The Rainbow Six franchise is making its triumphant return with Rainbow Six Siege, a bold step into the new generation. Powered by Anvil-Next and the innovative Realblast Destruction technology, Siege delivers the counter-terrorist fantasy with a level of tension and realism never-before-seen in the series. But what, exactly, is Rainbow Six Siege? You saw an enticing glimpse of the gameplay during the Ubisoft E3 2014 press conference, and now (thanks to Game Designer Andrew Witts) we’ve got even more details to share with you. Details like what does Siege even mean, why destruction is so darn important, and why the team shifted gears to deliver this new take on Rainbow Six.

What Is Rainbow Six Siege?

Under Siege

Siege isn’t just the title of the latest Rainbow Six; it’s the heart of the gameplay. The 5v5 asymmetrical close-quarters combat in indoor environments will require teamwork and loads of strategy – both of which have always been instrumental to the franchise.

“We wanted to stay true to the pillars of Rainbow, which are: tactics, team play and tension,” Witts explains. “Rainbow Six has always offered players the experience of playing in a team of counter-terrorist units (CTU) in both single and multiplayer. We’re staying true to the Rainbow Six DNA of letting players control their very own CTU in a real-life situation, but in the roles of both attack and defense. This is the backbone of the new asymmetrical gameplay in Rainbow Six Siege.”

Hostage Rescue is the fast-paced multiplayer mode we showed off onstage at the E3 press conference. Think of it like a super epic round of tug-of-war, except instead of a rope, each team is vying for control of a living, thinking hostage. Each round will take 3-4 minutes and each player has only one life, so you’re really forced to make every decision count. Of course, if you do die, you’ll never have to wait for more than a couple of minutes before you can play again, and the cameras in the game will allow you to assist your team from beyond the grave.

In Hostage Rescue, one team is defending a hostage from the other team’s attack. The match begins with a preparatory phase, during which each side has a chance to devise a plan for the round. For the defenders, this means laying down fortifications and traps. For the attacking team, this means scouting out enemy locations, tracking down the hostage, and voting on a plan of attack.

In the gameplay video shown during the press conference, the attacking team chose to drop in from above, employing the game’s rappelling tactics to travel down the side of the building and breach the fortified window. The voting system in that prep phase serves to better emphasize the game’s focus on tactics and teamwork. The attackers all agreed to enter from above. Lone wolves won’t get far in Siege. Witts tells us the advanced hostage AI means it also functions much like a character on its own, which both sides will need to keep in mind when planning.

What Is Rainbow Six Siege?

“The hostage reacts to what is going on in a multiplayer match by shielding himself/herself during gunfights and calling out to the attacking team to let them know where he or she is when a defender is not on guard. Because this is a living character, the hostage can in fact die, so players on both sides must be careful not to kill him because when he dies – the team that is responsible for his death will ultimately lose that round.”

But the team has made sure the hostage won’t be too vulnerable; you will be able to revive them if they enter a downed state, similar to your teammates. Because the hostages and situations are unique, you’ll never be able to approach a map the same way twice.

Destruction Is Key

Nestled at the core of the siege concept is the realistic destruction granted by Ubisoft Montreal’s new Realblast technology. The attackers vs defenders idea can be boiled down to destruction vs fortification. While the defenders are reinforcing walls and floors and laying down traps, the attackers will be scouting ahead and using teamwork to blast these best-laid plans to hell.

“Destruction is at the center of our experience and it certainly brings brand new tactical advantages to the franchise,” Witts explains. “No longer are players confined to breaching doors and windows to get the drop on enemies. Observe weak points in enemy defenses and breach through walls and floors to exploit them. The Realblast destruction engine is at the center of the Siege gameplay experience and enhances the tactical play that Rainbow fans know and love.”

If we’re standing on one side of a wall and our drone tells us there’s someone directly on the other side, we can open up a new line of sight right next to them and catch them by surprise. As we saw in the demo, this also allows for a sniper outside of the building to have a clear line of sight into the interior.

What Is Rainbow Six Siege?

Of course, different weapons will have different effects on surroundings. Clearly pistols and shotguns can’t have the same impact, and a shot fired from a distance needs to produce a smaller hole than one fired at close-range. The tech takes all of this into account. When you shoot at the floor, you’ll be shooting at each individual floorboard, creating a more realistic line of sight. Need to open up a bigger hole or break through a reinforced wall or window? You’ll want to use breaching explosives for that. With this technology at your fingertips, Rainbow Six Siege allows you to dictate the layout of the maps and change the world on the fly.

