Rainbow Six: Siege Is An “Input Driven” Videogame

Ubisoft have just released Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4 and The Crew, which gave me cause to wonder whether we’d start hearing more about one of their few unreleased big games, Rainbow Six: Siege. As if by magic, a new trailer appears, this one explaining the game’s commitment to being a videogame and not a movie. Which… which is a weird thing to need to say, but honestly, also a nice thing to hear. Tom Clancy’s tactical FPS series has been lying dormant for a long time, but Siege looks like it’s at least aiming in the right direction for a change.

The key points are that Siege won’t have any contextual actions. You won’t press a button to click into a cover position, but will simply position yourself behind each piece of destructible wall and use the lean-buttons to peak around it. There also won’t be any in-game animations which obscure your vision, control your view or lock you in, meaning that if you’re halfway through the process of erecting defenses, you can cancel the action at any point should you need to fire your gun. This extends also to things like rappelling, shown in basic form in the video above, during which you can still aim and shoot as required.

An associated blogpost puts it like this, alongside some diagrams:

Enforcing these rules results in something that is fully input driven, meaning you have total control of what is happening on the screen at all times. You’ll never be stuck in a contextual cinematic animation where you’re at the mercy of whatever the game is making you do. For example, finding yourself locked at an awkward angle while taking cover, or loss of reactivity while performing an extended melee action. Always being able to aim and shoot is a design priority, and every action you might do which would need both of your hands to be accomplished (like putting a breach charge on a floor), can be cancelled in a blink of an eye, giving you back your ability to shoot instantly.

An input driven videogame! Mercy, whatever next. Setting aside the awkward phrasing of that though, this sounds great. There is little more frustrating than being trapped in an animation you can’t cancel, especially in competitive multiplayer games where death has consequences. Consequences which you can watch in these six livestreamed rounds from earlier this year.

28 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    Can’t shake that nagging impression that they’re either making a big deal out of this because either they screwed it up and they’re trying to sugar-coat it, or because they screwed something else up and they’re trying to point out the positive.

    Man I’ve become so cynical. :/

    • Lacero says:

      More likely some marketing survey found that people associate “ubisoft” with “cinematic” and the marketing department decided they needed to make it clear this game isn’t cinematic

    • Synesthesia says:

      We have, haven’t we? I see this specially in the gamer community. NO ONLINE NO BUY. OFFLINE OR NO SALE. and every variation thereof. I think maybe it’s about a very blurred line between spectators and consumers in the industry.

      • pepperfez says:

        But those are a little different. They’re very specific, maybe unreasonable (though I’m in the offline or bust camp) demands, as opposed to just assuming the worst about new games and their makers. I think you’re right about the causes, though.

  2. Myrdinn says:

    Umm, I’m looking for the part where they show the tactical planning phase but couldn’t find it. It’s in right? … right?!

    • hamilcarp says:

      They’ve previously talked about a planning phase in multiplayer. Who knows about single player though, they have not said a word as far as I know.

  3. Premium User Badge

    FhnuZoag says:

    I am honestly rather skeptical that this is a good thing. The issue is that the main effect of this in a multiplayer game is that it boosts the importance of twitch aiming skills, over other skills like situational awareness.

    For example, if it was difficult to cancel out of placing a breaching charge, then choosing to place a charge is an important decision because the player doing that is exposing himself to risk. A player that correctly guesses that a player is being occupied will also get a big advantage. Since they’ve apparently made these actions cancellable ‘in the blink of an eye’, placing the charge becomes less dangerous, and a player with a strong ability to put the crosshair over a digital man’s head and shoot will more easily trump good tactical sense and teamwork.

    • P.Funk says:

      So you think that being locked into a stupid animation that you can’t stop while someone starts shooting at you is preferable? The only problem is the speed you can go from one action to another. A realism mod would clearly increase the timeout from stopping building to actually being able to aim.

      At no point in time do I think it would be a smart gameplay mechanic to have a person continue to place a breaching charge as if his friends aren’t being mowed down by gunfire. Even if you can’t fire right after stopping the action you should still be able to start moving around.

      • Premium User Badge

        FhnuZoag says:

        Yeah, I am literally saying that. From a gameplay perspective, locking players into non-cancellable states adds elements of strategy. It is certainly at least a viable choice to make the timings of these transitions significant – and not at all for realism issues. Want to do X? Well then your team is down one gun toting guy for the next Y seconds, and you’d better be ready to cover him for that. That’s an interesting mechanic in a team game! IIRC Alien Swarm did it very effectively.

        Another example is fighting games – players of those don’t whine about some long super moves not being cancellable when started. It just means that the fact that these moves can’t be cancelled and so cause a loss of control, factors into the play and the balance of the game.

        I think you set up a false dichotomy when you talk about ‘stupid animations’. The art designer can and should provide adequate justification for elements that produce interesting gameplay.

        • P.Funk says:

          I think thats an awkward way to create strategic depth. Its also against the grain of how real people behave so it disconnects me from my avatar to feel like he’s just a robot that I press buttons to interact with.

          Here’s how Project Reality does it. To build a firebase you need to have an Officer use his radio to basically request it. He does this by selecting his radio and now has no weapon. He places the firebase by looking at the spot he wants it to appear and right clicks then accesses a context menu to select the deployable asset. Once the firebase appears it requires at least 2 people digging with their shovels to raise it in less than 60 seconds. These two guys are without weapons while digging and must look at the firebase and hold down M1 to dig.

