Rainbow Six: Extraction - Tactical Shooting Without Competitive Pressure
Everything is quiet, and in this line of work, quiet is good. Our trio of operators is making their way through the ruins of a New York penthouse, stealthily taking down Archean creatures and their nests as we search for our fallen comrade. Overwhelmed by the forces of the Archean parasite, she was encased in stasis foam for protection. I failed to get her out then, but this time I will get her to the extraction point and back to safety. An icon marking her location appears on my HUD, followed by a screech. One of my squadmates found the missing operator but was spotted as he entered the room. So much for going in quietly. The next minute is a frantic battle, where we are not only trying to wipe out the Archean forces but to find the nests that are continuously spawning these damn creatures. Once active the nests will keep generating Archeans until destroyed. With limited ammo and supplies, a long drawn out fight will only end one way, and I guarantee it won’t be a happy ending.
Flashbangs, gunfire, smoke grenades and even more gunfire follow. We managed to secure the area and neutralise the threat but we all took some hits doing so. Our operator is still being held by what I can only describe as half tree, half hand. I grab hold and start to pull, fighting to free her. The other two in my squad keep their eyes on anchor points around the room, waiting for it to draw energy to fight against me and keep hold of its prize. Silenced gunshots puncture the air as they shoot, destroying the energy pulses as they traverse the roots, allowing me to free our operator from its clutches. Having cleared out all threats while searching, the path back to the extraction point is safe. I load the operator into the pod and call for extraction. We have only completed one of our three objectives but better to bug out and heal. I don’t want to have someone else coming in to rescue me because I was too stubborn to call it quits.
Thus ended another incursion in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction. Doing away with the PvP elements of Rainbow Six: Siege, Extraction is a purely PvE experience that tasks you with completing objectives as you fight the alien Archean parasite. Every incursion is split over three different sub-areas, each with its own objective to complete, and take place in different locations throughout the United States. Each geographical location has three different maps you can explore, with the objectives randomised from over a dozen possibilities. You will end up experiencing them all because you will need to make multiple incursions in each location, to be able to unlock new locations to explore.
Where Extraction really changes up the formula on Seige is the way it makes it essential to utilise different Operators. Every incursion brings a level of risk to your operator, and thus when they survive they gain experience and level up, granting better stats and access to different weapons. However, unlike most multiplayer shooters, any damage your operator takes will carry over to the next incursion unless they are given time to rest. Constantly using the same operator increases the chance of your operator being knocked out, and if they are not extracted by another player they are rendered M.I.A., locking you out from utilising them. As you may have gathered from above, you can mount a rescue attempt, which if successful will give you all of the XP the operator earned on their last incursion. Luckily, if you fail to extract your operator during the incursion you will still get them back, minus some of their XP progression.
Depending on how you play it is more than possible to have multiple operators M.I.A. or injured, so taking the time to level up different operators will mean you have options when your favourites are unavailable.
One of the things I really want to commend Extraction on is the use of audio cues. Creeping around these deserted locations means listening is a viable reconnaissance tactic. Whether it is the gurgle of Archean creatures or the wet sound of a nest, by paying attention to the noises you can hear you will have an idea if you are in proximity to something. Of course, if you get a squadmate that starts blasting away with a shotgun all pretence of stealth goes out the window, but when playing solo those audio cues can really help to give you an edge.
While Rainbow Six Extraction can be played entirely solo, it is at its best when you work together with others. Not only will you gain more XP, and thus progress faster, but the safety in numbers increases the chance of your operator getting back to base in one piece, or at least having someone to carry your body to the extraction point if you go down. If you are the type of person who liked the tactical aspects of Rainbow Six: Siege but was put off by the PvP elements then Extraction is just the tactical experience you will really enjoy.
Rainbow Six: Extraction was reviewed on the PS5 with code kindly supplied by Ubisoft Australia