View Full Version : Reminder to new Devs about the demise of R6 series - Please read

07-10-2014, 12:06 AM
Devs of Siege, please see the text in this thread from 2011:


The linked article in the thread is no longer there, but look down the thread a little ways and you will see the text pasted.

That is the most accurate description of what happened to the R6 series, and why we need it to REALLY return to its roots this time.


07-10-2014, 03:54 AM
I introduced some of my friends to the R6 world via Vegas on console. I pushed them to buy it.. All they had known of the FPS genre was HALO etc... For them, it was a mind blowing experience, but for me it was still a disappointment because I had grown up on the original R6 (Covert Ops) and GR on PC. I played it because the market for shooters was not as saturated back then (that's not true today)... The only positive I saw in Vegas was that at least it provided a taste of the "tactical" for a new crowd. I hoped the next R6 would really turn up the tactical intensity, because I knew my friends were ready for it... but Ubisoft failed to follow Vegas up with a true R6 game, and this is when they lost out.

As soon as COD Modern Warfare came out, we forgot about Vegas and didnt bother even buying Vegas 2/Advanced Warfighter etc....Because whenever R6/GR abandons the sub-genre it created, it will lose market share, because it's stepping outside of its domain. A similar thing happened to my little brother, who was a big fan of the early Splinter Cells, but stopped playing/buying the new titles when they dumbed it down... He's also playing BF4 these days...

I think it's an incorrect assumption on the part of studios to underestimate the intelligence of its customer base. The fear that making a game "too hardcore" (as DICE put it) may ruin your sales figures is an irrational assumption. What creates a profitable product is word-of-mouth, reputation and respect. This is as true for videogames as it is for BMW. Now, I know that if I recommend Siege to my FPS playing friends, they will play it. But I won't recommend it, if I don't respect it. So it's people like me, the legacy fan base that the Devs need to satisfy first and foremost, because the rest of the crowd is already happy and satisfied with the competition. The FPS genre today is saturated and people need a good reason, a push from someone they know, to switch gears. And we will have no reason to encourage them to switch gears if we ourselves are left unsatisfied...

07-10-2014, 11:15 AM
Thank You, we will be sure to send this to the team.

07-10-2014, 05:35 PM
Since the site is down, I'll paste the text part:

1998 marked the release of the first Rainbow Six title for PC, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six. The game was released to coincide with a book of the same name written by Tom Clancy himself. Developed by Red Storm Entertainment (in which Clancy was a co-founder of) Rainbow Six was set to revolutionise the tactical FPS genre for years to follow.

The tactical nature of the game was what had allured me into the series to begin with. I loved the way I could control every aspect of every mission put forth with the result being a direct representation of how well I had thought things through, before and during the execution phase. Rainbow Six heavily relied on planning. You were given a map with possible enemy locations, objectives and a general outlay of the area you were to be inserted into. Using waypoints, go codes and rules of engagement the plan could be executed with precision. For those that had trouble coming up with their own strategies, a default plan had been included, available to modify or use as it were.

With the possibility of having up to 4 teams or 8 operatives under your command (though this varies between games) it was up to you to utilise their skills as best you could, the more time you spent planning how they would handle certain situations, along with choosing the right gear for their part in the mission, meant less time replaying the same scenario over and over again.

As for making mistakes, the AI left you with very little margin for error. Playing the game on the harder difficulty levels would mean if you did slip up, you would slip out for good, having to restart the mission if you played to keep everyone in the team alive. Razor sharp aiming and observations skills were a necessity.

It was punishing, sometimes frustrating, but the goal was to always learn from your mistakes. The game wasn’t about giving you super powers or an “edge” over the enemy. The playing field was leveled. This was Rainbow Six.

The next level
After a few more titles and expansions in the series, Rainbow Six: Raven Shield was released in 2003. For the first time in any Rainbow Six game we could see a weapon model which I had admittedly always wanted. The sheer selection of weapons (57 with multiple cutomisation options), items, gear and gadgets available to choose from throughout the game, even from the beginning, was amazing. Although the graphics had undergone a facelift and the game was somewhat multiplatform (it wasn’t a direct port) the essence of Rainbow Six was intact.

Personally, I believe this is where R6 was at the height of its game. Planning features were cut back a little but it was nothing as drastic as the changes that were to follow.

What had most likely been the catalyst for dumbing down Rainbow Six for good was with the release of the Xbox version, Rainbow Six 3, the console equivalent of Raven Shield. No longer did you control a team, you controlled one man. The entire planning phase had been cut as it was clear a console audience couldn’t deal with it, most likely due to the lack of buttons on a controller (making it hard to manage the planning stage) and the need to develop well thought out strategies. That’s a given for an audience that needs to be told what to do, a trend that never seems to change. It worked too. Systematically dumbing down almost every other tactical Ubisoft game from that point in time in the process, all but confirming this was the desired style of play by mainstream console gamers.

