It feels like damning with faint praise when you say that a game is perfect for Xbox Game Pass. However, it’s hard to think of a better way to describe Rainbow Six Extraction, and moreover, that’s no bad thing.
Based in the world Rainbow Six Seige, Rainbow Six Extraction trades the hyper-strategic, team-based multiplayer for a three-player survival game in which players must complete an objective in a small area, before moving on to the next. They then can decide whether to extract, earning them some XP, but losing the chance at better rewards in later levels, or to gamble and move on to the next stage.
Players choose from a host of Siege operators, each of which has its own progress bar, and unique abilities. If you die in a level, that operator becomes MIA and you then have to rescue them in a later mission. This adds a sense of tension to harder missions, especially since, as operators each have individual levels, losing your highest level character all but bars the player from tackling the harder missions.
Once they’re rescued, you’ll need to complete full operations in order to heal them, this is to encourage you to level up a wide suite of characters, rather than focussing on getting one to the max level, level 10, which can be done very easily.
There’s also a 30 level progression system, with each level unlocking either a new operator, level or something small like a cosmetic item. Speaking of cosmetic items, Rainbow Six Extraction comes complete with a cosmetic shop which offers skins and other items for your operators that make anything you can earn by simply playing the game feel boring by comparison.
Each area is littered with Archaeans, a zombie-like species that will do its best to interrupt your plans. When you enter a level, you’ll be assigned one of a very small number of tasks to complete, whether that be placing trackers on nests, finding three laptops or stealthily taking down a specific enemy. After you’ve done a few of these things, the glaring issue with Rainbow Six Extraction, and why it’s perfectly suited as part of a service that gives you it for free, raises its head. It’s so, incredibly repetitive.
There are 4 locations in the game, each of which has a series of sub-levels that are just slightly larger than the average Rainbow 6: Siege map. While they are allegedly in different parts of the country, you’re going through so many offices, all of which were apparently built by the same company, as almost every room comes equipped with the same yellow retractable door and exit point.
“After you’ve done a few of these things, the glaring issue with Rainbow Six Extraction, and why it’s perfectly suited as part of a service that gives you it for free, raises its head. It’s so, incredibly repetitive.”
It makes what map you actually choose feel entirely pointless. There’s an objective type that requires you to find a beacon on the map that will then send signals to other areas, at which point you have to defend those points for a certain amount of time.
If you don’t have a recon character, you have to look for them manually, and it’s here where it the game’s locations really fall apart. There are some slightly more interesting stages in the back half that make references to what caused this outbreak, but when the exposition is delivered in vlog-style cutscenes and very easily missable radio chatter, why you’re there doesn’t matter, all that you feel is boredom.
The game looks fine, but it doesn’t look like a next-generation title. You could easily tell us that these are just new maps for Rainbow Six Siege, a game that launched in 2015, and we’d believe you. The pre-rendered cutscenes are much stronger, and have a lot of excellent animation, but it’s just a shame that the story they’re trying to put across is so far in the background of the actual game.
If one of the creatures spots you and manages to alert his pals in the group chat to your location, you can be quickly overwhelmed. Plenty of the enemies have attacks that’ll frustrate, and the persistence of black goo across the floor which impedes your movement means you can find yourself on a perfectly casual run, only for some miscommunication to cause the whole level worth of enemies to be chasing you. You can shoot the go to make it disappear and forge a path for yourself, but it’s difficult to focus on that, trying to heal, and taking down the enemy swiping at your face.
These moments are amplified in a group setting. Unless you’re extremely coordinated and let’s face it, few friend groups are, the stealthy approach which renders so many of the single-player missions an incredibly easy stealth-takedown fest, is much harder.
This is likely more a reflection of the people we chose to play the game with, but wandering away from the group in order to locate the objective, which is required in many of the mission types, can cause issues when one of you screams “I’m down!”, only for the other two to look up and realise that they’re on the other side of the map.
You’re going to remember the terrible jokes that your friends made or the existential conversation over the top tier of takeaway food long after Rainbow 6: Extraction is a faded memory on a disused hard drive, but as a location to have those conversions, Extraction is actually fairly fun.
Playing it alone will only amplify the repetitive, basic and tedious mission structure that will have you doing the same thing to an almost comic amount, but there’s a tangible fun in making it to the end of a series of missions in a group of 3 by the skin of your teeth, and just making it through that last door.
Ultimately, all you’re going to get for that trouble is some extra experience points, and perhaps unlock a few new operators, but you probably won’t notice. You’ll still be arguing the benefits of standing up vs sitting down to wipe.
We can’t recommend Rainbow Six Extraction if you’re planning on playing alone, especially on PlayStation platforms where you’re expected to pay £40 for the privilege, but if your regular gaming group is bored of the game you play every night, and they all have Game Pass, Extraction will provide laughs. However, as more and more of these types of games release, all of which seemingly releasing on Game Pass “A good Game Pass game” is probably not the endorsement of time well spent that it once was.
We can’t recommend Rainbow Six Extraction if you’re planning on playing alone, especially on PlayStation platforms where you’re expected to pay £40 for the privilege, but if your regular gaming group is bored of the game you play every night, and they all have Game Pass, Extraction will provide laughs.
- Fun in a group
- Good shooting
- MIA operators create real tension in harder missions
- Repetitive objectives
- Dull visuals
- Small, boring maps