“Rainbow Six Extraction” Turns Left 4 Dead Into A Tactical Gun
Rainbow Six Extracttakes Siege and wraps it up in the fleshes of a coop shooter. Instead of facing real people, you fight against AI-controlled aliens in three-person teams. It’s an interesting change that is, despite some downfalls, great fun.
As a spinoff from the limited-time Outbreak mode that was released for Siegeback 2018, Extractionsees Rainbow’s operators travel to various hot spots around the world to fight an alien invasion.
Extraction is similar to co-op shooters Left 4 Dead or World War Z. It’s designed to be replayable. It doesn’t have a linear campaign. Instead, it offers different locations that you can return to repeatedly, including the Tenderloin industrial area in San Francisco, an Alaskan research station, and a penthouse in New York.
Ubisoft added variety to the game by breaking down each level into three stages with different mission objectives. The first step is to place tracking beacons in alien nests within the park and then you will be able to fight your way through the various levels of the New York Police Department. In the second stage, you will push into the main offices to try and track an elite alien and get a DNA sample without it being killed. The final section involves fighting your way through the main lobby to the evacuation point at the steps of the police station while protecting a civilian from an alien attack.
Each level feels new even after playing for about 15 hours. This is due to Extension‘s destructible environments. The layout can be changed from mission to mission. You might be able to sneak down a narrow corridor on one playthrough, but the next time you visit the corridor big holes in the walls will allow you to access the alien-filled rooms that it runs between.
You and your squadmates also have a selection of Rainbow Six Siege operators to choose from. Each operator has its own set, weapons, special abilities and progression tracks. There’s so much variation from mission to mission.
Each section has an extraction point. This allows you to try to escape before your mission is over. Although it may sound like the easy way out for quitters, my team and I found that making the decision to reduce our losses was becoming more important as we played more of the game.
Two very good reasons to extract early are XP and going MIA. You get XP for killing enemies and completing objectives. However, if you are able to survive a mission, you will also receive a 90% bonus on all XP earned during that mission. If you want to be able to access the more difficult modes, it is important that your characters are levelled up. This unlocks new gear and vital passive buffs like armour and speed.
Extraction is unique in that you can go MIA. It is something I have come to love and respect. It is a driving force in my decision-making while I am playing. Your operator will become MIA if you are left behind during a mission. Your squad may have been destroyed or your character injured and nobody was able to rescue you. If an operator goes MIA, they are removed from your roster. The only way to get them back to work is to run another mission on the same level. However, this time one of the missions will be a rescue mission.
Although it’s a very punishing system, it adds great tension to each step of an infiltration. Do we risk our entire XP or extract quickly to retain our full roster? Further pressure on your decisions comes from the fact that any damage to operators will be carried over into subsequent missions until it is repaired. How can you heal operators? Earning XP. Extracting early can keep your operators alive. However, if you don’t earn enough XP on that mission you won’t do much for your operators’ health back home.
It’s also the pressure, that challenge, that makes Extraction not like Leave 4 Deadbut more like a Rainbow Six game. You will face dumb, but deadly aliens. You can easily sneak past their radar and remain hidden from them. However, if they spot you, they will shout for help. The alien nests are also attracted to the sound, as it not only brings in enemies but also sets them up for breeding. One enemy grunt may quickly turn into a whole army of aliens charging at your position.
My team and I took our missions slower, used drones to look ahead, executed enemies with silent headshots or stabs in the back when possible. We were pushed to this mode of play by the rewards and punishments offered by Extraction. Extraction is now my favourite co-op game. It fulfils the same need as Rainbow Six Vegas 2‘s terrorist hunting mode, which I have felt for many years.