Multiplayer shooters with story elements that don’t really match the fact that people are getting shot or blown up isn’t a new thing. Unreal Tournament kicked it off by giving us character biographies and a weird mining company bloodsport to justify all those goofy oddballs lobbing rockets at each other, but it’s always been an excuse to have players in a deathmatch. Over the years, as graphical fidelity brought us closer to realism, it’s been harder to reconcile the lighthearted lore with deadly combat.
This trailer for Rainbow Six Siege’s Six Invitational tournament raises all sorts of questions. Did those spectators pay to watch the outside of a building? Are the contestants actually shooting each other in their faces with powder bullets? They use normal bullets in the other matches, right? Are they really punching and rifle-butting each other? Are all the other maps part of this story, or are these operators like the wolf and sheep dog from the cartoons; just doing a job with no hard feelings between them? Oh, and one of the combatants can dress like Lara Croft? The kickoff trailer from January is just as confusing.
Ubisoft is reversing course on cosmetic changes to Rainbow Six Siege. Earlier in the month, Ubisoft had announced that they were making some minor aesthetic adjustments to the game to conform to the Asian market’s censorship rules. Images of skulls, map assets like slot machines and pole dancer signs, and objectionable interface icons were all being removed or swapped with less culturally offensive alternatives. This did not sit well with current fans. A review-bombing campaign resulted in accusations of Ubisoft “pandering” to censors or even facilitating China’s draconian government.
Now, the developers are backing away. Ubisoft is rolling back the adjustments and returning to the “original artistic intent” of the game. Players can have their go-go dancing neon stripper signs and enjoy the blood-splashed paintings that existed previously.
It was only a matter of time before Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege added a co-op zombie battle mode. Outbreak, a special event running from March 6th to April 3rd, is that addition. Set in new, more linear, maps in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, the mode features “infected” (totally not zombies) that have special abilities like exploding, hulking out, and bursting through walls. It’s basically like every other zombie mode you’ve already seen, but with the new school Rainbow Six flavor.
Outbreak is a free addition that will be staged to the game on February 20th, but remember, the fun begins on March 6th.
Rainbow Six Siege’s Year Two is about to start. Ubisoft’s tactical team shooter is getting another eight operators and four maps set in Spain, Hong Kong, Poland, and South Korea throughout 2017. The first update, Operation Velvet Shell, will add two characters that screw with the game’s established strategies via magical powers. Mira can create one-way firing windows in walls like a sorceress with a shotgun, and Jackal can track enemy footsteps to their source using what can only be described as witchcraft.
The game’s creative director Xavier Marquis revealed to PC Gamer that Ubisoft plans on bringing the total count of operators to at least fifty, with “aspirations of reaching twice that amount” over its lifetime. The game already has 28 character classes, and the developers plan on adding eight more in year two, leaving players with at least a couple more years of collecting virtual shooter men. Since Ubisoft is already leaning on superpowers for their newest operator additions, how long will it be before characters from For Honor start showing up in Rainbow Six Siege like Blizzard’s cross-promotional efforts?
What do you get when you put Aisha Tyler, Jason Derulo, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and Angela Bassett in a show? You get the Ubisoft 2015 E3 presentation. Once again, the house of Assassin’s Creed went with star power to wow their audience. The South Park creators announced a new RPG using their license, South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Subtle. Jason Derulo danced for Just Dance 2016 which will feature a streaming service to add new tracks. Angela Bassett sternly introduced Rainbow Six Siege’s new “Terrohunt” (yes, it’s an awful name) mode which pits co-op teams against AI opponents.
The games without any celebrity introductions included Anno 2205, Trackmania Turbo, and a DLC for Trials Fusion called Awesome Level Max. The Crew is getting a cross-country expansion that includes a “complete graphical overhaul.” For Honor pits four knights or samurai against another team of four warriors. Think Chivalry: Medieval Warfare but without the Deadliest Warrior license. Tom Clancy’s The Division got a release date in March of 2016. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands has military teams against drug cartels in an open-world setting. There was also an Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate movie, but it was a overshadowed by some guy in the audience that chose to cosplay as the main character in the game.