Rainbow Six Siege was a game that sulkily hid itself in the midst of my gaming library. I remember getting in for free due to a promo conducted by graphics card manufacturers two years ago, and during those days, I didn’t even bother to play it. Just got it simply because it was free. But now, after two years, I finally realized what I missed. The story begins like this (cue hazy screen and harp):

*While playing a multiplayer shooter (Tagalog conversation translated into English)*

“Hey, (insert current famous game) is already getting stale, shall we find a new one to play with?”

“We could try R6 Siege. It’s veerrrryyyy different from this one but you might like it. You already have it so, no harm done with just trying, right? “

“But it’s already two years old. Probably a lot of hardcore players. Won’t bother if they’ll just kill me on the first go.”

“You won’t know if you try.”

*Proceeds to play, loses dozens of hours in vanilla R6 Siege*

For those wondering what Rainbow Six Siege is, here’s a summary: five guys defend against five attackers. Players can choose from a stable of operatives with unique skills and armaments. Levels are random and in each match, players are given time to prepare.

So I did. my various misconceptions were one by one proven wrong. So, to help some guys who are still on the fence in getting into R6 Siege, here are some of the things I found out:

  1. Skill gap is present, but not on a worrying degree – Admittedly my first and heaviest worry. Nobody wants to fight a losing battle and getting on R6 Siege sounded something like that. But fortunately, it ain’t. The game isn’t filled with bloodthirsty slayers and elites with lightning-fast reflexes. Most of those guys reside in the ranked matches of R6 Siege, not bothering to touch or intermingle with the casual peasants (like me!).
  2. Less arcade-y, more tactic-ooly – R6 Siege is a very interesting specimen given today’s FPS industry. Most of the titles hanging around the walls of a gaming store or digital fronts are likely fast-paced, action-packed shooters. They are akin to games on steroids, die and you get revived after just a couple of seconds. R6 Siege deviates from that, capitalizing on well-thought out approaches and tactics instead. Winning is rewarding, losing (without careful planning) is definitely frustrating.
  3. It’s addicting – The pressure to win is a normal thing for us humans. Being the one left in CS: GO, or just being a man short of having that coveted “chicken dinner”, pressure and it’s injection of thrill is an event that most of us look forward too. Imagine having that feeling in every R6 Siege’s match. “No pressure, bro. Just win this 1v5 match.”, says my four dead teammates comfortably surfing Facebook.
  4. The community is not that toxic  – Given its time, the community  would’ve been filled with players striving to win at every chance that they have. Expletives should’ve been the norm in terms of communicating with your teammates. It should’ve. But in R6 Siege, losing is a way of life, albeit a part of succeeding and players have already came up to terms with it. While there are still rude gamers, most players are quite composed and mature. A lot of veterans that I’ve met in-game even offered advice enough to keep you at speed with the times. Good times indeed!
  5. EXPLOSIONZ! – Everything is destructible! I usually find myself being at awe with my opponents as they often use creative ways to besiege me and my team. Likewise, it’s exciting to try it on your own! R6 Siege is a game that rewards creativity as much as careful planning.
  6. Season Maps are FREE! – something the industry should’ve been doing since the start. In this model, new players aren’t in the fence, giving them free rein to play with everyone. This is opposed to being quartered to a measly 5-6 maps of the vanilla game, a standard practice done by most FPS games of this generation.

Now, enough of the good stuff, here are some qualms I have about the game:

  1. You can’t reconnect – Playing with a party of friends? Oh, it would be so awful if you suddenly get disconnected. Thankfully, you can reconnect like a lot of the games in this modern era, right? Right? Nope. You can’t. I remember being disconnected from a match, and even if I want to reconnect, my buddy won’t be able to invite me to that match. So, the only recourse is to sit it out and curse the heavens.
  2. Some skins remove the immersion – world’s elite operatives attacking/defending using weapons/armors covered with incredibly bright colors (think psychedelic) .  Oh come on, might as well wear some neon lights and a huge target sign on your chest.
  3. Seasons Characters are TOO expensive – while it is appropriate and justifiable to price these guys a wee bit more than the usual operatives, in my opinion, they are just too damn expensive. You’ll have to grind a LOT in order to get just even one of these guys, and there are 8 of them every season. The best course is to just give in and pay for them if you want to experience their cool gadgetry and play style. Buying all season one characters would amount at roughly PhP 1,200, enough to buy a new game on its own.
Alpha packs are a way of rewarding and/or encouraging players to keep on playing. Unlocking these packs reward the player with a random weapon / character skin.

And that’s about it. I think two years did a really good job on R6 Siege. It was enough time to iron out the creases, smoothen the edges, and carefully plot out its future. I don’t regret starting to play it with my friend now, but I somewhat regret the hours this game has taken from me. It’s exceptionally addictive especially if you play it with friends! Though I admit, it isn’t a game that everyone could or would love to play. It’s a niche game that sits comfortably on a core audience, and as a niche game, it’s incredibly great.

There’s no need to buy the DLCs to stay up to date in R6 Siege.

Not advertising for the game or anything, but if you want something different from the run-of-the-mill Military Shooter XII, might as well give R6 Siege a try. Ubisoft, from time to time, makes it a free-to-play game for the weekend, even attaching a hefty discount for good measure. Better catch those times if you feel that this is your cup of tea.