If I have to condemn this year for something other than what I’ve said in the introduction it’s the lack of shooters. Besides the annual releases which include a new Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and two Battlefield wannabe games: Battlefield Hardline and Star Wars Battlefront, most of the interesting shooters that could be played this year are part of Steam’s Early Access program. Killing Floor 2 and Squad are two games that can be purchased and played in their beta/alpha state and are probably some of the most enjoying games of this year and definitely two shooters to follow. But the shooter of the year can’t come from Early Access, so the only true option in this matter comes this year from Ubisoft (surprised?!).
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is a game that carries two names that might upset many players, but does it with a certain pride that I cannot deny. This is not a Tom Clancy game, because Tom Clancy has passed away two years ago and it isn’t a true Rainbow Six game because it doesn’t have the tactical singleplayer of the series. So why pick this game as the shooter of the year? Because despite its controversial name Siege is probably the closest a competitive style shooter can get to what Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six used to be and one of the most innovative games of the year.
Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical 5v5 FPS which has one team attacking an objective in a building while the other team is defending it. The twist of this game stands in expanding the simple concept behind Counter-Strike into a much more complex game. In a preparation phase the attackers scout the building with drones in search of the objective position and any information that could help them. On the other hand the defenders reinforce walls and place traps creating a maze-like area that leads to the objective with them waiting in the right spots to surprise the attackers. The actual phase of the game takes only four minutes but these are probably some of the most intense four minutes you will get in an online shooter. The game transforms technology into a tactical gimmick that can change a match’s course and make each round unique. Most of the walls are destroyable and the players can create pathways to avoid chock points and traps. The destruction in this game is at a small scale due to the smaller maps but it’s probably unprecedented and offers so much gameplay value making Siege the strong game that it is.
Siege has its problems inherited from Ubisoft’s long history of unstable servers and poor netcode. The matchmaking isn’t working properly either and there are some smaller issues with the interface. Most of them will be worked out and they should be worked out as soon as possible, because it would be a shame if a game like this will fade away just because Ubisoft didn’t fix it fast enough.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is the best FPS of 2015. It might not say much considering the small number of shooters that came this year and their questionable quality, but this game tried to innovate in an era where shooters come out of the annual assembly line and bravos Ubisoft for finally having some courage.