With so many militaristic shooters on the market these days (we’re looking at you Battlefield and Call of Duty), there’s a worry that upcoming tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege will be lost amid the ‘ooo-rahs’ and bro-tastic fist-bumps.
But Tom Clancy fans shouldn't be worried as the team at Ubisoft Montreal is avoiding the sprawling maps of its FPS counterparts and focusing its action in tight, enclosed areas. It’s a design choice that’s affected every part of the game, including the developer’s approach to weapon design.
“Our firefights are different because of the length of the average firing range is shorter in terms of distance. We do it based on the optimal play-style we want players to have, so SMGs are ruthless up close, with a high firing rate,” says game designer Andrew Witts in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine.
“We want the attackers to be the masters of outside, and the defenders are the masters of their domain inside. So the attackers have to push forward into the stronghold, and we balance the weapons that way. but we still have to tweak it so it’s fair when the players get inside maps and battle it out.”
That focus on building the ultimate stronghold is another area that will make Rainbow Six Siege a unique shooter experience in its own right, comments Witts in issue 124 of OXM. “On the defence, we've expanded the fortification – getting that timing exactly right so that players have a good amount of time to fortify the area and create their objective room and set up their defence before the attackers come in. We've done a lot of iterations on timing, and organising how players vote on maps and spawn points.”
So constructing a stronghold that protects your squad and alienates the opposing team is the order of the day, with the tactics needed to breach it turning each round into more of an explosive puzzler than a traditional shooter. “You create the stronghold. You create the puzzle that the other team has to solve,” adds Witts. “The defenders can be very sneaky and creative in terms of what they do, and the puzzle they create for the enemy team to disassemble.”