A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege is a team-based, counterterrorism-themed online shooter. Taking the role of skilled operatives, players use a mix of firearms, explosives, and traps to kill aggressive enemies. Blood and screams accompany the violence. Noninteractive story sequences -- including one that depicts a terrorist strike on an American campus -- have the potential to be particularly disturbing. Voice chat is supported, so players may encounter others using inappropriate language or making offensive comments. Teamwork is key, making this a game best played with groups of friends. This is also the latest installment in the very popular Rainbow Six franchise, although no previous knowledge of the older games is required to play.
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What's it about?
TOM CLANCY'S RAINBOW SIX: SIEGE puts players in the shoes of skilled counterterrorism agents who engage in operations that involve diffusing bombs, rescuing hostages, protecting valuable targets, and eliminating terrorists. Teamwork, communication, and strategy are vital to success in all multiplayer mission types. A short series of 10 single-player "situation" missions introduce the game's unique breaching tactics and destructible environments. These also serve to train players with some of the operatives' special equipment, including EMP grenades, bomb scanners, and long-range rifles. Then players can jump online in teams of five, going up against computer-controlled opponents on terrorist hunts or facing off with a team of five other players. Operatives -- divided into attackers and defenders and picked on a first-come basis in the pregame lobby -- are unlocked with "renown," a resource earned through play that's also used to purchase weapon modifications.
Is it any good?
This action-packed experience is a small and very focused game designed for a niche audience of online shooter fans interested in team-based play and authentic counterterrorism tactics. Maps are small but meticulously designed to afford players an opportunity to make the most of the game's breach-and-defense tactics. Materials act the same way they do in the real world, which means drywall and wooden floors can be blown apart with breaching charges to create new access to rooms and lethal lines of sight within them. Defenders, on the other hand, can barricade doors and reinforce walls to enhance their integrity. Regardless, players -- especially when defending -- will rarely feel completely safe in any room, knowing that attacks could come from almost anywhere if the opposing team makes a concerted effort. It makes for some wonderfully intense play.
Unfortunately, there isn't much content to start beyond a handful of maps and modes. New maps will be made available for free as they're released as part of post-launch additions, but players will need to pay for new operators if they want them. Note, too, that there are a few technical problems during play, such as a user sometimes getting stuck on architecture or losing connection to matches. Hopefully these problems will be ironed out with patches over time. In the meantime, Rainbow Six: Siege still earns a recommendation for shooter fans more interested in strategy and teamwork than twitchy reflex action.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games such as Rainbow Six: Siege. Given that there aren't really nonviolent ways to eliminate hostile threats, should parents be alarmed by the conflict in this game? Would nonviolent options be unrealistic given the terrorist threats and hostage situations posed in the game? Why?
Talk about privacy and Internet safety. What action do you take if you encounter players online who bully others or engage in offensive conversations? When should you mute them? When should you block them from playing with you? When should you tell your parents?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.