The Rainbow Six franchise is well-known to fans of Tom Clancy's games. The game has always been about assessing threatful situations and overcoming them tactically. This approach to shooter games initially attracted me and made me get into its universe.
In the beginning, the Rainbow Six franchise used to be a PvE game, but that legacy came to an end in 2015. During that time, the entire shooter franchise was moving to a PvP environment with the release of Rainbow Six Siege. Years later, I found myself in the same environment which remained unmatched by any other shooter in the market.
The live service game has been a success as it provides new content with each new update and keeps me as a player coming back. The most successful one was Operation Chimera, which brought the Outbreak event, which got a lot of attention from the fanbase and eventually led to the birth of Rainbow Six Extraction.
Rainbow Six Extraction review: “Facing the unknown”
For a Rainbow Six Siege fan who joined after Operation Chimera, the idea of the Outbreak event has always interested me. The concept of playing a campaign within a PvP game was truly something amazing for the player base, but alas, I missed the experience as I was late to the party.
Ever since the departure of this event, the Rainbow Six community, including me, wished for it to return for years, and the wish was granted through Rainbow Six Extraction. Following the lore of Outbreak, it was truly exciting to get my hands on Rainbow Six Extraction, and the game hasn’t disappointed much in my experience by far.
Picking the story where it left off
Back in Operation Chimera, players were introduced to an unknown alien threat that has massacred the world by creating a zombie-like outbreak. In Rainbow Six Extraction, this alien threat has been identified as parasites called Archeans.
To fight this unknown threat off, Team Rainbow’s special unit has made a military and research division called Rainbow Exogenous Analysis & Containment Team or R.E.A.C.T. in short. This unit has been assigned to examine the outbreak and find a possible solution against Archean threats.
When the game started, I felt great as I was welcomed to a familiar environment filled with operators from Rainbow Six Siege and how they interacted with each other.
Because of their known specialties, these operators have been assigned to work with R.E.A.C.T. and help them research better weapons tech and ultimately fight off the Archeans.
When everything was being explained in the game, the entire setting was clear to me and I felt ready to take the assignment. Through various cutscenes with top-notch voice acting and visuals, I felt like I was a part of this operation and was ready to dive into the game to learn about its gameplay.
Most of the controls and mechanics for a veteran Siege player did not need any introduction. I felt like coming back to a familiar neighborhood. Every game mechanic starting from leaning to vaulting was present and functioned the same as Rainbow Six Siege.
Once I completed going through the tutorial stage, it was time for me to plummet into the main gameplay and that’s where all the fun began.
During my time in Extraction, mostly playing solo, I encountered a few things. Some levels can be challenging and require a stealth approach, while some can be easily passed by running and gunning. However, this was only the case in Moderate difficulty.
While staying in Milestone 2, I tried hopping into the game in Cautious difficulty and that’s when things got a bit interesting. The game started to feel a bit more difficult and my attempts at running and gunning only ended up with my operators going M.I.A. on the field.
Rainbow Six Extraction’s M.I.A. mechanics is one of the most crucial parts of the game, and I have mixed feelings. The game is supposed to be a simulation shooter game and punishes strictly if players mess up. I am indeed responsible for my operators going M.I.A. on one map.
But, what is more, punishing is that I have to dive into the same map and get to Area 3 to save my operator. The rescue operation feels like a gamble in this area as more dangerous enemies are likely to spawn.
If I lose another operator while rescuing my other M.I.A. member, things start to feel a bit irritating as I would have to save both of them later on and get them back separately. This is not bad and has its reason to stay, but at times it makes the game feel tedious.
Rainbow Six Extraction was a bit more fun in co-op mode, in my experience. To make our stay challenging, we chose to go with Cautious difficulty, which backfired us for underestimating the game mechanics.
As the game detected two players on one map, it got exponentially harder and made us realize that a tactical approach would be more appropriate. After these experiences, it is safe to say that the game is challenging. However, we cannot be sure if the game will give the same amount of challenge later on.
Moreover, another interesting element in Rainbow Six Extraction is its mutation mechanics and more depth to the game. In my experience, mutation mechanics make the game feel more random and not every incursion felt the same.
We covered one map on one playthrough and the second playthrough was an entirely new experience with a new set of objectives to complete. These objectives did require a lot of teamwork and did not end well when one of us messed up.
For a player who likes to meet with surprises, Extraction did a good job with its map-building algorithm and putting us in different situations on every gameplay.
Visuals, sound, and performance
Before I talk about the visuals and game performance, I will be listing my test bench for reference purposes.
Test bench specification
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
- GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060S
- RAM: 16GB
- Monitor: LG IPS with HDR enabled @240Hz
With that being said, Rainbow Six Extraction showed an appreciable amount of visual upgrade from Rainbow Six Siege. To get myself immersed in it, I kept HDR on for my test to get maximum contrast output and it did not fail to impress me.
The game experience was great with all the visual calibration done and I felt I was present in those situations myself. The game also provided an excellent sound experience that played a huge role in setting the scene to accompany the visuals.
As for graphics, I chose to go with the “Very High” preset and easily managed to get 120 FPS on average. Overall, my experience has remained very smooth every time I played the game and I did not face any stutter thanks to its optimization.
The foliage and other environmental features in the game were pretty detailed and helped with every map's visual experience. Along with environmental details, operator models and other characters in the game were also well defined and worthy of mention.
Furthermore, the lighting of Rainbow Six Extraction was entirely on the spot and it doesn’t make the game unduly dark, which is also a fine adjustment.
Creating a spinoff of Rainbow Six Siege and getting massive backlash from the general public, I expected disappointment from Rainbow Six Extraction. However, I am happy to say that I’ve been proven wrong, and the game isn’t as bad as expected.
Visually the game feels dark and grim, and gameplay is punishing if things go sideways. Not to forget, but the game does feel a bit grindy when unlocking weapons for operators, for which the game gets a minus from me.
Yet, if players are looking for a co-op survival game, Rainbow Six Quarantine is a choice for players in 2022 and is recommended for players who are into the genre.
Rainbow Six Extraction
Reviewed on: PC (Early access provided by Ubisoft)
Platform: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Google Stadia and PC (via Epic Game Store and Ubisoft Connect.)
Developer: Ubisoft Monreal, Ubisoft