Our Hands on Impression at Gamescom 2015
When I hear the words 5 vs 5, FPS and two opposing teams, Counter Strike pops into mind. It’s not surprising though, since I have over 1500 hours clocked into CS GO, with uncountable hours spent in Karachi’s hot and humid gaming zones playing CS 1.6. Another reason why I mention counter strike, is because there are a number of other similarities between the two games and I have a strong suspicion that Ubisoft is targeting a similar audience with Rainbox Six Seige. So when I stepped in Ubisoft’s trade booth, I was curious and somewhat cautious. It is hard to pull off a good competitive team based FPS.
We settled down, with 5 people taking the attacking team and 5 people on the defending side. We had two game devs, one on each team explaining the game mechanics and the plethora of approach possibilities i.e various classes, strategies and weapons. It could’ve been cheesy and cringe worthy, but it wasn’t. I found myself talking in-game with team mates calling out shots, requesting revives and shouting out enemy positions. The hands-on experience of Rainbow Six Siege proved successful because Ubisoft demonstrated the game in a very controlled environment with guidance, team chat and lots of help.Another reason for it can be, the presenters, or rather, the game doesn’t try to introduce those trademark terms or confuse players by offering the unnecessary bling, so it ends up being easy to get into. And what complemented all of this was that the physics, gameplay and game mechanics were solid. Yes, there isn’t a recoil pattern where you have to master like in CS or parkour of Titanfall, but the destructible environment and individual’s role highlight how it’s truly a team work and strategy based FPS which feels fun to play. I liked the initial drone based scouting warm up before each round, which can give you an insight where the target is or how the other team is setting up.
Judging solely based on the demo we played, the game feels a bit too focused on close quarters and we would like to see it explore the territory of more open environments where the experience feels more organic. Right now, the strategy most people would use is clumping together near the target and just waiting for the other team. I feel a more open environment would allow players to come up with new strategies and allow them to fully utilize different long range weapons. Also they need to make sure that the actual game play remains challenging in a manner that’s accessible to start playing but difficult to master; I personally felt that having the weapon inaccuracy plays a slightly larger part in gameplay, will lead to more immersive and challenging experience.
Lets talk about the new things Rainbow Six Seige wanted to showoff: a new spectator mode, where you can join as the 11th person and watch the match from a number of possibilities. There is the traditional FPS view, mounted-CCTV-camera view (which the playing 10 members can attack as a strategy and prevent the other team from finding your position on the map) and a new exciting overhead free camera which allows you to view multiple levels in stacks and move freely. This isn’t just great for checking out player positions and casting, but it’s also really useful for coming up with strategies. All of this points heavily towards Rainbow Six trying to capture some of the lucrative e-sports market.
I know a lot of you, like me, will be looking forward to how this new game plays out. It has the potential to be a really good and competitive game, as it has its unique points which will definitely excite the FPS market. For all intents and purposes, Siege provides an experience which is meant to be enjoyed with a team and teamwork. The objective-based gameplay doesn’t reward much on kills and that’s something we can agree with.
What’s left to see though, is how much the developers listen to the community and provide support after its release, as in case of rainbow six siege, this might eventually dictate how successful the game in the long run is.
1/ What is Spectator Cam and how does it work?
Spectator Cam offers the possibility for an 11th player to participate in 5v5 multiplayer games as an observer to watch the match in real time. In addition to the traditional First Person View, the Spectator Cam introduces Tactical View, an innovative viewpoint that allows players to select and automatically follow individual players or “free-cam” over the map to observe players’ skills, team tactics and objectives. We hope the Spectator Cam will not only make matches fun to watch, but also help players learn about our game. We are showing an early Alpha version of Spectator Cam here at Gamescom that we will improve and iterate upon post launch as we gather feedback from the community. Expect to see this feature evolve a lot!
2/ What will users be able to do with it?
Spectator Cam users can watch all of the action during the match to learn team strategies, player tactics and the overall stakes in real time during LAN and custom online multiplayer games. Key features of Spectator Cam:
First Person View allows users to observe an individual player during a match.
Tactical View allows interactive access to all players, teams and areas on the map. Users can select and automatically follow an individual player or “free-cam” throughout the entire map as they choose.
Outlines in augmented reality indicate the opposing teams (blue and orange) and objectives (in yellow).
Player Panel displays information on the selected player, namely the operator badge, equipped weapons and gadgets. Eventually we plan on including other statistics like K/D ratio for instance.
3/ When will it be available on all platforms?
A Beta form of Spectator Cam will be available for LAN and online custom games on PC at launch on October 13 and on all platforms in early 2016.
4/ Why isn’t it available at launch for all platforms?
PC is our main development platform. Releasing it first in Beta form on PC will allow us to gather feedback and iterate to ensure that the final version available on all platforms is of the highest quality.
5/ Will it be available for all game modes?
At launch, all multiplayer modes will be compatible with the Spectator Cam only during LAN and custom online games.
6/ What is the difference between Support Mode and the Spectator Cam?
Support Mode allows players who have died to follow their surviving teammates throughout the remainder of the match in First Person View so they are still useful and engaged. Reminder: when you die in Rainbow Six Siege, there is no respawning. Spectator Cam allows users to have complete control over their viewing experience by offering the ability to switch between First Person View and Tactical View at any time, and the possibility to select and snap on to any player on either team.
7/ Will the Spectator Cam come with a replay feature?
Not at this stage, but we are considering it for future developments.
8/ Will it allow players to cheat by giving them intel on the other team, and will the broadcasted footage be delayed in order to avoid such an issue?
For LAN and Custom Games, divulging information on the opposing team shouldn’t present an unfair advantage because players usually know each other in these instances. In the context of streaming, platforms like Twitch allow users to set a delay when broadcasting. There isn’t a delay in client at this stage, as it requires a replay feature.
9/ Will it be possible to remove the Spectator Cam HUD?
Not at this stage, but we are considering it for future developments. ESPORTS Q&A
10/ Considering your partnership with ESL here at Gamescom, is Rainbow Six Siege aiming to take part in esports competitions post launch?
We’ve developed a game that can support esports competitions, with our 60 FPS framerate in PVP and our Spectator Cam for instance. Nevertheless, it will be up to the community, the players and the organizations to determine if our game is worthy of the esports circuits. If our game is deemed worthy, we’d be excited to support it.