It’s time to immerse ourselves once again in the world of Tom Clancy via this month’s Rainbow Six Extraction. We had a chat about the game with its creative director at Ubisoft Montréal, Patrik Méthé.

The game was originally known as Rainbow Six Quarantine. Was the reason behind the name change as obvious as being too much of a reminder of the global pandemic?
The game was very early in development the year before COVID hit and was announced as Rainbow Six Quarantine at E3 2019. The pandemic, of course, had a major impact on all of our communities, inside and out of gaming. Everyone was affected. As the world was adapting, our game’s design was evolving… coming into its own. The core idea of ‘How far will you go?’ was a driving pillar of the game and our incursion/extraction game loop. To be successful in each incursion, players need to assess the situation and decide if it’s time to push forward to the next sub-zone or extract to bank their rewards and XP. ‘Extraction’ is, really, the name of the game!

As a spinoff from Siege, what are some features in Extraction that will be familiar to Siege players – and what will be new?
Extraction is inspired by the Outbreak event in Rainbow Six Siege. Players coming from Siege will find familiarity in some of the core mechanics of the game, whether it’s aiming down the iron-sights, deploying gadgets, or manipulating the destructible environment to gain a tactical advantage on the enemy. While there are some similarities, there are also many differences, since we’re a PVE, co-op game. The incursion-based, procedurally designed flow of the game is based on entirely new design foundations, as is the Operator Progression system we have in-game. The fact that you can lose an Operator (MIA) and go back in to rescue them also adds a unique risk/reward scenario, every time you play.

The key to Extraction is three-player cooperative action – is there any form of single-player?
Yes. You can play solo, as a duo or trio. The best experience is when you are playing/teamed up as three players, but we noticed that some players love to have the option to play and progress on their own, whether it be to complete some specific Regional Studies (mini quests) or just while waiting for their friends to be available to play. The maps/game difficulty will be scaled to apply to the party size as well, so it’s a fair and fun experience across the board.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction

There’s a focus on strategy as well as all-out shooting in Extraction
That’s certainly the case. Players will be able to play tactically but, at one point or another, all hell will break loose and they’ll have to bring their A-game in order to deal with the various types of threats coming at them from all areas of a map.  It can get really intense, especially in higher difficulty settings where the types and numbers of enemies are more varied and more challenging.

That being said, what sort of weaponry is being introduced specifically to deal with an alien incursion?
REACT Tech brings entirely new weaponry and tools to the fight against the alien threat. There are 25 REACT Tech in all to unlock at launch. Fifteen of these gadgets are entirely new and were designed to fight the alien threat specifically. You’ll also get to upgrade each Operator’s weapons and abilities as you level them up, providing even more options and varied play styles.

What do you hope will keep players coming back to Extraction?
Every time you drop into an incursion, you can expect a unique experience. You’ll have to be tactical in your approach each time you play, always trying out new objectives and facing different alien threats. The parasite is always active and self-organising within the Containment Zones. It’s always unpredictable. From one incursion to another, areas that were previously infested with the parasitic nests may now be cleared, while previously safe areas may have since evolved into infested chokepoints and ambush sites.

What do you most hope that players take away from Extraction?
That knowledge is power, and teamwork is crucial to succeed. These lessons are true for Extraction – and even more in real life.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction launches January 20 on PS5, Xbox and PS4. Pre-order now at JB Hi-Fi.

Patrik assures us that plenty more action is planned for Rainbow Six Extraction. “Post-launch content, including the Maelstrom Protocol end game mode, will offer new challenges for seasoned vets. Weekly Assignments and larger Crisis Events will make this game evolve for all players, offering new mutations and game modes to experiment with.”