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Rainbow Six Extraction trailer explains the endgame Maelstrom mode

A new Rainbow Six Extraction trailer breaks down the game's extra-challenging endgame mode, called Maelstrom.

For the uninitiated, Maelstrom is essentially a harder but more rewarding version of the core Rainbow Six Extraction experience. Instead of the usual max of 3 objectives in a row, Maelstrom tasks you with completing 9 consecutive objectives in any given region. And just to spice things up, there's a different mutation in place every round to keep you on your toes and give you the chance to earn some bonus XP. For example, during one run you might encounter a heavy fog that obscures your view and makes it harder to shoot accurately, and in another run the fog might be replaced by poisonous alien goo that damages your health if you touch it.

That's not all. For every 3 objectives you complete, the difficulty increases, and along the way the variety of ammo and number of health refill stations available gradually shrinks. Finally, the time limit on each objective gets shorter as you go, throwing a progressively intensifying tension into the mix. Thankfully, there are "lucrative XP and React credit rewards" and exclusive seasonal headgear to earn as reward for your efforts.

Maelstrom's lineup of objectives, mutations, and selection of Operators are rotated every week, meaning your first run of the week will be a total surprise, but subsequent runs in the same week will feature the same parameters. Since it's so challenging and you're very likely to fail on your first run, that gives you the chance to make a plan to succeed in subsequent attempts. 

Rainbow Six Extraction launches January 20 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna.

Find out what we thought of the game when we took a hands-on look at Rainbow Six Extraction for our Big in 2022 series.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked in - *shudders* - content management while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG. Now, as GamesRadar's Arizona-based Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.