9 through progressing through the game. This is a big change from Siege, where you are required to grind out an in-game currency or pay real money to unlock all of the game’s many operators.
Another thing that is interesting about these characters making the jump from Siege to Extraction is that they are no longer tied down by Siege’s strict, and necessary, game balance. Each operator comes with a unique personal gadget or ability that is designed to give them, or their team, a tactical advantage. In Siege these abilities are meticulously balanced to not disrupt the overall PvP balance. However, In Extraction, no such barrier exists, as you have the ability to level up each operator and improve how they perform in game, expanding their capabilities far beyond what they are capable of in Siege. For example, in Siege, Vigil can become invisible to security cameras, making him able to sneak past prying eyes. In Extraction, Vigil can become completely invisible to all enemies and, once levelled, can provide that same invisibility to his teammates. Originally in Siege, Tachanka was able to place a mounted turret down that he or his teammates could use to secure a room, but once levelled in Extraction, he can place two of these mounted LMG’s down to make mince meat out of any Archæan’s that walk into your line of sight.
Each operator also has access to a unique set of weapons from which to choose that play into their intended roles to an extent. All of these are unlocked through the normal character progression, so you will have an opportunity to mold an operator into how you enjoy playing or to the strategy you wish to employ. These weapons are further customized via the mod system, which functions nearly identically to Siege, with multiple muzzles, sights, and, of course, skins. The non-cosmetic modifications are all unlocked through normal progression, and even some of the cosmetic ones are free as well. In addition to the unique traits for each operator, there are also universal tactical gadgets at your disposal. These are, again, unlocked through progressing through the game only, and they range from the standard affair of grenades, flash bangs, and claymores, to the more advanced arc mine, scan grenades, and self revive kits.
All in all, there are a lot of options in terms of who you will play as, and they all bring something unique to the table. Those familiar with Siege will surly be interested in seeing what some of their favourite characters from that game can feel like when the restrictions of maintaining balance is lifted, and those new to the series will get a chance to checkout many of the awesome characters from one of the world’s most popular multiplayer games without having to grind out an in-game currency or pay a premium for them. On top of that, a large variety of options are there to experiment with in different builds, team compositions, and strategies.
A Perfect Translation
I spoke earlier about how the key to this game was going to be finding a way to translate the three pillars of Siege’s PvP experience into a PvE one, and, thankfully, I think they nailed it. First, let’s get the high level stuff out of the way. I talked about the operators, who are at worst the same, and at best improved, in terms of what they offer, but what about how they feel? The term “Gun Play” is thrown around a lot to determine how good a shooter feels to play, and I myself have publicly anointed games like Destiny, Halo, and Apex Legends as having the best “Gun Play” in the business, which I still stand by to this day. However, those awards are given because of how the shooting AND movement come together as one. When we narrow it down to talk specifically about the act of shooting a gun and hitting a target in a video game, there is no competitor to Rainbow Six: Siege, and those awesome mechanics are ported over completely to Extraction. In terms of performance, the game runs very similarly to Rainbow Six: Siege, albeit with some improvements. The level of detail in the maps is a major improvement from Siege, with a Division-like level of clutter and various details providing a visual treat alongside some environmental story telling. I spent all of my time on the Xbox Series X version and had the option of 1080p high-frame rate performance mode, or a 4k 60fps Resolution mode. I personally opted for the Resolution mode as, for me, the game’s slower pace and less reliance on movement didn’t benefit as greatly from frame rates above 60fps. In my 20 or so hours with the game, I experienced only one minor visual glitch and no server or disconnect issues, although that could change when the game is fully live.
But what about the three T’s? I mentioned the words Tactics, Teamwork, and Tension about fifty times in the intro. I talked about how that is what makes Siege special and how translating those from a PvP environment to a PvE one is the most important mission Ubisoft had to complete with this game, and so I think you have waited long enough for me to elaborate further.
So a major comparison this game has received before launch is that of a Left 4 Dead clone. That comparison alone was my biggest fear for this game before I actually sat down and played it. In Left 4 Dead you do employ tactics to a certain degree, but when your objective is usually to get from point A to point B, those tactics often get thrown out the window as you run to the finish line shooting hundreds of undead along the way. In Extraction, on any difficulty but the easiest one, doing that will surely get you killed. Extraction opts to go for smaller numbers of more diverse and deadly enemies that will come at you in different ways, requiring different techniques to deal with effectively. On top of that, every unique objective requires different tactics to complete, and every operator, weapon type, and gadget serves a purpose that will play into the tactics you devise. This is a game about knowing your objectives, putting together a plan you think will give you a fighting chance, and being able to improvise when that plan goes to shit.
