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.