Originally unveiled in 2019 as Rainbow Six Quarantine, this tactical shooter game went through development challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For obvious reasons, the name of this spin-off from the highly-successful Rainbow Six Siege was later changed to Extraction.
PRICE: S$54.90 (PC; PS4, version reviewed; PS5; Xbox One; Xbox Series) or free on Xbox Game Pass, also available on Lazada and Shopee
GENRE: Tactical first-person shooter
The story follows the discovery of an unknown capsule that caused an epidemic. As a result, Rainbow Six headquarters formed a team to contain outbreaks of threats and to obtain intelligence for study and advancement. In essence, you will be fighting some unknown aliens.
Based on the 18 characters from Rainbow Six Siege, you can be deployed solo or in teams of three in a player-vs-environment (PvE) situation. Set against four main locations, each location contains three points of interests that offer a varied perspective.
The mission is divided into three areas within a point of interest, each assigned with an objective. Areas 2 and 3 offer better rewards but you are always dropped in at the first area. However, this lack of option to decide your point of infiltration is inconsistent with the modus operandi of a Rainbow Six operative.
+ Player-vs-environment angle
+ Risk and reward option
+ Enhanced arsenal of weapons
+ Post-launch game modes
– No option for AI teammates
– Limited Rainbow Six flair
– Cosmetic changes that require micro-transactions
While you can approach to clear every corner methodically, there is no option to rappel and scout from a vantage point. Recon tools are available to some operators. But the addition of a timer forces you to constantly move to complete the given objective and pick up essential upgrade kits.
Certain objectives such as luring the threat for capture, escorting a key target to safety or bringing a fallen teammate back home requires you to head to the nearest drop-off point.
If you are out of time or low on health, you can also get to the nearest drop-off for extraction. This is the case even if you have not fully completed the mission.
Escaping safely is top priority in each run. If you are downed and no teammate can revive you, your suit will trigger a stasis foam that covers your whole body. However, this will lead to a failed extraction.
As a result, you will not be able to deploy with the same character until he or she is rescued in the next mission. The same applies to those injured in successful missions. So, you are left to deploy the remaining operatives for the next mission.
This consequential mechanic is realistic and forces you to exercise caution every time. But it can result in a punishing gameplay option to the player.
To add to the dilemma, if you call on your friend for backup, the game does not allow selection of the same operative for each mission. So, if you are stuck with the Sledge character, your friend will have to select someone else. While this makes gameplay very dynamic, it can be less enjoyable when you cannot play as your favourite operator.
The benefit of spending time to level up every operator is to unlock higher levels of abilities, weapons and tools. Other than that, collecting intel during missions allows your equipment to be upgraded with new capabilities.
For example, a vapour grenade allows you to spot enemy threats in a large area or use an accelerant that can replenishes low health over time.
There are also various forms of alien enemy threats to contend with, ranked by tiers. Your heads-up display tracks the direction of nearby footsteps, and it is important not to let them overwhelm you.
Perhaps the most challenging are Proteans that appear as Rainbow Six operators with parasitic abilities. The best way to manage and overcome the Proteans is by working together as a team.
Unfortunately, the only option available is to launch Quickplay and activate matchmaking. With Crossplay enabled across multiple platforms in Extraction, your chances to get into action as a team should be higher.
The game continues to test your capabilities with the Maelstrom Protocol – an endgame content with increased challenges – after the main campaign. There are plenty of restrictions, including access to specific operatives, limited resources, and reduced mission time.
But the promise of increased experience and gear unlocks may only appeal to those desiring to score better loot. It is believed that more challenging events will be introduced in the future.
You can customise the look of your operatives through unlocked headgear and suits, but there are many more that can be purchased using in-game credits. Completing missions does not award you with such credits. So the only avenue is using cash top-ups.
Based on past releases from Ubisoft, this game can potentially grow its fanbase over time with appropriate gameplay updates and changes.
Rainbow Six Extraction feels like an expansion of Rainbow Six Siege that appeals to fans of PvE action. It can be a fun, albeit short, outing for casual and veteran players.