Almost every Rainbow Six game to date has featured a story mode of some kind, forming a loose continuity that begins with the original in 1998, and continuing through the end of Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 in 2008.
What’s next for the Rainbow Six universe?
After more than seven years of waiting, the next entry in the series, Siege, is set to arrive in just a few short months. So far though, Ubisoft has not been very clear on whether or not it would feature a narrative, or if it would be a multiplayer-only experience.
We saw a short teaser at E3 earlier this summer (featuring none other than actress Angela Bassett), that seemed to set up a pretty strong story premise.
However, Ubisoft did not comment on what exactly this video represented. Was it a teaser for a story mode? The intro to the game? Footage created just for E3? We had no idea.
Finally though, as the Siege closed beta prepares to wrap up, we’ve gotten an answer on Siege‘s singleplayer features.
So will Siege continue the Rainbow Six story or not?
Yes and no (although mostly no).
In Siege, the Rainbow unit exists as we saw it in previous games (as a multinational counter-terrorism force), but for whatever reason, it’s been disbanded. However, a new terrorist threat known as the White Masks emerges, with no clear goals or motives for their deadly attacks. In response, a new Six (the codename given to the leader of Rainbow) is tasked with reactivating the organization, recruiting a team pulled from the world’s foremost law enforcement agencies and special forces units, including the British SAS, Russian Spetsnaz, and US FBI-Swat.
Whether or not this is a continuation of the previous Rainbow Six timeline is unknown though, and kind of a moot point either way. This is because, as clarified by Ubisoft recently, Siege will not have a narrative story mode of any kind.
Art director Scott Mitchell told PCGamesN at EGX this past weekend:
There is no story mode per se, You go through training, where you get to experience different operators and their devices. You can play against enemy AI in co-op through all the maps. You can customise matches, so that’s what we’re offering on the single-player side of things.
The AI co-op mode Mitchell is talking about is called TerrorHunt, and tasks a team of five human players to breach and clear a location full of a few dozen computer controlled terrorists. As you can probably tell from that description, it’s not exactly a storytelling experience.
Why would they hire a name actress to play a character in a game with little to no story?
That is certainly a good question. It’s likely that Basset’s voice will be used to narrate certain in-game videos, briefings, radio chatter, and the like, and she may play a role in future marketing material for the game (like the trailer above).
Why the hell Ubisoft would go through the trouble of having her motion captured for that limited level of involvement though, is anyone’s guess.
It’s also very strange that in the same post that made the official announcement of TerrorHunt back in June, game designer Andrew Witts was quoted as saying, “the single-player is really about the player’s story, and the player’s impact on the Rainbow Six universe.”
That’s not him being misquoted, considering it’s part of Ubisoft’s official promotional campaign, so what’s up with that? Did plans change recently, or is there a more story-centric side to TerrorHunt we haven’t seen yet?
What about story content as DLC in the future?
You never know. Ubisoft is certainly known for (and perhaps a bit infamous for) its commitment to DLC wherever and whenever possible. So additional singleplayer content for Siege seems like a very real possibility, if there’s a demand, and (a bigger “if”) if the game performs well enough financially in the first place.
Either way, from what we’ve seen so far, Siege‘s narrative offerings are pretty limited so far (although it is one hell of a multiplayer experience that I cannot recommend enough). We’re keeping our fingers crossed though.