Ubisoft have launched an "online training platform" for Rainbow Six: Siege [official site]. Completing the five exercises included in the current Field Training section of the program and you'll earn an invite to the beta, which is due to launch in a fortnight, on the 24th of this month. I was hoping for a rigorous series of exercises, designed to sort the Clancys from the chancers, but Art of Siege is more like one of those interactive trailers. A drone-cam gives an overview of the situation, you choose a point of entry and then select options to watch the mission play out.
Things went badly during my first attempt at the Residential House mission. I was playing as an agent called Termite and I skipped the intro and went in blind. Seconds later, I was dead in a garage having blundered into the centre of a gang of bastards. Presumably, the hostage is now dead, my entire squad have been incapacitated or killed, and my superiors are embarrassed and dismayed. Still, the debriefing screen gave me a plucky "NICE TRY!" alongside the one star rating.
The second attempt was a success and from rescuing a hostage in suburbia, I was pushed straight into a hostage situation on a Presidential Plane. Time to step up. This time I would be playing as Sledge, an SAS chap with a massive "signature" hammer. I entered via the wing of the plane, looking for things to wallop with the hammer. I'd decided it was a melee weapon even though it was clearly for breaching. "Sledge, here's a massive fuck-off hammer. It might be handy if you, the master of breaching, take it with you." The SAS knew the score. They also knew I'd be cracking a few skulls along the way.
Unless my browser decided that the Art of Siege was too beautiful to endure. Once I'd crossed the wing and entered the plane the scene paused and I waited for my choices to appear. I was hoping for "Smash the Plane" or "Smash the Terrorists". Nothing happened. I refreshed and had to watch the drone-cam intro again so I called it a day, assumed that Sledge had saved and married the president, and came here to write about the experience.
Oh, and in case you're thinking that second mission was super-exciting, please understand that the plane is parked on a runway. I wasn't sprinting down the wing mid-flight, cradling Baby Sledge in my arms.
So what did I learn? Always listen to the briefing and be ready for Chrome to ruin your plans. I also thought that the residential house looked a lot like the first mission in the original Rainbow Six but apparently that was an embassy. Have I imagined a fake Rainbow Six mission? Could it have been a demo? Who knows.
What I do know is that you'll need to log into Uplay to save your progress and receive the beta invite. A second phase of training will open up at a later date. It's called Wall of Tactics and that's such a great name that I don't want to know anything else about it. The full game's due on December 1st.