the franchise Rainbow Six, from Ubisoft, gained a new chapter with the arrival of R6 Extraction, on January 20th. The agents now need to contain the Chimera parasite that is rapidly spreading across the United States. With solo or cooperative gameplay, Rainbow Six Extraction adapts the familiar formula of humans vs monsters to its own universe. THE Techblog played a preview of the game for four hours and you read first impressions below.
Alien parasite and containment areas
The background of the story of Extraction shows the consequences of the return of a parasite known as Chimera, responsible for an epidemic in New Mexico, which is now even deadlier and rapidly spreading across the US.
A new specialized organization was created to study this threat and prepare for future attacks. Thus was born REACT (Rainbow Exogenous Analysis and Containment Team).
You are precisely one of these agents and have the “soft” mission to enter the containment zones to collect samples and other information from the enemy and, in addition, eliminate or capture lethal creatures known as Archæans, which were originated from the parasite.
Some familiar faces from Rainbow Six return and if you have any experience with R6 wins, this can help you a lot to use equipment and even in some strategies. But it is not necessary to have a player Siege to face Extraction.
Family gameplay and much better as a team
One of the first feelings I had playing through the four containment zones (with three different regions in each) available in the demo was that I was testing yet another improved version of Left 4 Dead, the game that popularized the gameplay style with a small group of humans vs monstrosities.
However, unlike the newcomer Back 4 Blood, which is an open tribute to the legacy of L4D (only more elaborate and with a card building system), Rainbow Six Extraction utilizes the human vs monster context, but incorporates its own tactical shooting style, gameplay modes and variety of maps. In the final version of the game, 12 containment zones will be offered (in principle).
Regarding the game modes, it is possible to play completely solo (no bots helping you, as in Left 4 Dead) or in cooperation with two other players. During testing, the first part was played in single player mode and works as a tutorial to familiarize yourself with the controls and objectives.
Playing solo is cool, but it gets a little monotonous over time. However, where Extraction It really shines in multiplayer, especially if you can talk to the other two members of your team and agree which agents to take on the mission. The tactical side even starts with the preparation of the team that will enter the containment zones.
Each of the 18 elite agents, available in the final version, have unique specialties and equipment – which gives a lot of versatility when it comes to building the trio that will face the Archæans.
There are some RPG strokes in this part of the agents, which have a system of progression both in combat skills and in the variety and capacity of items and equipment to carry. Of course, for that, you need to be successful in the missions.
R6 Extraction it also urges you, despite not being so severe, to calculate your shots well and not waste ammunition. Allied to this, each agent has its special combat ability, which can also be recharged. Oh and be careful where you step: every now and then you’ll notice black slimes all over the floor that can only slow you down or deal damage too. These areas need to be cleared to proceed with a little more security.
Random Quests and the Threat of Archæans
Each mission, or incursion, in R6 Extraction contains three main goals (in each of the three steps) that connect to each other. The degree of difficulty in completing these objectives increases as you and your team progress to the next one.
The interesting thing about each incursion, in the chosen containment zone, is that your team does not necessarily need to complete all three steps to request the rescue, that is, the extraction of that area. If you feel like you’ve got your life on the line, you’re almost out of ammo, and your other friends have already been shot down, sometimes it’s better to back off than continue. However, the further you advance and complete goals, the better the rewards.
The challenges that must be completed in each of the three stages of each mission are randomly generated and players know what they will be at the time of team preparation. This is great, because, depending on the objective to be pursued, it is possible to combine the best agents for each incursion.
During the preview, some of these challenges ranged from capturing a specimen to be studied, taking out a specific stronger enemy, protecting areas from attack until a given research is completed, rescuing downed agents, and so on. Over time, these goals began to be repeated too much and I hope that in the final version there is more variety, not to get bored quickly even in multiplayer.
An interesting detail about these missions is something that has even been shown in gameplay videos: the rescue of fallen agents. If someone on your team is knocked down for the second time, a sort of orange foam surrounds the agent’s body and, as it hardens, creates a cocoon of protection. During tests, we nicknamed this phenomenon the “Cheetos Effect”, because the character really looks like a big ball Cheetos. It is funny.
The agents, already in Cheetos mode, can no longer be lifted at that time, but a specific objective will appear, within a raid, to rescue this fallen character. It is worth noting that injured agents, during a mission, or even killed may be unavailable for a next mission until they recover. Therefore, it is important to test different characters to always have a good second (or third, or fourth) option at hand.
Now talking about the mutants themselves, or the Archæans (which I need to copy and paste this special letter whenever I write this word), their variety pattern really resembles the pattern of Left 4 Dead – save some news. You will find from the most basic creatures to differentiated mutants, which explode poison, which attract more mutants if they are alerted (like a Witch, from L4D), which are tanks, and so on.
The highlight here, however, goes to the most challenging of all Archæans: the Proteus. This creature mimics some physical aspects of agents and even boosts some of their combat abilities. This was the hardest challenge of all, at least during the preview. You and your team only face Proteus on some specific objective, which is shown before starting the raid. Get ready for a nice fight, especially on higher difficulties.
My experience over the four hours I tested Extraction it was generally positive. Apart from the beginning, which I did in solo mode to familiarize myself with the mechanics, all the rest of the game was in groups and with everyone communicating. It only took a few matches for the team to be 100% in tune and combining agents and strategies.
The gameplay is very intuitive and the learning curve is fast, especially if you are already familiar with shooters. Even defeating Proteus was a little “easier”, as far as possible, after better organizing the team’s inventory and skill. But make no mistake, one wrong gasp next to this mutant and they all go to ground in the blink of an eye.
Even so, there came a time when the goals started to get very repetitive, but I believe (and hope) that this is due to the limitation of the tested demo version. In my view, the game has the potential to attract even players who don’t like the style of R6 wins (my case), but who particularly like shooting games similar to Left 4 Dead (my case too).
In fact, I dare say that just because of this preview I was able to feel that Extraction attracted me more than the Back 4 Blood, which also has a mission objective system (albeit more sparse), but still lacks a better gameplay balance.
Besides, I’m pretty intrigued to play the final version and see if the game will really live up to the good expectations left by the demo. In addition to the other maps, which are already confirmed, I really hope there will be different missions too. It would be a shame to get sick of him too quickly.
Rainbow Six Extraction will arrive, on January 20th, with dubbing and localization in Brazilian Portuguese for the following platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, PC (Ubisoft Connect and Epic Games). The game will also be on Game Pass on Day One.