Rainbow Six: Extraction – Review
Follow Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Tested on: PC

Rainbow Six: Extraction – Review

Site Score
4.5
Good: If it works it can be fun
Bad: But most of the time it is an expensive and frustrating mess
User Score
3.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/10 (1 vote cast)

It all started a few years ago as a seasonal event in Rainbow Six Siege, where players were able to take part in a co-op mode against an invading alien force. Many who participated were hoping to see more of this event, but it was a one-time opportunity only. It wasn’t until recently that Ubisoft announced that they would expand on the event and turn it into a standalone game. This sounded like a great idea on paper, but in reality, it turned out to be an overpriced joke, as this game feels like nothing more than a Rainbow Six Siege mod. 

Story

The game has a really impressive opening, with a beautifully crafted cutscene showing the day that the aliens invaded the planet. Out of nowhere, an outbreak of biomass starts throwing around various objects and tentacle-like poles rise from the ground. As chaos and death ensue around us, we are introduced to REACT, a team of Rainbow Six operators who are hand-picked to keep the world safe, in case something like this happens. In between unlocking new stages, cutscenes flesh out the story, but these tend to be rather short. The game is basically split into two: you can just jump in, grind XP and unlock the levels without paying much attention to the narrative, but on the other hand, if you do all the missions and challenges you will learn more about the aliens. This means that the story isn’t just blatantly forced upon you, but is available for those who want to know and discover everything about this new threat.

Graphics

Visually, the game looks decent, although it does not bring a lot of new stuff to the table. Many assets are reused from Rainbow Six Siege, and although there are a bunch of new locations for you to play in, they all look and feel the same. It seems that the only part that Ubisoft invested a lot of time in, is the overabundance of skins for your characters. You will unlock a bunch during your playthrough, but we found it a bit of overkill, as the game itself looks quite dated. It would have been nicer to have seen some upgraded animations and graphics, instead of a thousand useless skins.

Sound

Another straight-up return from Siege are the sounds and music. The guns all sound the same, and the music that is in the game is the same menu music that we have been hearing over these last few years in Siege. During your missions, the backdrop is mostly silent, apart from the various sounds of the map (such as monsters crawling around, nests spawning creatures, water flowing, or random items such as phones ringing). Don’t expect a feisty soundtrack playing when sneaking around, as you’ll be greeted by mainly silence.

Gameplay

Rainbow Six: Extraction is a co-op PVE shooter where you must protect the world from a hostile invading alien force. The game starts with a short tutorial on how to take an enemy down. While the tutorial serves as a decent introduction to the new mechanics, you won’t be using them a whole lot in practice. Rainbow Six: Extraction focuses around prioritizing stealth, yet it feels like this hasn’t been fully worked out, as enemies will sometimes randomly get triggered and spot you, while at other times, you can literally jump in their faces without them noticing you. The takedown move from the tutorial can only be done when you are not spotted, but chances are that you won’t try your luck and instead just aim for the head from a safe distance. Some missions require you to grab a sample of a living monster; this can only be done with the aforementioned takedown. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, as you could simply take the sample after you kill the monster, or after at least incapacitating it.

After finishing the first tutorial level, you can jump into the dangerous world of Extraction, or hone your skills in the other tutorial missions for some extra experience. Returning Siege players will feel right at home, as the game uses all the weapons and a handful of operators from that game. Sadly from the large roster of existing operators, only eighteen have made the cut, and the selection of operators feels a bit random at best. We don’t see why the game does not have shield users that can assist the team by blocking damage from explosions and incoming projectiles, or have an operator such as Smoke join the team, as his gas mask will protect him from the many dangerous gasses. Not only is the selection of operators limited, but you also start with only a handful at your disposal, and if they get incapacitated you will have to rescue them if you don’t want to lose progress.

Rainbow Six: Extraction does its best by bringing back the classic gameplay elements of having to unlock everything with progression. By completing missions and successfully extracting from a hot zone, your operator gets XP and this also fills your global progress meter to unlock more locations and operators. Each character has its own leveling and gains more equipment and better abilities as they grow. Sadly, a portion of this experience can be lost when your character gets left behind and you cannot save them in time. This makes the game feel more hardcore, but this mechanic is annoying at best. Only at level 10, they will lock down their progress and cannot lose this anymore if they go missing. If you are still playing by this point, then you get our utmost respect for hanging on to this game for so long. Progression feels slow and very grindy, especially when you have to retreat early in the mission or have bad luck regarding objectives or enemy placement. Some days it felt like we were flying through the ranks, while at other times there was no change in level, even after a few successful extractions.

In total there are four locations, each with three zones. Every incursion follows the same principles: you have fifteen minutes per sector to complete your objective. After completing your objective you can opt to go to the next one, and get better rewards and experience, or you can extract if you think you will not make it through the next section. Of course, even before completing your first objective (or before any others), you can also extract if you think you’d otherwise die. On paper, this idea sounds great, but sadly, the execution falls flat in this department. This is mainly due to shoddy gameplay mechanics, bugs, and balancing issues. Some moments the missions look easy, only to have your squad wiped by one random exploding monster. Most of the time reviving someone was bugged, so it took a handful of tries to perform a successful revive, and when you are being assaulted by overpowered monsters, it is just not fun. Armor and health buffs also feel useless, as one simple hit can mean the difference between progressing to the next sector or having your character mortally wounded, benching them for the next mission. Your remaining health is saved, and when an operator takes a lot of damage, they will need some time to heal before being able to go on another mission. The better you do on an excursion, the more they will heal, but inexperienced players, or people who get matched with awful team members, may have to play many missions before their favorite characters are healed.

When finally things do go right, and you have found yourself some good squadmates, then the fun can really begin. The time limit for each mission feels really fair, and eight out of ten objectives are easily doable. It is not a crime failing an objective or skipping one to go deeper into the drop zone, you just won’t get any experience for it. Standing between you and the objectives is a wide platter of different alien monsters. The menagerie ranges from powerful yet simple grunts to exploding ticks, but you’ll also encounter monsters with armor and some who can shoot projectiles at you. Each area introduces new species and mixes up the gameplay for the better. You’re never truly safe in the game, even when you’re trying to escape (extract) from a location. Monsters can still attack you in the extraction zone, so it is important that every member also requests an extract in the extraction zone, as this will make the timer count down a lot quicker.

Conclusion

Rainbow Six: Extraction would have been a great addition to Rainbow Six Siege, but as a standalone game this just feels like a missed opportunity. The game doesn’t feel finished, and with its wide range of bugs and unbalanced gameplay it can be a rather frustrating experience. For us, it felt like the focus was invested into offering loads of skins, rather than polishing the gameplay, and updating the very dated graphics. Even though the game does offer a lot of unlockable content by just playing, the rewards you get are often underwhelming, and with that lack of progression into place, the game feels more like a chore, rather than a fun way to spend your time.

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Rating: 3.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Rainbow Six: Extraction – Review, 3.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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