This is perhaps the most obvious thing that carries over from Siege, unless you are playing solo, as you are going to be part of a team of three operators. An interesting decision, though, was the choice to limit the squad size to three vs the standard five player teams in Siege. Ubisoft has stated that, after testing various builds of the game, they found that with more than three players the communication lines broke down too much. Given how important communication is in Extraction, having three operators was determined to be optimal for the game. While smaller team sizes can be a turn off to people with larger friend groups, I can confirm that the nature of this game leads to you sticking with your team a lot more then Siege, where you will often attack from different sides of the map, and with the close quarters nature of a lot of the environments, I think more then just the lines of communication would be congested with more than three.
Teamwork also becomes vital as each operator only has one unique gadget, and each has a somewhat specific skill set that is often most effective when paired with another operator’s skill set. For example, The Protean bosses are very strong and tough, but they are also very fast and agile. So, while setting up a Tachanka turret will dish out a lot of pain, it will only be a matter of seconds before that Sledge Protean is smashing Tachanka into the ground as he has to be stationary to operate his mounted LMG. However, If Ela throws a Grzmot Mine to stun the boss… well now that DPS window for that mounted LMG just got a lot bigger.
This is, perhaps, the most important pillar when it comes to Extraction, and it is the one they absolutely nailed the most. Of course the atmosphere is there, and it’s creepy. Of course the enemies are powerful, deadly, and, thanks to the destruction engine brought over from Siege, they can come from literally anywhere. In fact, the designers have stated that they meticulously built each sub-zone in such a way that any choke points are few and far between so that you will always be on your toes. Those things all add to the tension you feel while playing, but that is not what sets this game apart. In life, there is one thing that builds tension more then anything else, it’s the reason why shooting a free throw at the park and shooting one in the 4th quarter of a championship game is not the same thing, and that is because of the stakes. When you have something at stake, it builds that pit in your stomach and makes your heart race. In a battle royale, as the number of players in the game dwindle, it is the time investment and proximity to victory that is at stake. In Siege, it’s your rank and the fact that over the next 30 seconds at any second someone could pop their head through that window and end the game. So what is at stake in Rainbow Six: Extraction? Well, it’s everything you have spent time working towards.
Remember earlier when I said you absolutely do not want to die inside of an incursion? Well, that is because when you die, you don’t just respawn and try again or simply lose whatever XP you had gained on that run. Every operator in Rainbow Six: Extraction comes equipped with a medical device that dispenses a prophylactic serum when they become incapacitated, covering them in a foam like substance and placing them in stasis (IMO they look very much like a human-sized chicken nugget when this happens, but that is just me). The Archæan’s take the in-stasis operator deep inside the zone and will, over time, attempt to breach the protective lair and do god knows what to them. While this is happening, that operator is considered MIA. They not only forfeit all XP they gained in the incursion, but they are no longer able to be played and will also take XP away from your overall progression, which, depending on the level of the MIA operator, can result in you losing one or more levels of progression. At this point you have two options: continue playing without them, where the game will eventually give you access to them again at the expense of all of that progression; or you can take a different operator back to that same hot-zone and attempt a rescue mission. This involves you finding where they are being imprisoned, pulling them from the Archæan’s clutches, and physically dragging their chicken nugget-like body to a safety pod for evac, which is one of the coolest objectives in the game.
This adds so much tension to each game as that operator could be your highest levelled character that you’re using to attempt a high-level mission, or they could be a key piece to the strategy you are trying to pull off, and one wrong move could end up forcing you to go on an impromptu rescue mission or risk losing valuable progression and the use of your favourite operator. It changes the way you approach the game and the strategies you choose to employ, and that only gets amplified further as the difficulty increases. At the same time, though, it’s not as devastating a loss as a typical rogue-like where you lose everything and have to start from scratch; it is a really nice balance. There is nothing like tension in a video game, and when it is a shared feeling among friends in a co-op environment, it leads to a great experience, at least for me.
