Rainbow Six Extraction REVIEW(PS5)
''Survive together or not at all''
Developed: Ubisoft Montreal
Genre: First person co-op tactical shooter
Release Date: Jan 20th, 2022
Platforms: PS4/PS5/Xbox Series/PC/Stadia
*Review copy provided to me by Ubisoft*
Rainbow Six Extraction is a cooperative first person survival shooter that is developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. After what seems like a forever lasting delay and a name change for... obvious reasons, the game finally released. Now nearly three years after its initially announcement, is the hype still there for this title or will it end up in the bargain bin inside a couple weeks?. Only one way to find out, so lets go!
AHHHH! REAL MONSTERS
Alright, so you may have noticed I skipped the story there. Well that's because overall there isn't a story mode per say. Most of the games lore is done through small cutscenes or hidden within Codex or Intel. The basic premise of the entire game is a Parasite Mutation has broken out and the company, REACT, deploys its fighters, known as Operators, to contain and eliminate all mutated threats. Very simple. Another reason why there isn't a story arc overall here is due to the fact that this is also an online only game, with the focus of having to squad up with two other players in order to complete your objectives and eliminate parasites. Sure you can play solo as well, but as I'll explain a little later, you'll see that it isn't actually a wise thing to do, trust me. Going into this title, it wasn't exactly new to me, mainly in regards to the main game mechanics and the way it plays, so it was easy for me to pick up and play due to being apart of the Technical Test for the title back in November. However, that didn't necessarily make this title a walk in the park either, oh no, FAR from it. So lets be like Doctor Britt Baker, D.M.D. and Extract on out of here and get to the game play. Shall we?
The game functions overall like Rainbow Six Siege plays, only this time with a little bit dumber A.I. than you may be used to. But just because the A.I. is as dumb as a cat chasing a red laser dot, doesn't mean that negates any challenge to you. When starting your game you're able to choose from four different maps with those being New York, San Francisco, Alaska and Truth Or Consequences, all being unlocked by leveling up your Milestone level. With these mentioned maps in the game having three different sub areas each and every single one having a different objective or goal to achieve. These goals ranging from tagging enemy grunt parasites, using explosives to kill a specific amount of mutations, putting sensors on mutation pods that spawn more parasites, etc. But wait, there's more. Those are just Operator based objectives to complete, that does not include the regular mission objectives. Operators? don't worry, I'll get to them in a minute, but first let me explain some of the mission objectives themselves, so you can get a rough idea of how things will go down each match. Besides the Operator objectives I just listed, you will also be granted three separate sub-zones, containing three separate mission goals, that involve activating a senor that attracts all nearby mutations to you like flies to poop, plant devices on mutated pods to stop them from spawning parasites, getting biopsy tests on the parasite mutations by being VERY sneaky sneaky and giving them a good melee to get a sample of their blood, luring an enemy mutation into a safe zone area to unleash a trap on him like Mouse Trap.. a very deadly game of Mouse Trap that is... or activate beacons and hold command points for a specific amount of time, while mutations bust through the walls and make you scream. Not me of course, I'm talking about you screaming. I'd never do that.. I swear.
The game can feel very intense at times and even downright eerie due to the atmosphere presented. A lot of the time you cant see an enemy, but can hear them crawling or even making noises, this can get a bit nerve racking. But all things go to hell when you start encountering the enemy mutations face to face, who all differ in variety. Some of these include, Spiker mutations having electricity and shooting you from afar, little baby breacher and bloater crab like creatures that will either rush you and explode outright or explode into a green poison mist, which.. I may or may not have made little fart noises to every time I exploded one.. and then there's Grunt mutations that chase you and fury swipe at you like you called their alien mama fat. Come on, that's not nice. Swiper no swiping. Hmm. Mama aliens?. Now that I mention it, these pods do look like the pods you see in the Aliens movies or on a set of Godzilla. There are lot more than just those mutations though, but lets move on for now. As stated earlier, this game is focused a lot on the cooperative gameplay style with the overall point of the game being to partner with two other players, however, you are able to play solo.. but it's not recommend. I'll explain. With a squad of three, should you be downed, your teammate can pick you up, carry you back to the safe zone and save your character Operator like they're your SAM from Lord Of The Rings. They can't carry the mission objective for you Mister Frodo.. BUT they can CARRY YOU. But on solo mode however, should you die, that's it, game over. ''Oh well I'll just hop back in and keep playing'' you say to yourself, right? nope, you see, because every time you die as one of your Operators, they become unusable and go M.I.A., Which gives you two choices. You can replay the level, find your downed Operator in a cacoon, that requires one person to pull on them, while the other shoots glowing sacks connected to the cacoon, to break them out before they die. Its intense as all hell. Should you fail, they will return back to your selection screen but with decreased experience points. Should you succeed though and successfully get them back to the safe zone healing chamber, they will regain health back slower every time you complete a mission. Sweet. But hold up. I still haven't explained just what the heck the Operators are. Oops. Sorry about that.
