In Rainbow Six Extraction, an unidentified Russian Soyuz capsule (spacecraft) has crashed and triggered an epidemic. Ground zero is the city of Truth or Consequences in New Mexico. Because of the events in Truth or Consequences, Rainbow HQ created a task force named the Rainbow Exogeneous Analysis and Containment Team or REACT. The team was created because of how the initial epidemic was handled and a few years later, we see that the events of Truth or Consequences were not isolated. Now you will take characters that you know and love from Rainbow Six Siege and work to contain this alien outbreak in four different cities.
As you play Rainbow Six Extraction, the story is explained to you through pre-rendered cutscenes. These look great of course but they are a lot different than what you will see during gameplay. If you have played Rainbow Six Seige, there is not much that has changed here. A lot of the character models from Siege have been repurposed and the visuals look a lot similar. Outside of the new uniforms that fit the new story, there have been some slight texture upgrades to character models and other assets. Of course, the alien enemies are totally new here. There are a good amount of enemies with different variations and abilities that contribute to their design. The biggest visual change will come when you jump into the game world. There are various locations that are now being overtaken by the Archean parasite and it has changed the landscape. Now entire buildings are covered with the black film called the sprawl and alien nests. This adds an eerie and gritty look and feels to the environment and can affect gameplay in some cases.
When it comes to gameplay, if you have played Rainbow Six Seige, you will be comfortable here. The base gameplay is similar but not exactly the same. The guns and some of the gadgets are the same as Siege but there will be new tech and abilities at your disposal. You will make your way through various locations and buildings, fortifying your locations and taking out enemies. Initially, Extraction will be a lot slower pace than Siege. You want to try to take out as many enemies and nests as possible as you seek out your objectives. The different game modes and enemies are what make the game fun and challenging. If you have played Back 4 Blood, you will notice some similarities here. Before starting a mission, you are presented with the 3 objectives that you need to achieve. Based on that information, you need to choose your team and equipment. Many of the playable characters have abilities that could benefit you in some areas and slow you down in others. You will need to coordinate in order to be the most effective. That being said, Rainbow Six Extraction is best played with a team. There is a matchmaking system but communication will be key. As stated before, this game is a lot slower than Siege but once you start to alert enemies, it can grow hectic pretty fast and a lack of communication can cause you to temporarily lose one of your operatives.
I really like how consequences are handled in Rainbow Six Extraction. If you have an operative go down in the field, you’re not completely out of luck. If your teammates are in a good position, they can extract that character and they are sent back to heal up over the duration of a couple of missions. If the rest of the team goes down or you are not able to be extracted, you have to go on a recovery mission. If that fails, you don’t lose that character forever. You just lose a certain amount of experience that you earned while playing with them. I think that is the perfect amount of risk and reward and forces the player to think more critically about their actions.
In order to keep my impression spoiler-free, I won’t explain the contents but as you level up and unlock different areas, more of the story is explained. Most of this is shown through prerendered cutscenes that you unlock as you progress through the game. There is also the in-game codex. As you unlock more characters, tech, and enemies, you unlock new entries in the codex. Here you can find more in-depth information about the back story of Extraction and even some strategies on how to approach different enemies.
So who is this game for? If you enjoy the PVE aspects of Rainbow Six Seige and the zombie/alien aspects of games like Back 4 Blood and Left 4 Dead, you may find a place with Rainbow Six Extraction. Those who are deeply invested in the gameplay and strategy of Seige may not enjoy what Extraction brings to the table. I always wanted to play more Rainbow Six Siege but it has become a highly competitive environment. This is a good mix of PVE action and tactical strategy. The matchmaking system makes sure that you will always have a team (as long as the player base is dedicated) but I do like the option of being able to play alone. Similar to Back 4 Blood, the difficulty can ramp up seemingly out of nowhere but the progression system will never leave players feeling too underpowered.
Rainbow Six Extraction is a great place for a lot of players to jump into the universe. This may not be a game for hardcore Siege players but that is okay. I believe that both of these games can live in parallel and move forward as platform games. Ubisoft is welcoming in a new group of players with this game and I am excited to see that. I had a ton of fun jumping in with a team and playing something a little different and less sweaty. It feels like it is okay to play this game and make mistakes and try again.
You will be able to get your hands on Rainbow Six Siege for $39.99 or, if you are a Gamepass subscriber, it will be launching day and date.