REVIEW: ‘Rainbow Six Extraction’ Has Plenty of Promise (Xbox One)

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Rainbow Six Extraction

Team Rainbow has shut down global threats for years, but now the threat comes from the stars. A lethal, mutating alien parasite—Archaean—threatens to destroy all of humanity, and players will step up to fight this new menace on multiple fronts in Rainbow Six Extraction. Extraction is a multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft.

If you’re at all familiar with Rainbow Six Siege, you’ll have a step up in this game. While Siege is a PvP game and Extraction focuses on PvE, the Operators are all the same, though Extraction currently only totes 18 out of the 60 Siege has. Each Operator has its own progression levels. So as you level them up, you’ll be able to change their weapons, clothing, and weapon skins. Players will also unlock gadgets such as body armor and stun grenades to help along the way. So there’s plenty of personalization to be had.

Despite the smaller number of Operators, the ones offered are plenty diverse, and having experience in Siege means you’ll already understand their unique abilities. But even players with little to no experience with Siege will find Extraction easy to pick up, especially with the extensive tutorial system. But the main difference between these games is that Extraction’s entire focus is on Incursions.

Incursions are marked by three levels, each with its own objective. Objectives extend from killing Archaean nests, locating and luring specific enemies, rescuing MIA Operators, and much more. Once the objective for the level is complete, players can choose to exfiltrate—leave the area via airship—and the Incursion ends there. Or they can find the airlock and continue onto the next level until all three objectives are complete. But you can always just exfil whenever you want, no matter where you’re at in your objectives, which is definitely a bane because Extraction can offer plenty of challenges at first.

Sneaking and taking out enemies quietly is the best way to go about most levels, which will definitely be a challenge for some players. Some objectives are more challenging to complete than others, and it can be very easy to get overrun by the sheer number of enemies that can spawn if you don’t kill all the nests. Ultimately, Extraction will test your teamwork and communication skills and possibly your friendships if your playstyles don’t align. But herein is where the problem lies: once you get a handle on how to complete the objectives and learn the layout of the maps, it’s a cakewalk.

There are multiple difficulties players can access and many levels to play. But players won’t be able to access all the levels or difficulty settings immediately. Instead, you’ll need to level up by completing Incursion runs but also focusing on completing side objectives—Studies—that are specific to each area. And while leveling up isn’t necessarily hard, you’ll likely become an expert before you unlock higher difficulties. So, from one gamer to the next, focus on the Studies. Unfortunately, it’s not super obvious from the start, but you’ll get the most experience from completing Studies rather than just completing the Incursions. So, things can get easy a bit too quickly if you’re not focusing on your Studies, and there’s no good way to make it harder until the game allows it. There are also only so many combinations of objectives and enemies you’ll encounter on the lower difficulties.

Rainbow Six Extraction

Despite how easy the levels can get, Extraction shines with some of its novel mechanics. For example, if a character falls during combat and isn’t saved by a teammate, their operative goes MIA. That operative can no longer be played until you go back into the same level to save them. This mechanic definitely makes you think twice about taking on challenges and makes exfil look mighty good when you’re low on health.

Additionally, the health you end the Incursion with is the health your operative has when you get sent back to the mission screen. So, if your Operator has 30HP at the end of an Incursion and you attempt to start a new Incursion right away, they will still have 30HP. Operators’ health slowly regenerates over time but not so slow as to really be a nuisance. After one or two Incursions, they’re usually back to full health, and you can feel safe playing them again. But it’s a neat mechanic that gets players to play different Operators rather than get good at just one. And seeing as two of the same Operator can’t be played at once, it forces players to take turns.

The enemies themselves provide some unique challenges. At the easier levels, there’s not much complexity. There are 13 different enemies you may encounter, but at lower difficulties, there’s really only a handful to contend with. But with greater difficulties, you’ll not only see more diversity, but each enemy has the chance to mutate. You may come upon cloaked enemies, armored nests, or Archaeans that produce Sprawl, a sludge that slows players down. And if you think the game is already challenging on the highest difficulty, the Maelstrom Protocol endgame content will really test your skills, requiring level 10 Operators, assaulting you with waves of enemies, and expecting you to complete normal objectives during all of it. It’s tough but it also adds spice with new content each week.

While Extraction is ultimately best played with friends, never fear if you find yourself without a team. The game can be played alone reasonably easily because Ubisoft has made sure to take into account the difficulty playing alone can pose. Solo, players will get extra health, and the number of enemies scales with the number of players. So, while Extraction is best played with others, solo players can still enjoy killing Archaean.

The biggest downfall for Rainbow Six Extraction is that it becomes too easy too quickly, and with little control over making the Incursions harder, players may find it mundane. But the handful of unique mechanics spices up the current PvE offerings. And with endgame modes that evolve from week to week, Extraction does promise to keep players engaged. t

Rainbow Six Extraction is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC.


Rainbow Six Extraction
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

The biggest downfall for Rainbow Six Extraction is that it becomes too easy too quickly, and with little control over making the Incursions harder, players may find it mundane. But the handful of unique mechanics spices up the current PvE offerings. And with endgame modes that evolve from week to week, Extraction does promise to keep players engaged.

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