Whoever Said Progress Was A Slow Process Wasn’t Talking About Rainbow Six: Extraction
Progression. A game development puzzle that has been known to stump even some of the industry’s best development teams. It has grown over the years to be one of, if not the most, crucial elements of any multiplayer game. You can have the best game play in the world, but if your progression systems and rewards are lacking, it is going to leave a serious black mark on the title and a lot of upset players. If you want proof of this, then look no further then Seasoned Gaming’s Game of the Year for 2021, Halo Infinite. A game that is pretty much a perfect recapturing of Halo’s lightning-in-a-bottle yet still to this day has a swarm of negativity surrounding its progression systems to the point where its echoing louder in some places then the praise the rest of the game deserves.
So how does Extraction stack up? Well, at its launch, I believe Extraction possibly has the very best progression system of any game in its genre. The systems are both generous in their rewards, giving out meaningful advancement for the time you put in without sacrificing game play, and also interwoven with each other in such a fantastic and cohesive way.
So let’s break it down. At a baseline, you have your overall progression, which takes the XP you gain from completing objectives within incursions, as well as challenges for the specific region in which your incursion took place, and unlocks new maps, modes, operators, cosmetics, gadgets, lore pages in the codex, and various free cosmetics. This is what will de-rank if you have operators go MIA inside of an incursion. The progression path feels in nature like a battle pass, although it doesn’t cost anything and therefore is not plagued with the “filler levels,” common in most battle passes, that make you feel like you didn’t unlock anything at all. While inside of an incursion, everything you do is granting your operator XP, and the better you perform the more you gain. For instance, stealthily taking down a high value unit will get you more XP then simply filling it with lead, or scanning an enemy through a wall with your gun-mounted REACT light and then shooting its weak point through said wall will get you more XP than simply shooting it on sight.
Each individual operator has a level track as well that grants new rewards at every level between 1 and 10, such as new guns, upgrades to your abilities, and free cosmetics. Each Region (San Francisco, New York, Alaska, and Truth and Consequences) also has its own reward track that you progress by completing challenges inside of each region. Those challenges, called studies, require you to do various things inside an incursion and will not often force you to play in ways that are a determent to your mission. Studies are handed out in sets of three, and completing all three will unlock rewards such as cosmetics, lore entries, and big chunks of XP. Chunks that are added to your overall progression path, which again adds to your operator’s capabilities, as well as unlocking more opportunities for them to gain and complete more challenges, which, in turn, will help you unlock even more things, and so on and so forth; the circle continues. Each system is interwoven, and every incursion you successfully extract from makes you truly feel like you have made progress in the overall game, which is the exact feeling that I personally am looking for in a modern day multiplayer game.
At The End Game of The Rainbow
The end game of Rainbow Six Extraction is a three-pronged attack. First, you have “Assignments.” These are very similar in concept to a Nightfall Strike in Destiny or the challenge missions in The Division, where they take a specific location that you would have played through in any other core mode, however the difficulty is set to “Critical” (the hardest available difficulty in the game), and they have new modes enabled that rotate on a weekly basis. These modes make big changes to the battlefield. In the review phase, the mode we had access to was called “Wall-to-Wall,” where the enemy density is cranked up and every escape airlock is locked down, requiring someone to travel to the opposite side of the map to find a security override to open it. Another available mode is “Veteran Mode,” where friendly fire is enabled, your HUD is disabled, and reloading results in a mag dump. These modes add a lot of unique consequences that really set assignments apart from the base mode.
Next up, there are Crisis Events. There will be limited timed events that will offer new themed modes and act as a delivery device for new content into the game. This content includes new operators, new protean bosses, new gadgets, and new lore to further the story line. The first Crisis Event, called “Spillover,” has been revealed, and a new operator (Zofia), gadget (auto turret), and a new horde-like mode were teased. It remains to be seen how often these free events will happen, but the content that comes with them seems to be quite substantial. Who knows, maybe a future Rainbow Six: Extraction Crisis Event will result in an idea so good that it to deserves its own spin-off game?