Rainbow Six Patriots

And now the question we know a lot of you are asking: What happened to Rainbow Six Patriots, the game we showed off a few years ago at E3? The short answer: It just didn’t cut it for the new generation. When the new hardware was announced, the decision was made to reboot Rainbow Six with a new team at the helm and a new goal of taking full advantage of what the next generation had to offer. The focus on siege and destruction technology this group envisioned was incompatible with the direction Patriots had taken and the project was ultimately canceled, making way for something even bigger and better.

Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege

Release date — 2015
Developer — Ubisoft Montreal
Rainbow 6 Siege is the upcoming installment of the acclaimed first-person shooter franchise developed by the renowned Ubisoft Montreal studio for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Inspired by the reality of counter terrorist operatives across the world, Rainbow 6 Siege invites players to master the art of destruction. Intense close quarters confrontations, high lethality, tactics, team play, and explosive action are at the center of the experience.

ESRB Rating: RP
the author

Anne Lewis began her career as an editor at PlayStation: The Official Magazine, where she worked under Gary Steinman. She can now be found skulking around the UbiBlog, once more working for Gary. Alas. When Anne isn’t writing about games, she's alphabetizing her comic book collection or shooting at stuff with a bow. Follow her on Twitter: @BDRAnneLewis

24 Readers Commented

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  1. mike (aka priv4te) on June 9, 2014
    nice when is the release date and will there be terrorist hunt still
  2. italodance on June 9, 2014
    For God's sake i wanna know why did you remove the vita from your hardware systems? please someone reply me
  3. Brandon rivera on June 9, 2014
    Two things that old school rainbow six fans want.1. Bring back the health bar. No health regen.2. Bring back the shooting mechanics, meaning I don't want to have to hold down the trigger like call of duty. One bullet to the head shot kill someone. Not like all these new shooters where you have to shoot someone in the head two or three times for them to die. The one thing I loved about rainbow six black arrow was that it was all about skill you could take out a whole team with one clip because you would single shot your g36c and pop players one by one knowing that if you shot one bullet at someone's head they would actually die. We need to bring that back in video games!!!
  4. Shay on June 9, 2014
    So what will story-mode be like? I like/love the way the way multi-player is going - but i'd really like to hear what the story will be like...
  5. Joe Arroyo on June 9, 2014
    Thank you! You have generated so much excitement and memories of rb6 past! You look to be building an absolute gem! I haven't seen my old xbox rb6 3 friends this excited ever!
  6. Taylor Hoppe on June 9, 2014
    Omg thank you ubisoft so much I thought I was gonna have to play these trashy ass cod games because I didn't think you were ever going to make another rainbow six game. You have just made me beyond excited about shooting games again.
  7. Taylor Hoppe on June 9, 2014
    The rainbow six franchise is my number 1 favorite game franchise of all time, I almost cried with excitement when I saw the trailer for a rainbow six game was actually coming out now I will be counting down the days to release. Thank you again, I can't wait.
  8. Mark on June 9, 2014
    This is great news! I have been looking forward to a new Rainbow game for ages, and with the disappointments surrounding Patriots, it's good to see where the time has been invested. The teaser from E3 has already sparked talks of setting the clans up again, and reminiscing on old war stories. Just three questions, firstly when can we expect it; secondly, what other multiplayer modes will there be; and lastly, single player campaign?
  9. FlankerB on June 10, 2014
    I believe that r6 franhise was ruind by Lockdown. The only true r6 games were the ones before it. Come on doesn't "get into cover" to heal remind you of CoD crap? Bring back anatomical behavior from Raven Shield (wounds that affect aiming, running, brathing...).
  10. Anuran on June 10, 2014
    R.I.P. Patriots. The game which-was-far-more-promising-that-this-trash. Best of luck Ubisoft -.-
  11. Jonathan on June 10, 2014
    Bring back Rainbow Six 3 for 360! Use that game to make your new game! Just make new maps to add to the old ones! That game was the best Rainbow Six game ever made. I so sick of Cod and want Rainbow Six 3 back darnit! Whoever played RB63 on Xbox add me on live. GT: ITALIANONEDGE
  12. KenMan on June 10, 2014
    I wet my pants with excitement when I saw the new Rainbow Six. Why oh WHY did it take so bloody long? Call of Duty games come out every stinking month and no Rainbow for YEARS now. Do you know how many times I've played Vegas 2 and Vegas in the last few years. Just played it a few days ago. I've been playing it continuously because there are NO NEW Rainbow games. I'm glad SIEGE is here. I thought I was going to die before seeing another one. Now there is HOPE!!!! The trailer looks awesome.