Operators in the game are the characters you're able to play as with each having their own character skills, weapon choices and stats skills. Such as Doc having health injectors to revive yourself or teammates when you're downed, ELA with sticky proximity mines, Lion that uses a Drone to detect all moving enemies around you and so forth. Stats also play a part in how you strategize, with each character having different attributes relating to Speed and Armor, with characters like Alibi having 3 speed bars, but only 1 armor bar, she is fast, but has low defense, which is in contrast to someone like Rook, who has 3 armor bars compared to his 1 speed bar. It's all about the type of character you wish to play as. Are you a run and gunner? try picking a speed class to get out of tough situations and run your butt off to get to your extraction point. Are you slow but have good defense? take your time, sneak and stealth in your environment. It's entirely up to you. On top of those stats, all Operators have a separate leveling mechanic that's different than your normal account milestone level. Leveling your account milestone level, capping at level 30, will unlock you new gear, missions, tech, weapons, tokens, etc, but playing as an individual character and leveling that of each Operator, allows you to advance their character skills and techniques. Pretty cool, right? Almost as cool as my dog in sunglasses with cheese on her head. What? Oh. Nothing. The crazy thing about each Operator is that you get ten total milestone upgrades for each of the 18 characters, who you will get to unlock, all the way to Milestone 17. 17 you say?. Ooo Extraction queen, young and sweet, Milestone Seventeen. My bad guys. Got in the zone for a second. On topic again. With each milestone achieved for your character, you gain Operator advancements. These advancements being upgrades such as, health shots that will heal yourself and revive teammates, new weapons, movement speed upgrades, revive with a higher H.P. count, charged swings for Operator Sledge and his hammer when its time to.. uh...hammer, that ends up so powerful that it can now break down walls, just like Jericho. You thought I was gonna make a M.C. Hammer joke didn't you?. Ha. Gotcha. You can't touch this. Oh wait there it is. Each Operator can also equip headgear and uniforms, but this is basically just for cosmetics, I personally have not noticed any real benefit to specific gear equipment, other than just wanting to look cool. I have a doggo on my gun addon though, his name is Cooper. He protects me everywhere I go.
When you think you're done with Operators, think again, because like most online shooters nowadays, you are also able to pick and choose their own weapon loadout, with you being able to equip shotguns, machine guns, pistols, etc. All of which are upgradable with silencers to improve stealth in missions, red dot sight for better pin point accuracy, Grips that protect against weapon recoil, or extended barrels that are used for long ranged shooting. But even then, that is not all you can do with your Operators because now were getting to your special abilities known as React Tech. Man there's quite a lot in this game, huh?. React Tech is equipment for each Operator for explosives and gear, pertaining to each tech that spans from Impact grenades, scan mines to see enemies in the area, nitro cells that can be detonated whenever you wish, stun grenades to destabilize the mutations momentarily and gear having upgrades like recon drones to survey the rooms ahead of you, extra body armor, revive kits for health regeneration, ammo satchel that starts your missions with 50% more ammo, etc etc. All of these can be purchased the further you raise your milestone level using React Tokens that you receive from successful missions and completed in game objectives. While everything above sounds fun, its not all sunshine and rainbows. There are several issues for me personally with the game. My first gripe is the solo mode. Sure it can be good if you only do 1 or 2 sub-zones in each area, but due to the games difficulty, you will find yourself getting so overwhelmed very quickly by enemy mutations that it will start to feel very very cheap. On top of getting frustrated, on solo mode, should you die, you have no chance at rescue like you would if a teammate saved your body.. which means you lose a ton of of E.X.P. and I mean a lot. I'm talking THOUSANDS. If you spent hours leveling and die, chances are you will de-level to a previous Milestone level and have to do it ALL. OVER. AGAIN. Ugh. Reminds me of dying in Final Fantasy 11 in Crawlers Nest and having to spend another 4 hours to make back the experience I lost. It sucked!. Plus playing solo makes you fall victim to enemy spores that are placed around each map, which will cling to you and explode, poisoning you. Alone nothing can be done, but with a friend, you can at least scream like a sissy girl as your buddy shoots these spore like tumors off your back. Too Long, don't care version. Stick to online with friends.
Besides your main missions that I just talked about, there is still a little bit more to do to keep you occupied, such as Maelstrom Protocol, Assignment Missions and VR training. Maelstrom Protocol is a squad based mode where you must make it through 9 different sub zones without dying. Its basically an endurance round of survival of the fittest. Resources become fewer, parasites become stronger and change each time, and you have a limited roster. Definitely isn't for the weak of heart. But the ends justify the means due to the headgear and other awards you acquire should you claim the day and achieve victory. Yatta. On the flip side of things, Assignment Missions are missions that are only available for a limited amount of time, in my case at the point of playing, it was Wall To Wall Alaska where you must form a squad to stabilize the parasite of the area during its abnormal stress phase. This is hit or miss quite frankly because you need to be super leveled up to even stand or chance or don't even bother at all. I'm serious. Go away. Finally, there is VR training. Which is um, quite obvious? It basically teaches you the main mechanics of how the games controls work and how each mode will play out. Just like every other tutorial or training mission in the history of gaming. Nothing special, but good to learn the ropes, as there is quite a lot to learn. That way you don't go into a match wearing your dunce cap.
When its all said and done, Rainbow Six Extraction ends up sort of a mixed bag. On one hand, the combat is intense, decent enemy variety, strategy over gunning your way through, utilization of team work, great atmosphere, lots of content to unlock and level up, all that is great, don't get me wrong. However at the same time, it has a very cheap feeling solo mode that really isn't all that fun, some missions even in different areas can kind of feel the same at times, de-leveling as punishment for dying could demoralize you from playing more and then the question of the games longevity. How long can this keep people occupied?. Will it be like The Division and keep people coming back for years? Or will it be dead inside a year itself. Its hard to say. The content in this game is great, but after awhile it might get a bit repetitive depending on how long it takes for updates to come out. If you're a solo player who doesn't have access to friends or doesn't want to play with randoms, then this game is definitely not for you. But if you have one or even two friends to play with, then I can definitely recommend it because hilarity does tend to break out when buddies are involved. For sure. For $40 I think it's worth a buy for what it offers you at the moment, but hey, if you have Game Pass, I wouldn't hesitate on picking it up there or if you really are scared about it, Playstation players, wait till it hits $20. Your choice. But for me, when its all said and done. My verdict is clear. GameNChick says BUY NOW.