During E3, we saw a bunch of new gameplay for Ubisoft's upcoming stealthy alien shoot 'em up, Rainbow Six Extraction (formerly known as Quarantine). It's a spin-off from the tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege, and I think it looks good - PvE offshoots of PvP games are my jam. But while the new footage showed how a typical mission would go in Extraction, it left me with a lot more questions. So, I reached out to Ubisoft to ask game director Patrick Méthé for a little more detail on how things will work.
To be honest, my main goal was to find out if Caveria would be able to tackle aliens to the ground and interrogate them, but it sounds like they probably won't be doing that (which is a missed opportunity, if you ask me - one of her abilities in Siege is that she can question downed enemies to reveal player locations).
For context, in Rainbow Six Extraction you'll be able to play as a number of operators from Rainbow Six Siege, going on missions to figure out and fight against an alien threat. The devs have already said that operators will be changed slightly to be better suited to the PvE style, though they haven't fully revealed how, and kept their cards very close to their chest when I asked about them directly. They also haven't said exactly which operators will be in the game short of the handful revealed on their website. (They don't plan on making any new ones for the game either).
I did, however, manage to ask whether best-girl Caveira would be able to interrogate the aliens instead. Alas, I did not receive the answer I was hoping for.
"The aliens are more of the 'strong, silent (and very lethal!) type', so don’t expect them to tell you much about their goals…" Méthé tells me over email. I mean, I'm not hearing a no... so?
Méthé adds that the Extraction team is made up of Ubi devs who've previously worked on games like Far Cry and Splinter Cell, so stealth is in their DNA. Even if Cav can't sneak up on these beasties, fighting fair still isn't always the most efficient tactic. It sounds like the tougher the game gets, the more you'll need to employ more subtle strategies.
Extraction has two sorts of difficulties. The first one is built into the incursions (missions), where you'll need to explore multiple subzones. Each subzone is more challenging than the previous one, though you can extract after finishing one of these areas so as not to jeopardise rewards you've earned. The second is called the Threat Level, and you'll get access to higher levels as you progress through the game.
"When selecting these levels, you’ll be facing more challenging incursions, but also get the benefit of acquiring much more experience while doing so. It’s up to the players to decide how far they want to push their limits," Méthé tells me. "We also have accessibility options that can help players. For example, audio feedback UI that allows players to spot incoming threats even in the middle of a chaotic fight."
From what we've seen so far, Extraction looks pretty punishing if you're not careful. Every time you head out on an incursion, you risk losing all your progress. And that includes operators: if you get nabbed by aliens on a mission, they trap that poor character in goop and you have to go back in with a new one to save them. But then, what happens if I lose all my operators trying to save the ones that are MIA? Méthé reassures me that the game will not, as I'd expected, close, uninstall itself, then disappear from my library.
"In the very unlikely instance where you would have too many operators MIA, we have a failsafe system that guarantees the player to always have three functional operators to play with," he says. "What we’ve seen so far in playtests is that players attempting a rescue mission are much more careful and their level of success is quite high - so the possible reset of operator progression is not frustrating."
I'm looking forward to Extraction. As someone who's bounced off of Siege multiple times, I'm intrigued to see how its abilities and gunplay will suit PvE. I remember it being a bit funky in Outbreak (the old Siege Halloween mode that Extraction is partially based on), though it was still pretty fun. Plus, I just love PvE. Between this and Overwatch 2, it seems I'll have plenty of team-based shooters turned story-based Left 4 Dead-likes to play. Now if only Valorant would follow suit.