Hello. It’s been a while!
Many of the video games I find myself playing these days are arena-based PVP games. Something like OSRS or any other MMORPG-ish game that I find in my library always reeks of commitment. Commitment of emotions and time (In OSRS’s case, a lot of regret, too.)
Given my current situation with work, time is commodity I am valuing more and more. Said commodity, when amply available, is best spent on something I can get in and out of within 30 minutes to an hour, and this has led me to playing as much Siege as I possibly can.
I’ve managed to put over 200 hours into it over the last year or so, and I feel I’m now in a good spot to give my two-cents on the game from a casual and competitive standpoint. Ill break this up into a not-so structured way and hope for the best. Let’s start with the game in a casual setting.
When you’re first learning to play Siege, you’re going to get pure enjoyment from simply looking at the different characters (operators) in the game and trying to figure out just how to use them all to their advantages. There’s enumerable ways to play the game, and since everyone has a different play style, the different operators offer another layer of depth to complicate the game in the best way possible.
This experience is not unlike the kind offered by MOBAs like League of Legends and DOTA 2. Different playstyles in those games represent themselves in the kinds of roles offered in-game, and the characters available to play are all different enough to add extra spice on top of those already-different playstyles.
But with Siege, these differences, while noticeable, make up a 50% change in how you play at most. This means, simply, that if you manage to win a round of Siege by playing to your operators strengths, you don’t feel like you won in any specific way because you had to. You feel like you won because you made one of the many correct decisions you could have in the game, whether that’s being aggressive and relying on your accuracy in a gun fight, spawn peaking unsuspecting enemies, or laying back and denying a plant.
All of this to say that the different operators in Siege are designed well enough to be fun in their own rights, but also don’t completely dictate the flow of a match. If the defending team chooses horrible operators to defend a site with but are also the better team in a gunfight, well, they’re still likely going to win the match, because this game is still a shooter with a very low time to kill (often a fraction of a second.)
When you’re in a casual mindset, the game is also at its most fun, in my opinion. Siege benefits greatly from having an “Ah, fuck it.” attitude from its players since there’s so much shit happening that you often can’t account for; teammates not making call-outs, enemies cooking a grenade just right, fuse dropping bombs on your face from above, enemies DCing right before you manage to make an interrogation against them, the list really does goes on infinitely. And this isn’t to say that I’m a perfect player. I’ve been guilty, on more than one occasion, of being startled by my own team and shotgunning them in the face.
This can be solved by being better, of course, but can also ruin a competitive player’s game and, potentially, their entire day. Say what you want about League or DOTA2, at least your teammates can’t directly kill your health bar by shooting you in the face.
So, Siege is fun when you’re not attached to the game’s outcome. What is it like when playing to win?
Siege does not magically become a bad game when you start playing competitively. The different operators are still just as fun to experiment with, destroying the map layout to gain an advantage is still just as tactical and enthralling as before, and pulling off great plays or sweet flicks is still rewarding in its own way. What changes when playing competitively is one’s emotional investment.
As I mentioned before, there’s a lot of things you’re not in control of when playing Siege. Sometimes, you need to check one corner before advancing, and an enemy 50 yards away lands a lucky headshot against you through a wall. Sometimes, you teammates accidentally shotgun you in the face. Sometimes, your team just doesn’t want to communicate, and you don’t stand a chance against any 5-man teams (5 stacks) you go up against.
All of this is to say nothing about the INCREDIBLE amount of cheaters and griefers who go into matches with wall hacks or intentions of ruining someone else’s game. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being paired with four other teammates who were all friends with one another. They spent the whole match throwing themselves in front of my line of sight, shooting me, and at one point killed me as I cooked a grenade with intention of having said grenade kill them all, marking me as a teamkiller.
These two things happen fairly often, and since you are banking on having a good match by not having griefers or cheaters on either team, those matches that feel like true representations of what Siege is supposed to be make up only about 60%-70% of your games, which is absolutely abysmal for a title of Siege’s quality and standing in the FPS community.
Now, this problem exists regardless of what kind of mindset you have going into a match, but what changes is how much it effects you. Obnoxious (or straight up bad) teammates matter very little when you’re only half paying attention, or if you’re just in a match to test out a strange strategy for the fun it. But that same issue becomes horribly annoying when you’re trying to win in an intense match and two out of four teammates can’t use communications to save their lives. Or, if you have the unfortunate experience of playing with or against a hacker, the entire game you’re in becomes a huge waste of time, as that game’s LP gains or losses become negated after the hacker is eventually banned.
I suppose its fair to say that this review is focusing a bit too much on the experience of playing siege and not going in depth about its mechanics, but aside from mentioning that operators are different and that the map can be destroyed, I don’t see much point in talking about, say, the barbed wire secondary gadget vs. the mobile cover. These are things that are in the game, but the game definitely isn’t built around them.
The gun play is good, if a little inconsistent with its hit detection. The various ways to traverse a map thanks to the destruction mechanics in the game make for a new experience every match. The weapons are all neat, if that counts as a ‘review’ of them, and the maps themselves are… hit and miss. Most players just try to play on Oregon when they get the chance, as it is decidedly the Dust II of Siege.
6/10 | Decent
That verdict might seem harsh given Siege’s unique position in the FPS genre, but until Ubisoft manage to get a stronger hold on cheaters and griefers, I can’t see myself rating this game any higher.
If you’re looking for something new to play and want to chill out to a one of a kind FPS game with populated community, I can totally recommend this game. If you’re looking for something to dig deep and get competitive with, I’d advise steering well clear of Rainbow Six: Siege.