  13. Camraderie on June 10, 2014
    Will the story campaign support 8 players co-op, with mission level designs like Operation Steel Wind? Rainbow Six Siege has lots of potential for co-op campaign and multiplayer. It would be great if the campaign missions support 8 players like the classics. There can still be lots of tactical challenges and deadly enemies in isolated locations without needing to design the campaign like an urban jungle of enemies to shoot. Well Rainbow Six Siege should at least support 5 players co-op since that hostage rescue mode supports that many players in a team. but the more the merrier. :)
  14. Barry on June 10, 2014
    This looks like unadulterated crap to me and I do not for one millisecond buy any of all the marketing nonsense spouted here about being true to original R6 gameplay. I think Ubisoft might be the most cynical game publisher in the universe, taking these revered franchises and turning them into console rubbish while claiming to be true to the "original DNA" (Blacklist was an honorable exception).Above all, if you read this release carefully, *]nowhere does it appear to mention whether the game is going to be single player at all*. It looks to me like it's a run-and-gun PvP mess like all the others but they are not even admitting that there's no SP or they could never make the nonsense claims that they do here about "staying true to the pillars of Rainbow". What rubbish; "tactics, team play and tension", "destruction is key"? Please.
    • Digital on June 10, 2014
      I would tend to agree. Some of the classic franchises appear to be going through the Multiplayer ringer at the moment from what they originally where being butchered from head to toe on how to sell it to a more dumbed down audiences. Ghost Recon 'Online', Silent Hunter 'Online' I guess after this it might as well be Rainbow Six 'Online'. Gone are the days where you had to use a little thought process to play a game.
    • Exiled on June 14, 2014
      Before you talk about "Original DNA", don't you even THINK to add Blacklist to that fucking list. The TRUE Original DNA would be the ORIGINAL Rainbow Six and R6: Rogue Spear + its expansions. That came out YEARS before this shit you called Black list. How dare you criticize the Father of Tactical Shooters by stating Blacklist and games AFTER that like Vegas have true DNA. Vegas is NO WHERE near the absolution of Rogue Spear or R6. Vegas is the COD version of Rainbow Six and it disgusts me to see people like yourself calling it a true R6 Game.
  15. ShamSamarah on June 10, 2014
    Trigger discipline yo.
  16. Digital on June 11, 2014
    + We’re staying true to the Rainbow Six DNADid Andrew Witts ever read the Rainbow Six novel ? ... Its out on Audio Cassette if it makes it easier.+ "Rainbow is portrayed as the "blacker than black" operations". - ClancyFrom the original un bastardized version of the game: "Rainbow Six is a tactical shooter, which focuses more on stealth and tactics than on sheer firepower"Somewhere along the way it turned into “Destruction is at the center of our experience and it certainly brings brand new tactical advantages to the franchise,”.This is not Rainbow nor Rainbow Six and makes a mockery of its name.
  17. Black0raz0r on June 11, 2014
    Is it once again possible to costumize his own character like in Rainbow Six Vegas 2?
  18. John on June 11, 2014
    No, we want to know where the hell is Terrorist hunt and proper hug up cover. Terrorist Hunt survived long after Adversarial Mode died. Hell you can still get plenty of Terrorist Hunt games even now. Not everyone wants to play damn adversarial.Very disappointing.
  19. Kharn121 on June 13, 2014
    So whats the skinny on T-hunt? Will it support up to 8 people? Whats the weapon customization going to be like? Optics? Grips? Lights/lasers? How about soldier customization? Not all swat teams wear pitch black, and rainbow wasnt supposed to be a swat team anyway. What about full/semi auto? Burst on the correct weapons? Suppressors? What about enemy AI? Will they be retarded like vegas 1/2 and stop in the same spot their buddy just died? These "gameplay" videos show us nothing and are so staged its insane.
  20. Kerim on July 14, 2014
    this is a stupid game, this is a another remake of cod and bf. Tom clancy forgive them. hen you realize that you have to make a strategic and not a fps.
    • Ellie on July 14, 2014
      What are you even talking about dude? Neither CoD nor BF are about close-quarters combat. In fact, Battlefield is pretty much completely the opposite, with its massive maps. This is way more like Counter-Strike. Also, the first couple of Rainbow Six games were first-person shooters.
      • kerim on July 15, 2014
        did not understand, siege, not a rainbow six, not a team player as demonstrated, there are no covers. There are grenades, but never when the swat use grenades? There are only a 5-minute rounds, in 5 minutes which strategy you want to do, if you do not run and shoot! My comparison to cod and bf is due to the speed of the game, the r-siege should be tactical and not fast, use strategies and tactics, do not throw grenades and blow up the walls.

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