No step forward, three steps back
The next iteration of Rainbow Six for all platforms was Rainbow Six: Lockdown. Originally released for the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube, a PC version came months later. The tactical approach had been toned down dramatically with a focus on action orientated gameplay through linear sequences. The PC version wasn’t quite as bad as its console equivalents, though, with he poor AI and the removal of the planning phase, it was clear from this point on that Rainbow Six would never be the same again.

Despite the PC version receiving low scores all round due to its simplification, the console versions unsurprisingly ranked highly.

Vegas, where a good game came to die
In 2006, Rainbow Six: Vegas was released on the Xbox 360 with a delay to the PC version. The game visually looked the part (minus the crammed FOV) but unfortunately this is where the series really took a departure.

For a game that was once so reliant on the player to overcome difficult situations by using their wits, Rainbow Six had now resorted to overly used gameplay mechanics such as health regeneration, a 3rd person cover system, corridor based levels and over the top action orientated gameplay. Health regeneration… in a Rainbow Six game? Blasphemy. At one time the playing field was leveled, now you were virtually invincible.

Sadly, it didn’t stop there. In all Rainbow Six games you are given objectives, most noteworthy as it’s seen in all entries to the series, the rescuing of hostages. This was in my opinion the hardest part of any mission. Failing to approach the hostage takers in a way that works to your benefit, and without being detected, would lead to the hostage being executed and consequently the end of the mission. When possible, converging onto a room from multiple sides using a combination of breaching charges, gas grenades and flash bangs would yield best results. Perfecting this strategy in Vegas requires you to peer under a door, tag some enemies and leave your team to do the work. It could be considered somewhat tactical if you didn’t approach every single hostage situation the same way as it involves less player interaction or any need for a strategy.

The planning phase had once again been omitted as the single controllable character made another appearance. This time as Logan Keller rather than as a soldier of your choosing. No longer did you plan to win, it was planned that you did win regardless of your playing style. Had you been shot 5 times? No matter, you could simply hide for a few seconds and be as good as new. Vegas took everything that defined Rainbow Six, removed it, and churned out a generic shooter incorporating elements from every flavour of the month from the previous few years. Rainbow Six was almost unrecognisable.

It’s unfair to say there weren’t a few improvements in some regards. The ability to repel down the sides of buildings (even if they were in predetermined positions) was a nice addition, as was being able to customise your weapon on the fly. For fans of the original series and Raven Shield that had followed afterwards, this simply wasn’t enough.

It was a typical case of a game not being bad in its own right, but also a game that didn’t live up to the standards its predecessor had set for it. As time had passed, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 was released which had kept the spirit of Vegas intact. It was clear from this point in time there was no desire to return the series to its former glory.

Rainbow to Rainbow
To demonstrate just how much things have changed, I have taken a level from both Raven Shield and Vegas 2. The level is almost identical, the version in Vegas 2 being a replica from Raven Shield itself. Both scenarios are on the hardest difficulties, both require you to kill 35 terrorists (Vegas 2 required 45, but I stopped the movie at 35) and in both games I have tried to maintain a stealth like approach. To keep it fair, in Raven Shield I have only set up a few go codes for my teams to pass certain barriers once I require them to, there is no advanced planning. First up, Rainbow Six: Raven Shield:

What I loved most about Raven Shield as you will see in the video, is that I know I have to be careful. This makes the gameplay particularly intense. If I’m to stay alive I need to use my head as well as the tactical options available. My team mates are not miraculously going to stand back up after being shot in the head. A single wrong move can make all the difference between staying alive and having to redo it all over again, the perfect incentive to remain cautious.

Later on in the mission, nearing completion, the feeling is compounded as it could all be for nothing.

Next up, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2:

You will immediately notice that playing via means of stealth is all but impossible. During the single player campaign, in its linear fashion, there are areas where “stealth” is set up for you. Putting yourself in an environment without such measures in place quickly demonstrates just how the enemy only really serves to run at you, guns blazing, repeating the same immature dialogue over and over.

Stealth is non existent, action orientated gameplay is rampant. I found it difficult to emulate the gameplay from the first video as it’s futile trying to move anywhere without being inundated by an array of enemies just waiting to poke their heads out in that predictable spot or making their whereabouts immediately obvious via other means. Combat tip: Screaming that your terrorist friend I just killed owed you money will do you no favours when I am actively trying to determine your position.

Dying doesn’t seem to carry much weight with it either, even on the hardest difficulty it only takes a few seconds to hide and fully regenerate to full health. While in the process of being rewarded with this free health for making a mistake, blind firing at unsuspecting enemies that cannot see over or around corners as I can works wonders.

The lack of lean functionality, substituted by the 3rd person peek view, is very disorientating considering you have to expose yourself considerably just to line up a shot.

