Last generation, almost everyone committed themselves to a specific first-person shooter franchise. Whether it was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 or some other, these were some of the titles which defined people’s seventh generation multiplayer experience.
However, for me, it was the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas series which brought my interest into the FPS genre. Rainbow Six: Vegas was one of the first titles that I experienced on the Xbox 360 in 2006 and it immediately captivated me by the competitive online atmosphere that the multiplayer encouraged. Rainbow Six: Vegas and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 made for some of the most memorable experiences of online gaming, and I often reminisce about the countless hours spent playing Attack and Defend matches on the renowned Calypso Casino map.
The Rainbow Six: Vegas series brought forward innovation in its gameplay and had the player pay attention to every little feature: this ranged from customisation of weapon loadouts to the outfit and armour selected for a multiplayer character. Additionally, the ranking system, which was integrated, still remains one of the best to feature in any title, and at the time it had players constantly grinding experience points in order to achieve the prestigious Elite Rank. With an entertaining single-player campaign, exceptional co-op Terrorist Hunt mode and an adrenaline-fuelled multiplayer experience, it offered the complete package for any avid FPS fan.
The enjoyment RSV and RSV2 offered left me yearning for Ubisoft to confirm the next instalment in the Rainbow Six franchise. The announcement of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Patriots in 2011 had me excited by the prospect of a new title which could easily reinvigorate, in my opinion, a mediocre time for FPS games. However, the project gradually became quiet overtime and people only remembered it was in development was if someone brought up the title.
Ubisoft confirmed at E3 2013 that the title was still in development but it would now feature on the eighth generation consoles. However, Ubisoft then went onto confirm later that year the Rainbow 6: Patriots project was being completely remade after they believed the title’s standard was inadequate. Receiving news like this for any fan on a particular title is always reassuring, as it allows for the publishers to have more time with the title and put forward the best standard possible, rather than putting out a mediocre product.
With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One demonstrating the capabilities of software innovation, Rainbow 6: Patriots is now in the best position in development terms. Rather than originally featuring on consoles which were nearing the end of their system cycle, instead we can see the title being restructured to be a fully-fledged next-generation title.
Ubisoft’s new intellectual property, Tom Clancy’s The Division, could be a prime example for Patriots to be a promising and successful title. Division may be a third-person shooter, but it still utilises one of the core features that the Rainbow series used: squad based mechanics. Division demonstrated the excellent use of team based requirements needed in the early gameplay trailers, with this being a way for Ubisoft to develop on the feature and maybe integrate it later into Patriots.
Ubisoft Montreal is still connected with the Patriots project, although they will be working alongside Ubisoft Toronto and Red Strom, but this will still have fans reassured that the original developers are working on the title. Patriots’ original debut trailer, dubbed ‘Target’, looked phenomenal for its time and now those expectations are even greater-adjusted to the capabilities of eighth generation systems.
Patriots is struggling in its development cycle and rumours have even suggested that the title has been reworked three times now. Rainbow Six: Vegas’ mechanics were exceptional for their time and they could easily be integrated into Patriots and, of course, refined and built upon. Ubisoft needs to go back to basics on Patriots and create a title which retains the features that made the Vegas series successful. Graphically, the title has the potential to look stunning and really bring to life the Rainbow experience in this new generation.
Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six series now has a fresh chance to be developed on and test the capabilities of the eighth generation. Hopefully the project isn’t scrapped entirely and the developers can find a way to implement mechanics that Patriots is struggling to find. Certainly Patriots is one of the titles that I am looking forward to the most on the eighth generation but optimism is needed to carry the project out of the territory of abandonment.