Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction

There hasn’t been a new Rainbow Six game since 2015’s Rainbow Six Siege, which is still one of the best PVP online shooters going around. Now we have something a little different…

Rainbow Six Extraction is the newest addition to the series, which merges the gunplay and strategy of Siege with the mechanics of the Left 4 Dead/Back 4 Blood games.

Extraction provides a full game version of 2018’s Rainbow Six Siege Operation Chimera’s limited time event, Outbreak. When Operation Chimera released, players were given an additional PVE game mode where you and two buddies would enter alien infected zones and be given simple tasks. Some missions would be to simply extract a scientist, while others would be to clear and survive a horde of enemies. Siege fans (ourselves included) loved this limited game mode, and now Ubisoft have given us more.

Just like in Operation Chimera, Rainbow Six Extraction has you and two partners moving through infected zones and completing challenges. These may involve eliminating a high-level threat, extracting a fallen soldier, or even defeating a challenging boss. There are multiple locations that players will visit, including New York, Alaska, and even Mexico (where Outbreak took place in 2018).

Gunplay-wise, Extraction plays exactly like Siege, and the operators are also pulled straight from Siege. So, if you were a Pulse or Lion player, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll be able to play as these operators. Unlike Siege though, there’s a level format and structure here. Each city or state has three different locations. For example, there’s a skyscraper, police station and Liberty Island in New York and, in each location, there are three separate map zones. Each of these zones has its own objective, and as you complete and move into the next zone, the difficulty ramps up, the objective is harder, and the resources get tighter.

Each player selects their preferred operator and, just like in Siege, you need to pick one that’ll support your team. However, if you’ve taken too much damage when you extract an area, you won’t be able to use that operator as they’ll need to rest and recover some of their health. Worse yet, if your operator is killed in the field, you won’t be able to use them again until you replay that zone and extract them. When each operator’s health reaches zero, a protective foam encases their bodies to guard them from the virus (think of the foam protection padding in Demolition Man). If your team is still alive, they can carry the downed operator to an extraction med bay, so you won’t have to go back and save them later.

Operators in Rainbow Six Extraction have levels and upgrades too, providing players with some light RPG mechanics. Level up Pulse enough, and his gadget has a larger detection radius, and he’ll also be able to use other weapons (some of which he can’t use in Siege). Each operator not only has a primary and secondary weapon on top of their abilities, but also gadgets like impact grenades or scanners to notify players if any hostiles run through its detection field.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction

Speaking of hostiles, enemies in Extraction are similar to that of Left 4 Dead or other horde shooters, but are also creative enough to be unique and stand out. There are enemies that explode if you shoot the glowing portions on their back, but if you take them out at the legs they won’t detonate. Other enemies can alert companions nearby and have reinforced armour around their heads, but soft bellies. There are also some variants that act like mini-bosses that can rampage through walls, cloak nearby hostiles, or house nests that’ll spawn in after they’ve been defeated (so you’ll want to take out all nests before taking out other enemies in the area).

As you further progress in Extraction your operators level up, and gain access to upgraded gadgets like claymores or special flash light lasers, but you’ll also unlock new locations for missions. If you’re finding that Extraction is a little too easy, you can increase the difficulty, and the game will recommend a certain level before attempting a mission (similar to Destiny 2 or other RPGs). Rather than just ramping the difficulty by giving enemies more health, like in Back 4 Blood, Extraction gives you harder objectives and more nests, where a single alert can ruin the level and potentially have your operator go down. It’s even more frustrating if your main level 10 operator goes down and your second operator is only level 4 or 5.

“Speaking of hostiles, enemies in Extraction are similar to that of Left 4 Dead or other horde shooters, but are also creative enough to be unique and stand out.”

Rainbow Six Extraction is made to be played with friends, and coordination and teamwork is a must, just like in Siege. However, Extraction can also be played solo, and the difficulty ramps through the roof to the point where you may not be able to proceed through areas or complete objectives. Thankfully, there’s matchmaking, so you don’t have to play alone. However, after a few hours of gameplay Extraction starts to repeat itself. While there’s a decent variety of levels and zones available, there are roughly eight or so rotating objectives, and it can get a bit repetitive. Luckily, as you progress into new zones like Mexico, Extraction throws new enemy variants and challenges at you, such as green ooze that damages you if you stand in it.

Rainbow Six Extraction gives Siege fans a PVE experience without having to wait for a limited time game mode to release, or playing Terrorist Hunt. The enemies here are unique and challenging and don’t feel like a carbon copy of other games in the genre. But, best of all, it gives us an appreciation for operators that tend to get overlooked when playing Siege (we’re looking at you Pulse!).

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction is available now on PS5, Xbox and

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