Rainbow 6: Patriots is the game the FPS genre needs

First of all, watch Ubisoft’s “target gameplay” video.  Like right now.  Its incredible.  Hit the jump for the video and the rest of the story!

Despite not actually being real gameplay footage, my jaw was on the floor for the duration of the video.  Conceptually it hits so many high-marks that I was in disbelief that the finished product would ever be this great.  That’s when I read Kirk Hamilton’s preview of the game on Kotaku, where it appears that the game not only lives up to it’s ambitious target video, its also completely playable now.

There’s a few conceptual things in the game that I believe aren’t being done well in the FPS genre right now:

  • Seamless third-person transitions, especially with cover (see 3:30 and 4:15 in the video)
  • Letting the player know when cover isn’t safe (see 4:28)
  • Actively changing the situation between when players should and shouldn’t shoot enemies (see 3:09)

Those are all things that mechanically are difficult to do in games and haven’t been skillfully done since, well, the last Rainbow Six game.  But the things that really blew me away were the gameplay-driven narrative parts.  Something that few, if any, FPS games are doing right now:

  • Seamless character transitions (see 2:40)
  • Actively participating in character development (see 5:15)
There were also just some brilliantly done quick-time event (QTE) parts like holding down the trigger button on the bomb suit.  On throwing the civilian off the bridge, one could easily claim this as another QTE event, but it just felt so much more involved that most QTEs.  Plus, according to previews, players will need to make many more hard decisions such as this one, but those decisions will not affect the overall story.

The sort of character interaction I expect from 24 makes its way into this brilliant preview

Oh, and here’s one more thing that really stood out for me, something that all video games need to pay close attention to: great voice acting.  I don’t think this was by any accident, the actors were probably well-paid for creating a top-notch promo video, one that was probably needed to make a case to Ubisoft executives for a new R6 title.  But what I see is huge potential for all games: you can seriously boost your production values by hiring skilled voice actors.  Rocksteady proved this fact with their Batman games.

Even if Rainbow 6: Patriots doesn’t live up to anything close to this video, I highly recommend other developers take a peak.  This is what serious, gameplay-driven narrative should look like and it is what I think next-generation first-person shooters will look like, not graphically mind you, but gameplay-wise.  This is what the FPS genre needs for a (forgive the pun) shot in the arm.

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About Ryan Saul

Hailing from Portland, OR I work by day and blog by night. I like to consider myself a video game connoisseur, playing as many new things as I can get my hands on. Its hard to hold me down to one game for very long before I move on to the next big thing. Luckily, that works pretty well in terms of video game blogging.

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  1. Rainbow 6: Patriots channels Occupy movement « fullnovazero - December 12, 2011

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