In just a week from now, a new entry in the Rainbow Six franchise will be released with Rainbow Six Extraction — a PvE co-op shooter that’s a huge departure from the highly successful Rainbow Six Siege.
Recently, MP1st had the chance to not only get some early hands-on time with the game, but to also talk with the developers behind it, too! Ubisoft Montreal’s Technical Director Bruno Lalonde, and scriptwriter Linda Nguyen took time out of their busy schedules to talk with us about the game’s concept, why it’s three-player co-op, and more.
Q: My first question is, in the preview, the max level for Operators is level 10; is that going to change in the official build, or no?
Lalonde: It will be up to 10.
Q: Will there be more cities/locations available at launch? Are there plans for future locations after launch?
Lalonde: In the mode you just played, you’ve probably already played San Francisco and Alaska, if you’ve reached that point. We also have New York (which is the default location), and then we have ‘Truth and Consequences,’ which is up to 12 maps.
Q: When I was playing the preview build, it had one cinematic when you first boot up the game which looked very, very nice. Now, will it be a full cinematic story experience in this game or will it be similar to what Rainbow Six Siege is, where it’s basically more of “trailers that tell the story” kind of thing and there’s not much of a ‘story’ per se in the game itself?
Nguyen: There is definitely a story, and the more you progress in the game, the more you are going to learn about the world of Extraction and all the enemies and this alien threat that you are dealing with. So, yes, there is a story, but it’s also about the Operators, about you, and what is your story during the incursions. What’s your story to tell, every time you go in and how far will you go. It’s also about you and your squad, and more about your experiences with the Operators. You also have this progression system you’re going through. It’s really about your experience in this world of Extraction.
Q: Why is Rainbow Six Extraction a three-player co-op game instead of something more symmetrical like a four-player experience?
Lalonde: It’s a good question. We tried many combinations at first; we wanted to bring a co-op experience, and we found that three players created this cool synergy between different abilities and gadgets you can bring. We figured out that three is the golden number for this tactical co-op game.
Q: Has your previous experience working on For Honor influenced anything in Rainbow Six Extraction (Technical Director)?
Lalonde: I would say, be prepared for the live [service]. What I bring to Rainbow Six Extraction was my experience of releasing a product and getting it ready for live [service]. Like we announced, we have a free live program where we will add extra content in the future, and for that you need to be sure that your game is also a platform that you can build up to easily modify and add stuff.
Q: Will Operator skins from Extraction somehow make its way into Siege and vice-versa?
Nguyen: I believe the answer is no.
Q: What made Ubisoft Montreal want to pursue a PvE Rainbow Six game? Or was this more of Ubisoft’s (the executives) idea?
Lalonde: Maybe you remember the Outbreak event from Siege a few years ago? That really impressed, and it really teased us with the reaction we got from players in that Outbreak event. So, we said, “what about creating a full game around that?” Taking everything great about Siege – tactical shooter, great Operators, stuff that players love and build up a PvE game on that. Rainbow Six in the past (before Siege) was a great PvE game; for us, we had to bring back this PvE with the great aspects of Siege.
Q: Kind of an off-topic question here: we’ve recently seen a resurgence of sorts of PvE shooters such as Back 4 Blood, GTFO, Aliens Fireteam Elite, etc. Why do you think, in your opinion, is that the case?
Lalonde: From my personal point of view, I will say that, PvP offers more intensity, and there are many players in the FPS genre that want a less intense experience, and also a more welcoming experience for new players. There’s also the safe environment, where they can experience co-op gameplay as opposed to a PvP game. In this game, players are also able to control the level of difficulty. Of course, less difficulty means less rewards, but it’s also a tool we give to the players to be able to control the level of intensity, something that you cannot really control in a PvP game.
Q: What made Ubisoft decide to lower the game’s price point? It isn’t 59.99 like it normally is, it’s 49.99.
Nguyen: So, uh, Bruno and I, can’t speak to that. We weren’t part of the decision-making for that. That said, as game devs, seeing this game more accessible to even more players; that’s a big win for us. So, we have no complaints.
Q: Is there a reason why Extraction isn’t free-to-play? Usually, when games go free-to-play, they rake money in cosmetics and everything like that. Is there a Extraction didn’t go with the free-to-play model?
Nguyen: Again, with this one, I don’t think we can speak to this either.
Lalonde: If I can add something to that, I feel that we made a full AAA offer. We have a lot of Operators, a lot of content, a progression system, a story, etc. We feel that we have a full package for the players.
Q: Is Ubisoft Montreal’s plans for Extraction the same as what’s seen in Siege? Like, after launch, it’ll go the live service route, and players shouldn’t expect a sequel to it, but rather, constant post-launch support for years to come?
Lalonde: For now, we have free post-launch content already planned. We plan a weekly game mode called Assignment. We also have a planned crisis event, and also new content plans. For now, that’s what we have in mind: free content to offer and keep players entertained in Extraction.
Q: How does Extraction take advantage of next-gen input? Especially for the PS5, cause it has the haptic feedback triggers, is that going to be a thing in Extraction?
Lalonde: Yes, of course, we support the new haptic feedback feature for the PS5 DualSense controller.
Q: What’s the final target for framerates and resolutions for last-gen (PS4, Xbox One) and next-gen (PS5, Xbox Series X|S)?
Lalonde: For old-gen consoles, we are aiming at 30fps solid at 1080p. Next-gen is at 60fps, which is at 4K, HDR, and it will run up to 120fps on high-end PCs.
We’d like to thank Ubisoft Montreal for taking the time out of their schedule to talk to MP1st. Rainbow Six Extraction will be released this January 20, 2022 on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.