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Rainbow Six Siege's Outbreak event bringing zombie horrors to the tactical FPS

Space oddity

An old Russian space capsule, a mutagenic parasite and a small, backwoods American town sealed off behind a quarantine zone as its inhabitants mutate into horrible monsters. Pretty boilerplate videogame stuff, but a definite break from the norm for rising esports darling Rainbow Six Siege.

After months of teasing, Ubisoft have finally revealed the nature of their upcoming time-limited 3-player co-op event for the competitive FPS. While it sounds like there are some zombie-like things involved, there's a few interesting wrinkles that should make this an enjoyable three-player romp, at least while it lasts.

So, space-zombies it is. Five different flavors, in fact, according to the official blog post detailing the event. While we don't get a peek at the monsters themselves, it does sound familiar enough, with a self-destructive explosive type mentioned, and a 'hulking horror'. So far, so Left 4 Dead. It does mention that the creatures are armored in some capacity as well, so perhaps we'll have to do a little more than just shoot them in the face to get the job done. Just to make things a little more fun, the monsters have little regard for property, happily smashing their way through walls, ceilings and floors to get to you.

Cover image for YouTube video

Outbreak will be set across three entirely new maps, each one bigger than any existing competitive battlefield in the game at present. The wall-smashing gameplay of the core game will once again be a focus here, with players having to choose whether they search for a more stealthy route to get from point A to B, or whether you'll go loud and 'mousehole' your way across the map, punching holes through any wall in the way. Considering the sheer scale and effort put into Outbreak, it seems bizarre that it'll only be running for a month, but I guess they don't want to distract people too much from the competitive core of Siege.

There will be two difficulty settings for Outbreak - Normal, which sounds like a good way to learn each map, and Pandemic, which turns on friendly fire and makes the monsters hit significantly harder. Only 10 operators (11, counting the default Recruit) will be playable on these co-op maps, including the two operators coming in Operation Chimera, with a focus seemingly on heavy hitters with explosive weaponry. It makes sense, as there doesn't seem much in the way to hack for the likes of Dokkaebi on this new battlefield.

Launching alongside the Outbreak event will be the debut of a new line of cosmetic, cash-shop-only loot crates. Fortunately these will contain purely cosmetic items and nothing that would affect gameplay balance, but the choice to make them a paid item instead of a reward for successful play in the event is a little strange, and a decision that has earned no shortage of grumbling from players.

The Outbreak event will be going live on the test servers on February 20th, and rolling out to less adventurous players on March 6th. It'll run for a month, and conclude on April 3rd, presumably taking the Outbreak cosmetics with it. Purely conjecture, but I'd not be surprised to see Outbreak getting dusted off in the future as a Halloween event for the game.

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Dominic Tarason