Rainbow Six Siege’s TerroHunt: You  vs 30 smart AI

A thrilling, impromptu wall rappel is hands-down my coolest move during a recent session of TerroHunt, Rainbow Six Siege’s co-op mode that pits up to five players against cunning AI forces. Tom Cruise would be proud. 
During my demo, myself and the team are on the top of a consulate building as terrorists shuffle about in the room below. “Do you want to burn through the roof with thermite?” asks Siege game designer Chris Lee. Hmm, the bright light and loud crackle might give us away. The stairs? Nah, not spectacular enough. There’s only one thing for it: “OK, let’s move to the edge and rappel down, guys.”

Now, as we descend like a choreographed squad of kevlar-wearing spiders, there’s absolutely zero reason to turn upside down, but I do it anyway. Stacking up against the windows, my head level with everyone’s crotch, we breach in a spectacular shower of glass. A spray of silenced bullets and the room is clear. I’m dizzy.

What impresses most about TerroHunt is its enormous tactical potential. Each unit has a different load-out, and working as a team is key to success. During our initial run, Lee raises his ballistic shield and instructs us to crouch-walk behind him, shotgun man at the front and longer-range assault rifle man at the back. Here comes the pain train. 

As we infiltrate the consulate through garage, checking our corners and leaning round walls with unblinking eyes fixed to scopes, I feel every inch the SWAT man, despite my unconventional approach to combat. “Negotiation is over!” I say to myself in my head while remaining cooly silent in reality.

The AnvilNext engine’s ultra-destructible environments, combined with class-specific equipment, expands your options further. I’m fond of walking around with the sledgehammer bashing down walls and doors like a dangerous host of DIY SOS, but Lee seems to prefer C4. It’s not just the explosive results that makes using it so satisfying, but the ritual of deploying it: unfurling the cloth roll, attaching it to a door, calling out “Clear!” or “Move you idiots!”, then clicking the trigger and opening a new route in a spectacular shower of debris

There’s more to TerroHunt than simply eliminating all hostiles. The second gametype we play is bomb defusal in which you’re finding a series of explosives, securing the position against an onslaught, then disarming them. “OK, we need someone watching the door,” says Lee, tending to the bomb. As our fourth squadmate takes the rear entrance, I go prone at the top of the stairs to pick off stragglers. 

Hunting terrorists has long been a staple of the Rainbow Six games. Where Siege evolves the concept, destructible environments aside, is in its unpredictability. For instance, the game smartly randomises objective locations, fortifications such as barbed wire and boarded-up entrances, and enemy spawns. With 11 maps on rotation, you’ll rarely encounter the same scenario. It’s exactly what Siege needs: a continually changing challenge that lasts as little or as long as you want.

AI has also seen significant improvements. Rarely will they clumsily clog a corridor or blindly follow their dead squadmates into a hail of gunfire like in Rainbow Six: Vegas (I say rarely, because at one point I train my sights on a doorway and pick off a stream of panicking idiots for a good minute), and they’ll force you to master both attack and defence. Flimsy wall behind you? Better watch they don’t knock that down. Have you just set a mine? You could return later to see it deactivated. Barbed wire on the floor? Better destroy it so it doesn’t slow you down.

TerroHunt is the mode for those unconvinced by Ubsoft’s earlier PvP alpha in which a few surprise shots to the back would end the match before it’s even begun. PvP can be daunting; PvE is as difficult as you make it, and it particularly excels when you’ve got a squad commander like Chris Lee calling the shots. Which, er, very few of you will actually have. Sorry. With TerroHunt’s adaptable AI and randomised elements, it brings all of the multiplayer’s dynamic action and less of the frustration. Oh, and that wall rappel? Coolest entrance ever.

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