The Rainbow Six Extraction announcement was made in a world we no longer live in: the world of 2019. “Rainbow Six Quarantine” was then the name of the co-op Siege spinoff FPS. A game about a parasitic virus came out at an unlucky time, but a great time to bring back a dormant co-op zombie shooter. I was hoping that Rainbow Six Extraction would expand the 2-hour mode into a sprawling collection of campaigns like last year’s Outbreak.
Rainbow Six Extraction is not only one of many co-op shooters on the market today, but it is hardly recognizable from the original Outbreak campaign. This is the anti-Left 4 Dead—a precise, grueling survival game about not poking the bear. As soon as you do, Extraction’s evil AI takes over, eager to punish even the smallest mistake.
Screech and clear
Essentially, extraction missions consist of maps with three randomly selected objectives out of a pool of 12. Each objective should be addressed in the order in which it appears on the map.
Your squad of three (or just you, if you’re flying solo) is dropped into these locations without context other than the current mission. The campaign has no connecting goals such as “find the safe room” or “cross this rickety bridge.” You simply do the job and earn as much XP as you can. The sparse format worked well during the first 10 hours when I was learning how each objective worked and trying out operators. It seemed every mission had something new to throw my way, whether it was a new alien enemy (called Archaeans) that planted sneaky flash bombs or a modifier that caused a black “Sprawl” substance to slowly coat every surface.
As confusing as Extraction can be, it’s nice to see familiar faces from Siege in the Operators. There are 18 new operators from Ubisoft’s existing roster, who have been lightly modified to suit alien zombie murders (they are no longer Rainbow Six operatives, but members of REACT).
The healing tech of Doc and Finka and the armor plates of Rook work pretty well in PvE. IQ and Pulse sensors, which used to detect heartbeats and enemy gadgets, now detect nests and spare ammunition. It’s nice to see operators that I never really liked in Siege become favorites in Extraction. Alibi’s holographic decoys are pretty mediocre in a PvP setting, but they’re amazing for distracting Archaeans.