For a AAA Ubisoft game, there doesn’t seem to be much excitement surrounding Rainbow Six Extraction, which is just a symptom of a larger issue.
The imminent release of Rainbow Six Extraction does not seem to be generating as much excitement as most other Ubisoft AAA releases, which is another indication that the developer/publisher is unsure of what its customers, and Rainbow Six fans specifically, actually want. Rainbow Six Siege has enjoyed over six years of consistent success as a competitive, tactical shooter, and a follow-up featuring the same characters battling an alien invasion is a radical tonal shift. More than anything, the decision to develop and release Rainbow Six Extraction is confusing, but is indicative of a larger issue in which Ubisoft doesn’t really seem to be aware of what fans want from the beloved franchises it owns.
Some of the gadgets in Rainbow Six Siege would fit better in a more overt science fiction setting rather than something with the Tom Clancy’s branding, but belief can be suspended for the sake of Siege‘s intricate gameplay. Extraction, on the other hand, has entirely jumped the shark with the types of prospective military fiction Clancy was known for. It was a bit more believable when the game was still known as Rainbow Six Quarantine, but now that an alien parasite is involved, the entire premise comes off as parody. The name change to disassociate the game from the COVID-19 pandemic is an understandable move, but the issue with Extraction is more foundational than what type of parasite players will fight.
There are so many more believable scenarios for Team Rainbow to become embroiled in for a co-op shooter than fighting an alien invasion. The narrative justification for Siege‘s operators battling each other is that each match is a training simulation. Why not create a game where all those operators players are familiar with now have to fight actual terrorists orchestrating hostage situations and bioweapon threats? Rainbow Six Extraction is just going to be the latest example of the Tom Clancy’s games becoming pointless, with other missteps including the equally confusing xDefiant and the unnecessary BR-like Ghost Recon Frontline.
Will Rainbow Six Extraction Be A Lesson For Ubisoft?
There is, of course, a chance that Rainbow Six Extraction will end up being a solid game and an overwhelming success. In that case, a competently-made co-op shooter with mechanics like Siege will be more than welcome. The lukewarm anticipation mere weeks away from release seems to indicate that Extraction has a not-insignificant chance to flounder, however, and while it could pick up a dedicated player base and grow into something larger just like Siege did, that won’t change the notion that many are utterly indifferent to its release – or saddened by the continued erosion of the Tom Clancy’s brand.
With Rainbow Six Extraction having nothing to do with a realistic military crisis, the baffling reveals of xDefiant and Ghost Recon Frontline, and the maddeningly awful idea to put NFTs in Ubisoft games, its not surprising that many are feeling some trepidation about the recently announced Splinter Cell remake. Ubisoft already has its guaranteed hits in Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry. Plenty of criticisms can be lobbied against both franchises, but they are wildly popular and deliver fans the content they desire. Siege has by any metric been a massive success, and it’s disappointing to see Ubisoft take such a sharp turn with Rainbow Six Extraction and deliver a game that many existing fans can’t seem to find a way to get excited about.
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