One game that was hit a little harder than others by the effects of the pandemic in 2020 was the unfortunately-titled Rainbow Six Quarantine. This game, first showed off in 2019, was meant to be the next installment in the long-running Rainbow Six series, which currently ends with the massively popular Rainbow Six Siege. That game had a rocky launch as well, though for completely different reasons, but has since gone on to become one of the best tactical shooters on the market, with seasons of new content, maps, operators, and special modes added over five years since launch.
One of these limited-time modes called Outbreak, a PVE mode, is the primary inspiration for what has now been renamed Rainbow Six Extraction. With tons of new details coming from the Ubisoft Forward presentation held during this year’s E3, we have a lot of info as to how much of this game has changed in the years since it was first announced. If you’re a fan of the more tactical style of co-op shooters the series is known for, you’ll want to check out everything we know about Rainbow Six Extraction.
Along with new trailers and the official unveiling of the new title, Ubisoft finally put a firm release date on when you can get your hands on Rainbow Six Extraction. The game will hit, assuming there are no more delays, on September 16.
In addition to the release date, we also learned all the platforms that Rainbow Six Extraction will be coming to, with no real surprises. You can grab the game on the PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Google Stadia and PC. We don’t know the extent of how different the last-gen versions will be to current hardware, though it is a safe assumption that you will get the best experience on either of the current-gen consoles or on the PC. A positive note for those unable to get their hands on a current-gen machine just yet is that both PS4 and Xbox One editions come with a free upgrade to the PS4 and Xbox Series X/S version.
The focus of Extraction is pitting you and your team against the hostile aliens named Archaeans, which are advanced parasites that were first discovered in New Mexico in the Outbreak event but have since spread to New York, San Francisco, and Alaska. These areas have become the containment zones where the various mutations of Archaeans have begun altering the environment and spreading. You will play as operators from the REACT team, which stands for Rainbow Exogenous Analysis and Containment Team, but fans of Rainbow Six Siege will probably notice some familiar faces in the lineup.
The trailer is purely cinematic (there’s a separate gameplay showcase you can see as well) but sets the stage for what to expect from this game that is so different from any other Rainbow Six offering before. All of the locations mentioned as being containment zones will serve as levels you and your squad can enter to accomplish various tasks in an attempt to try and eliminate the hostile alien forces.
Again, we can only make our best prediction on the gameplay based on the cinematic trailer and what has been said about the game from the developers. What we know for sure is that this will be a completely PVE experience, meaning that it will not split or attempt to migrate the multiplayer population away for Siege. Everything else about the game seems built on the base that Siege laid out, however.
You and two friends will select one of 18 total operators, at least at launch, that all come with their own skills and gadgets. Many of these operators are reused from Rainbow Six Siege, such as Pulse, Doc, Sledge, Alibi, Finka, Hibana, Ela, and Lion. There may be more returning operators, but those are the ones Ubisoft has confirmed so far. Between the four zones, we know that there are 12 maps coming for you to enter. At least one mission type focuses on rescuing MIA operators, such as Hibana in the cinematic trailer. By completing this mission, and of course getting the MIA operative out alive, you will unlock them as a playable character.
Based on the trailer, we see many familiar tactics, tools, and mechanics from Siege. Drones are back, as are breaching options, but apparently, each operator will unlock new abilities and gadget upgrades that are specific to Extraction and made to deal with the Archaean threat. One of these we got a look at was the React Light, which points out enemy weak points in the environment, plus special mines, sensors, and barricades.
Speaking of the Archaeans, we got a look at some of the variety of different enemy types we’ll be dealing with. There are the basic swarming Grunts, Rooters that will entangle you and leave you vulnerable, and Lurkers that turn other Archaeans invisible. One enemy called a Spiker appears to stay at range and shoot deadly spikes at the player. There was a boomer type called a Breacher that will try to get up close before exploding a torrent of shrapnel. There’s the Tormentor, a bladed melee type, and the all-powerful Apex.
Each mission works in a three-round structure, but that’s about the extent of our information. We don’t know if that means you’ll be moving between three different zones, like in one of the Left 4 Dead games, or if you stay in the same area but just have different objectives. You will enter safe zones between rounds to refill on ammo and supplies, and there’s the opportunity to bail if you and your team aren’t feeling confident about the next round. Each third round will have a boss, so having an out could be useful.
The reason you may want to extract while you can is that dying in Rainbow Six Extraction means losing everything you’ve gathered up until that point. We know you’ll be gathering intel during missions, but what exactly that does, or what else you could lose, is still mostly a mystery. Not only that, but when your operator is killed during a match, they will become MIA. That means you will need to take on a mission to extract them before you can play as that operator again.
Rainbow Six Extraction is built to be a co-op experience, so teaming up with friends is absolutely the main way to play. You can have teams of up to three, including yourself, but it seems as though you could go in with just two or even solo. How the game will adapt to the number of players hasn’t been shared yet, but going in with a full team of operators is clearly the ideal way to play.
Another great bit of news on multiplayer was the announcement that Rainbow Six Extraction will be completely cross-play enabled for every platform. That means Xbox, PlayStation, and PC players can all team up to take down the Archaeans together on day one of release.
There’s nothing to report on in terms of post-launch content for Rainbow Six Extraction just yet, but if the model that Siege has seen so much success with is any indication, then there will likely be some type of season pass. We already know of some cosmetic items, thanks to different editions of the game (more on that below), so there will certainly be some way to purchase things like skins and charms.
In terms of new maps, we hope that they have a plan to release new ones in the future to keep the player base interested. Unlike PVP maps, PVE levels tend to become stale a little faster.
Pre-orders are now showing up on the official Ubisoft website for both physical and digital versions on all platforms. Remember, if you buy the PS4 or Xbox One version, you are entitled to a free upgrade to the current-generation version should you upgrade your consoles.
The Standard Edition, retailing for $60, is exactly what it sounds like. You get the game, but just for pre-ordering, you also get something called the Orbital Decay Bundle. These items are going to be “Epic” rarity and include some exclusive skins like the Orion uniform and headgear options for Finka and Lion. It also has a weapon skin and Crashlander charm.
The Deluxe Edition, going for $80, has everything the Standard Edtition has, plus three extra packs of content: The Noxious Touch Pack, Obscura Pack, and React Strike Pack.
The Noxious Touch Pack includes the noxious touch uniform, a unique headpiece for Alibi, noxious touch and redeemer weapon skins, and the jawbreaker and guardian angel charms.
The Obscura Pack has the cephal black and cerulean weapon skins, plus the redacted and anagram charms.
Finally, the React Strike Pack will unlock the Frontline Cosmetic Pack, which itself has the full-spectrum outfit, weapon skin, and charm, XP boosters for special events coming post-launch, and a 10% discount for the in-game store.