The most amusing thing about the experience is that I am constantly rewarded for being an action hero. Achievements for playing as such are inline with this new style of play, by racking up a large amount of kills by any means will earn the player any number of pointless awards. It feels like the point is missed entirely in regards to the nature of Rainbow Six.

Fans of the Import/Export level will also notice just how much of the map has been cut out in the Vegas 2 version. Doors are missing, entire buildings are inaccessible and the architecture seems to be overly exaggerated in size.

What happened?
Some argue that Ubisoft’s involvement lead to the demise of a true tactical style of play, but with today’s casual audience it was inevitable. Rather than just renaming the series and allowing it to be judged based upon its own merits, another game had taken the easy way out by catering to a single audience while lapping up any lingering fans loyal to the franchise in the process.

What amazes me most is that developers think so little of their audience that they feel they have to give them all these crutches to stand on, forgetting why people bought Rainbow Six in the first place. Simplified shooters have always existed, the whole point of Rainbow Six was to be able to play an FPS that didn’t rely on gratuitous violence or an arcade feel. In no way do I believe that games like Vegas and Lockdown couldn’t have succeeded in their own right without tarnishing the tactical style that Rainbow Six had been well known for.

Is it worth mentioning that I was 12 when I first played the original Rainbow Six from beginning to end? Before that, Goldeneye on my N64 was the most complex FPS in my collection. The adaptation was hardly demanding.

It was once commendable how Ubisoft handled platform specific versions of their tactical games, giving each audience what it had desired. Times have changed and that’s no longer the case. Rainbow Six, like other Ubisoft titles, has become a one-size-fits-all franchise. Rather than rewarding diehard fans that made Rainbow Six popular enough in the first place, popular enough to even be considered by a mainstream audience, they are punished with what can only be described as more dumbed down games that continue to tread down hill.

The diluted accessible iterations were fun for a very short while, but from a tactical gaming point of view, one can only hope that the Rainbow Six series returns to its roots. Where it belongs.

A VERY good read and I mostly agree on that.

I also hope that the core pillars of the old R6 such as being able to lead a squat, have a planning phase, have the set up commandos, being able to choose which soldier we want to take direct control of, handling situations clever and tactical, dying from less shots and not having unlimited regenerating health, the game being not linear and evolving around and INTERNATIONAL team and counter-terrorism, being able to choose and modify weapons and having most if not all of the weapons right from the beginning (all with their advantages/disadvantages), etc, that all that will be considered.

Because that is kind of what the core of R6 is. There are SO MANY games out there which are just your usual casual easy, linear, predictable, scripted and limited as well a mostly automated and taking-your-hand FPS. If R6:Siege does exactly the same and all it has going for it is the destruction (no offense devs) then they will just drown in the market which is so overfilled with the same games. They will not stand a chance. If they can manage however to create something UNIQUE, something the old R6 had - and a lot of kickstarter projects got funded with thousands of dollars just because there are people out there who want exactly that - then they might have a chance to be successful, critically and in terms of sales.

07-11-2014, 04:35 PM
I believe UBI understands this, because a while a go i wrote a thread on the Patriots forum (i'd wish there was an archive)
on how to it is possible to stay true to Rainbow identity and make a succesfull game.

Basically Siege is very much in-line with what i wrote. Sure it doesn't mean that devs read my post, but rather that they are re-thinking the way they approached games and are on the right path.

We should accept that some things will not come back:
E.g. planning will not come back in the way it was simply because games are now very much about multiplayer and planning as it was makes no sense there.

They market is saturated with the shooters, and the devs are walking on a thin ice to find a significant niche. You can be sure that if the game will not be successful it will be the end of Rainbow Six series.
So please prepare to by several games for your friends:D

07-11-2014, 05:51 PM
We should accept that some things will not come back:
E.g. planning will not come back in the way it was simply because games are now very much about multiplayer and planning as it was makes no sense there.

Have to disagree there.

Also, mp planning has nothing to do with the singleplayer and coop content and I seriously hope that the old way of planning at least partially comes back in sp and coop. There is no real excuse that it doesn't. Hell, For all I care they can build in some kind of option in the settings so there is a standard plan made for you if you want that (as a casual gamer), I don't mind that, as long as it's optional.

07-11-2014, 07:01 PM
They key words are:
partially, some kind of option

Probably in some way yes, but i even don't see a point for it in 5vs 5 game mode for example.

07-11-2014, 08:43 PM
They key words are:
partially, some kind of option

Probably in some way yes, but i even don't see a point for it in 5vs 5 game mode for example.

If you read my post again closely, I was not only talking about mutiplayer, I was talking about all modes.

There is no excuse for not having the planning phase the way it was in singleplayer and coop.
And IF there are other multiplayer modes which are less "short" then I also see no argument speaking against having a good sophisticated planning phase.
In terms of 5v5 I think the planning phase they showed fits good to that 3 - 4 minutes mode.