First the good news: weird capture-the-lady reveal aside, Rainbow Six Siege looks great! Full destruction is actually a game-changer, and it allows for all sorts of mad strategies, just as quick deaths encourage people to not just Rambo-charge in, wreathed in shimmering wood splinters, and fire blind. It's a pretty cool game. But the game it's taken the place of, Rainbow Six Patriots, at least looked... interesting last time we saw it strut its Heavy-Rain-inspired stuff. What happened there? I asked Ubisoft, and they were refreshingly frank about both why the game got canceled and what's going on with Siege's single-player.
First up, Patriots. Here's what technical artist Oliver Couture had to say about its cancellation:
"To be completely transparent, I worked on Patriots - on Rainbow Six for three-and-a-half years - and Patriots was old-gen. Xbox 360 and PS3. Next-gen consoles were just around the corner, and we were like, 'OK, we want to also have a next-gen experience. What can we do for that?' We were trying stuff out with destruction technology, and we realized destruction really changes the game. We tried to see how it could fit with old-gen, but it just didn't work out. So for us it was just a better solution to clean the slate, reset, and make what's best for the players."
"We've been working hard for the past year-and-a-half [on Siege]."
Patriots was in the works for quite some time, though, and it's hard to imagine all of that work going to waste. I asked Couture if any of Patriots' cinematic bells and whistles will end up in Siege's single-player mode, but as of now that's undecided. Single-player is in the works, but it's barely gotten off the ground floor.
"We know that single-player is also an important part of the Rainbow Six experience. We understand that while this year we showed multiplayer - because we want to have fun playing against each other internally, it's a good test to know if a game is fun - but we are 100 percent aware that single-player is a big part. We're currently working on that too."
"The scope of the single-player is not completely clear yet, so I cannot really elaborate on it. All I know is that the message we have on the production floor is like, 'All the comments online, people are always talking about single-player. So we're gonna have something for them.' But I can't say if it will be more cinematic [like Patriots was] yet."
Given Siege's emphasis on small spaces and very tense action, it'd certainly be a challenge to integrate a more actively cinematic element into that. Who knows, though? If it's not good for the game, then I hope Ubisoft doesn't do it, but if they can make it work more power to them.
Now if they could just get around to implementing real rainbows, already. I mean, it's been way more than six games, and isn't this basically what godrays were invented for?