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Rainbow Six: Extraction Review — Tactical Terror or Monstrously Mundane?

Tactical shooting meets alien chaos! Should you play Rainbow Six: Extraction – check out our review!

Jeremy Proome

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It’s not common that you’d find aliens and oozing sci-fi elements on the cover of a Rainbow Six game, but Extraction acts more of a subverted spin-off than a traditional Tom Clancy experience. However, as bizarre as it is, it manages to work, providing a fun and interesting combo of team-based tactical shooting and sci-fi horde horror.

Originally titled Quarantine, and then blown up into a fully-fledged release, Extraction still leans heavily on the foundation and mechanics that the now-beloved Rainbow Six: Siege implemented. Instead of competitively, you’ll need to play cooperatively, and using the wall-breaching, destructible environments, and tactical shooting somewhat perfected with Siege, you’ll have to work your way through a handful of levels with changing objectives and tasks while fighting off an alien horde known as the Archaeans.

With 4 key areas, each boasting 3 separate sections, you’re going to be making your way through some urban and outdoor environments, which include an apartment building, ruined research facility, and decapitated Statue Of Liberty, to name a few. Between saving VIPs, eliminating special enemies, and downloading evidence, Extraction does use procedurally generated enemies and objective points, so even though you’ll be working your way through similar looking and feeling levels, you’ll very rarely play something that’s exactly the same. The levels themselves are nicely detailed and designed in a way to allow you to use the game’s wall-breaching and killbox-creating mechanics — with an additional emphasis on stealth.

Sneaking around and picking off enemies stealthily plays a much more prominent role than in Siege, harking back to Rainbow Six games of old. As this is the far more effective approach, utilising the various operators’ special abilities, such as an invisible cloak, really comes in handy and can give you a serious upper hand in the missions.

And you’ll need to familiarise yourself with these abilities, as you’ll encounter special Archaean enemies who mimic the perks and weapons of the human operators, such as a hammer-wielding alien that copies the operator, Sledge. While these special variants can feel a bit bullet-spongey, these clashes are welcome additions and act as mini-boss fights that mix up the flow of action and put your teamwork to the test.

One of the more unique mechanics in Extraction is what happens to your downed teammates. If you or one of your Operators are ‘killed’, they’ll be engulfed in a yellow foam and be wiped off the roster, preventing you from selecting them again. In order to save them, you’ll need to return to the level where the killing took place, grab their body, and extract it successfully. This is a great mechanic that adds some replayability or additional risk/reward to each level.

Rainbow Six: Extraction is an interesting spin on the tried-and-tested Rainbow Six formula, giving players a chance to flex their muscles and experiment with the mechanics of the series in a more straightforward and horror-packed approach. While it doesn’t exactly fall into the shoot-and-run genre like Back 4 Blood, Left 4 Dead, and World War Z, it does bring an element of tactical gunplay, stealth, and unique features that make it a bit of a chimaera unto itself. It’s definitely worth a play, especially if you have a soft spot for the franchise.

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