So I’ve been playing a little Rainbow Six: Siege on the PS4. It’s an online tactical multiplayer shooter where you assume the role of an operator to either defend or attack an objective. Teams are small (up to five players per side) and the length of a typical match lasts up to five minutes. Missions range from hostage situations to bomb threats. It’s very reminiscent of Counter-Strike only you have a lot of fun gadgets to play with.
Certain materials are destructible, too. That means that you can hollow out ‘murder’ holes in wood to snuff out your opponents in the most devious and sneakiest of ways.
While breaching windows, scaling walls and manoeuvring RC drones is novel, there is one persistent issue with the current generation of team-based pew-pew games that really turns me off playing more frequently. Bloody unlocks. You have to grind your way through casual matches to earn renown points to purchase new operator classes, firearm skins and other swag.
Unlocks feel like something you’d find in a mobile app as a consequence for free playtime. If Counter-Strike was re-released this year you’d probably have to spend countless hours with knives only before you are allowed to upgrade your gear and wield pistols. It’s just outrageous. It’s not even a pay wall. You should have access to all of the things because you paid for it.
Chunking core content to present the player with the illusion of earning rewards is just wrong. It’s like playing chess without your rooks, knights and bishops. For every round that you checkmate your opponent you can ‘unlock’ one of your missing pieces.
A fair solution for Rainbow Six: Siege would be to unlock everything for casual play and leave the fancy renown points for ranked competition. Seriously.
Don’t get me started on the state of singleplayer campaigns in this genre …