Finally, there is Maelstrom Protocol. This is the most hardcore mode in the game and is designed to be the main thing you build towards as you progress through the core game. Maelstrom is an end game gauntlet that is designed for max level operators (although it is not a requirement). Each week there will be a specific region that is selected, and you will have to build out your squad from a pre-selected group of operators that is also on a weekly rotation. When you drop into the region, you will be faced with nine objectives/maps to complete, instead of the traditional three. Each objective will take place on a sub-zone that has its own mutation, changing after each airlock. After every three objectives, the difficulty ramps up, the per round time limit gets shorter, and the amount of available resources gets smaller. Aside from being really, really, difficult, Maelstrom also differs from the core experience in a major way due to the fact that every weekly map, objective, and map mutations are pre-determined. This means that there is no randomization, so if you were to fail, you can learn from your mistakes and come up with better strategies with your team, or the community, to make more progress on your next attempt. On the flip side, though, since the objectives are set, that means going MIA in a Maelstrom mission means you will need to venture back into the core game modes to rescue that operator, making it an even more tense experience.
While there is a ton of XP to be gained from Maelstrom, you can also gain REACT Credits, which is the game’s paid currency for use in the cash shop. The cash shop at launch is full of some pretty wild stuff. Given that the game is PvE only, the team can be very creative with cosmetics without worrying about how it would impact PvP Balance, so those credits will be worth chasing. However, the real carrot on the stick is the Maelstrom ranking system, which will place you in a ranked league based on your performance and reward you with league-specific cosmetics to show off. Which brings us to one of the more questionable decisions within the game. The ranked head gear reward is a great Idea as it is, and it is an extremely visual way to show off your accomplishments in the game, but the cosmetics you receive for doing so only last for the season you earned them in and are then removed. It seems like a unwise decision to take anything from a player, especially something as visual and difficult to earn as, say, achieving diamond rank in Maelstrom.
That more or less makes up the end game game play loop on paper. You see, the most difficult thing about the end game in the review process was that I could not really experience it. The play sessions I did take part in were early on and brief, with other reviewers who did not meet the level requirements to get into those missions, and they are most definitely not something that would be a great experience playing solo. However, I am impressed with what they have shown off, and, based on how much I feel they nailed in the rest of the game, I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, here. I will be diving deeper into the end game as soon as servers open up to the general public, and if there is anything there that changes how I feel about it, I will be sure to update this review and score ASAP to reflect that. The end game has a lot of variety, will be kept fresh by weekly rotations, and is rewarding. The rewards are also spread out well, with some of the more lucrative REACT credit rewards being obtainable even when finishing in bronze league. And, with the highest level rewards being cosmetic-only for people who make it all the way to diamond, there is incentive for both casual and hardcore players alike to jump into the Maelstrom.
Rainbow Six Extraction was a tall order for Ubisoft Montreal, and it was likely a development cycle filled with second guesses and internal debates. Being pitched as a paid expansion based on something that was previously free meant that they were going to have to work even harder to justify the game and its retail price. In addition to that, setting the game in a universe that is currently dominated by a large community of PvP players set them on an uphill battle, needing to convince players that they can get a similar, worthwhile, Siege experience in a PvE setting. There are a lot of preconceived notions and expectations surrounding Extraction, and, to be honest, I think the game somewhat had the deck stacked against them since its announcement. All of this is why I’m so happy to report that not only does Rainbow Six: Extraction justify its price tag, but it is a near perfect translation of the Rainbow Six: Siege PvP formula of Tactics, Teamwork, and Tension into a PvE setting. The mix of pristine shooting mechanics with near-future military gadgetry shines in front of the new obstacles that the Archæans provide. The mission variety, both in terms of aesthetics and game play, are varied enough to keep things interesting, and the, albeit light, sprinkle of narrative ties everything together nicely. Finally, it’s well thought-out progression paths that are interwoven with each other mean you always feel like you are making progress as you play, which is a feeling many people, myself included, seek in games like this. As far as the price is concerned, there is quite a bit of fun to be had within this new budget price, with the end game modes and future free content updates having the potential to give this game legs. There is also the included value of having all of the Operators in Extraction being unlocked for free in Siege, as long as you have played both titles, as well as some free Extraction-themed skins. Players who pick up Extraction are also given two 14-day buddy passes to make sure they can find some people to play with who may yet to be convinced that this is a worthwhile experience, so I do think it is worth the asking price. Rainbow Six: Extraction succeeds as a tense, tactical, team-based PvE shooter that now rests at the top of the genre and is positioned as a platform that could fit nicely alongside Siege for years to come.