Super Duper Stuff – Rainbow 6 Siege

Rainbow 6 Siege

This particular piece has been through a couple of iterations; originally a ‘Super Duper Game’ piece, it then morphed into a feature. But as I wrote more about R6 Siege I realised that it was more than that. It’s a Super Duper Stuff piece. I never would have thought that a four year old game would grab me so completely.

History of Siege

When I was about thirteen years old we got our second computer. A Pentium II 266Mhz! Pretty crazy I know. On that machine we played a lot of awesome games. One that stood out was Half-Life, and in turn it’s multiplayer mod Counter-Strike. ‘CS’ was a tactical online shooter; the first time we’d properly interacted with such a thing. Our Brother-in-law, who was in his twenties and rode a motorbike, played it a lot. We watched him play and wanted to play ourselves. IIRC we played through several versions of the game – 1.3 – 1.6 and then Source – taking turns on the family computer on a modem connection. Good times.

Things moved on and we played other games. Unreal Tournament was great, before we moved off the PC and played more console games. With the advent of Modern Warfare, COD was the main outlet for online pew pew for years. I still clearly remember logging onto Modern Warfare 2 and seeing ten friends. But the move to the current gen on consoles brought with it successive duff releases. Online FPS’ing dried up. That was OK for a time. But then the itch returned, and Battlefront II didn’t scratch it enough. I needed something more hard-core. More tactical.

So what is Siege?

Rainbox 6 Siege is an online FPS following the games-as-a-service model. I’ve come into it late enough that I missed it’s rocky start (lack of content being the main concern it seemed). But by my entry it it all it’s had time to build beyond that. With a now daunting roster of ‘Operators’ (playable characters), it has grown to become an e-sports game with a huge following. It’s much like CS, with teams either attacking or defending an objective. There are four seasons per year, with each one introducing new operators and map changes or additions.

Operators are unlocked using ether in-game currency or real money. Yes you can buy stuff, but you can earn it too. Nothing to help you play is kept behind a pay wall.

How does it play?

There is a huge emphasis on the environment. Not only is a fair bit of destructible, but you can hear a lot of what is going on.

Creating new lines of sight on objectives, or funneling opponents the way you want, is crucial to wining matches. This can be done by putting up barricading walls, or by setting up traps.

Sound is massively important. With a serious emphasis on being tactically aware, if you can’t tell where people are in relation to you, you’re at a massive disadvantage. Knowing that someone is heading down the stairs, or is running around above you, can give you the edge.

Then there’s the operator you use. There are currently 25 attackers and 25 defenders, all with special abilities and different weapons that they can loaded with. My personal favourite is Sledge. He’s an attacking operator, in the SAS, and carries a bloody huge hammer. He can bulldoze his way through large parts of maps, giving him both an element of surprise and a means to get the hell out of dodge. Part of the fun is trying out each operator, finding which ones you enjoy, and learning how to best use them.

How hard have I hit it? How much has it cost?

The game itself only cost £15 second hand. But I’ve massively overcompensated for that initial ‘saving’…

  • £25 on a Season Pass. This got me immediate access to new operators as they were released through the year.
  • £55 on a Corsair Void Pro Headset. A great headset that I’ve also used to watch films. Comfortable with decent surround sound.
  • £120 on a Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller. This was a bold purchase. In one go I changed not only the controller, but gained more buttons to use, and changed all the sensitivities. It took a month for it all to click! A hard month. But now I can lean with ease, and my hands are far less fatigued. Very important as I’ve had RSI problems before.
  • £20 on in-game currency

So you could say I’ve gone all in on Siege. There’s a case for all of them, and I definitely can’t blame my tools!

Most importantly though…

All of that – describing the game and what I’ve invested into it – was essentially preamble. Why should Siege be counted as Super Duper Stuff? There’s something special it has given me, which is why I’m still playing, and why it’s stuck so much with me.

Family time. Specifically, more time with my brothers.

We live equidistant from each other (an hour or so), so to be able to jump on and chat for a hour or so a couple of times a week has on its own made Siege worthwhile.

After getting hooked, I managed to persuade both of them to jump on-board. Our ‘squad’ isn’t lighting up the game, but for a little while we’re together, just being brothers. Which means an awful lot of film quotes, terrible accents and on purpose mispronunciations. Sometimes we even catch up on each other’s lives! If only we could get our sister involved too.

Rainbows 6 Siege is a great game. But it’s what it has given me that really sets it apart.

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