          Here’s the thing. At any point you can press the shortcut to go back to your weapon and a decently long animation plays as you sling your weapon back up. However this animation is long enough that you can’ just start shooting. There’s also the fact that PR uses deviation based on how long its been since you last moved and how much you’ve moved and what your stance is. This means that someone who’s been shoveling, switches to a gun, dashes around to the other side of the deployable he was digging to aim is going to take several seconds just to be able to fire accurately. However he is going to be able to move freely at any moment. Whats more the firebase he was digging remains at the level of completion it was at, decaying slowly, so this means you can start, stop cause someone calls enemy, then switch back to digging seamlessly.

          That to me is a more natural and freeform way to add strategic interest. Its not even a realistic part of PR, its just a playable functional intelligent way to balance things for strategic interest. Canned animation that lock you out are lame in comparison while adding no meaningful complexity to strategy. The player is punished in a way that makes his offensive and even overt defensive capabilities progressively worse while not punishing his mobility which he can use to protect himself and survive. This would work very well in a much faster paced game like what they’re showing us as well since the faster paced the shooter the more mobility becomes essential to survival and victory. Dying because I was locked into a long animation is going to be annoying whereas dying because I was running like an idiot desperately trying to get my gun back out will lead to lucky comeback kills and slightly less annoying ‘almost got him/away’ moments. Dying inside animation however… thats just lame.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Agreed. Cancelling is good. Cancelling instantly reduces interesting tactical decisions.

    • Vin_Howard says:

      Nah, I think this is a good thing. While they’re at it, they should also make reloading instantaneous, entering and exiting sprint instantaneous, ADS instantaneous, and allow us to 360 no scope all day!

      #MLGtwitchskillz

  4. scannerbarkly says:

    The main concern is…will it be raw input driven? If not, no sale Ubisoft.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Pretty sure, it will have negative or positive mouse acceleration and inability to invite your friends for most of the players, because peer-to-peer multiplayer by Uplay/Ubisoft doesn’t know how to bypass the lack of port forwarding on your/ISP router.

  5. k47 says:

    “stuck in a contextual cinematic animation where you’re at the mercy of whatever the game is making you do”
    “loss of reactivity while performing an extended melee action”
    Oh, you mean like Far Cry 3 and 4?

    “finding yourself locked at an awkward angle while taking cover”
    So, like Watch Dogs? (granted, that was 3rd person)

    I find it funny that those problems are found on other recent games from the same publisher.

    Also, how ARE they going to implement melee if it’s not lenghty animations you can’t interrupt? Slashing in front of you like CS? Or, like, not implementing melee at all? (Like driving and shooting that was missing on Far Cry 3 and Watch Dogs)

    I haven’t seen the streams yet, so If someone knows the answers, those were not rethorical questions :)

  6. FoSmash says:

    “but will simply position yourself behind each piece of destructible wall and use the lean-buttons to peak around it.”
    So we’re going back to Rogue Spear. Hurray for 1999.

  7. melnificent says:

    Ubisoft releases have got me so cynical, I expect them to do something like this.

    Day one DLC – Tactical Planning Phase – £12.99
    Day one patch – Enable Microtransactions – From £10 to £50, but you can play without purchasing anything, honest.
    Day 60 Patch – Fix the most glaring bugs.

  8. Scissors says:

    Its gonna be a turd.

  9. Blackcompany says:

    Much as I love Far Cry 4 I have learned my lesson with Ubisoft. They are only really capable of making one game. Now, being multiplayer this game will doubtless not feature the ‘Ubi game’ formula of icon unlocks. Nonetheless, I have no faith in Ubi to do anything innovative at all any longer.

    • grundus says:

      Oh yeah? How much do you want to bet there’ll be scalable towers in most maps that unlock some sort of new icon or spot and mark targets (and represent them with icons) as in Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, Splinter Cell: Conviction and Manshooting: The Game?

      Still, this interests me. Rainbow Six: 3: Raven Shield: Gold Edition: Game of the Year Edition was one of the very best ever tactical shooters, while Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (hilarious football score name aside) was dreadful yet massively entertaining, I actually love that game despite all of the… Well, everything. Most of the fun came from trying to guess whether the AI would stand and look at you for a bit or somehow one-shot you with a shotgun from across the room despite having said shotgun pointing at the floor when they fired.

      Something between the two would be great, I just hope this has a co-op mode that manages to maintain some kind of tactical element beyond ‘shoot a guy and wait for all his friends to pile in through the same doorway’ as in R6:V2.

      However, this is Ubisoft, so I’m convinced they’ll make it 70% a game I must, must play but also 30% completely fucked in some ridiculous way that invalidates the other 70% entirely so I’ll either never buy it or hate myself for falling for their shit again even when I pick it up for £7.50 when Rainbow Six: Siege 3: Complete Edition is out.

  10. Shooop says:

    So many shooters copying Counter-Strike down to the insanely idiotic “Die and sit by doing nothing for 5 minutes!” mechanic.

    Why won’t someone rip off Red Orchestra instead for once?

  11. WALLS says:

    the “community developers” gold chain and hipster sleeve are highly irritating, and his name sounds like an instruction

  12. ffordesoon says:

    Why aren’t all their games “input-driven?”

  13. Raoul Duke says:

    Hey guys, I just had an awesome idea! What if we designed games in the obviously fun way that they were designed in the mid 1990s, with the player directly controlling a character’s movements in a simulated 3D world? That’d be amazing!