We've checked out the first batch of post-launch content arriving in Ubisoft's cooperative shooter.
Following its launch a few weeks ago, Ubisoft will soon be releasing the first batch of post-launch content for its cooperative, tactical shooter Rainbow Six: Extraction. Largely revolving around a new endgame mode called Spillover and the addition of a new Operator, Rainbow Six: Siege's Zofia, I've already had the chance to dive into the mode ahead of its upcoming launch to see what it will be serving up.
First of all, what is Spillover? This endgame activity is actually a little different to what we've seen in Extraction before. I say this, as this game mode does not use the same objectives that we've come to know, i.e. there will not be any Archaean hunting or trapping, asset extracting, or even moving through various sub-sections of a level. You spawn into one zone, littered with objectives known as Sprawl Colonies, with the aim of simply clearing these objectives using Dissolution Agent canisters that must be defended from waves and waves of attacking Archaeans, at all costs.
The core gameplay of Extraction is still there. The gunplay, the way the Operators work, the game mechanics, this is all the same, as you'd expect as this is simply a new game mode. But, Spillover is different to what we've seen before as it's more of a horde mode than anything else in Extraction. When you activate a canister, swarms of countless Archaeans will constantly assault your location, with the aim of taking you and your squad out, and simulately destroying the canister. With this in mind, you basically throw stealth out of the window in favour of a trio of individuals that can hunker down and survive tons of Archaeans blitzing you for the 90-second fuse timer of the canister.
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It isn't an easy mode, and will require competent team building, thoughtful zone defence set-up, and strong communication, more so as you continue clearing the Sprawl, as the premise of the mode is to clear all nine Sprawl Colonies in the zone as fast as you can within the predetermined 25 minute time limit without failing. You can extract early to survive and not lose any Operators, but this will put a limit on your total score, which is important, as being an endgame activity (like Maelstrom), you want to amass the highest score possible to earn the best ranking on the global leaderboard ladder.
While I will say that this mode is a breath of fresh air for Extraction, simply because it serves up something that is different to the repeating objectives that are found in pretty much every other area in the game, I did find that over my time playing there was a distinct lack of varying Archaean archetypes. What I mean by this is around 90% of the foes my trio tackled were Grunt or the Spiker types. We did see the occasional Breacher and Tormentor, who posed a new challenge, but for the most part, they were incredibly infrequent and usually didn't last long against our dug-in defences.
It may seem as though this is a simple and easy to play game mode, but Spillover is one of the more demanding modes in Extraction. You will be overwhelmed, and the Sprawl Colony that is located in difficult to defend locations elevates the challenge tenfold. From my experience, I'd recommend identifying the easy to defend points and saving them until the end, when there are more enemies and you can really use the environment to your advantage. Also, and I can't stress this enough, savour your med kits, ammo crates and the other resources found at the extraction zone, as these will be only resources you get throughout a run. To alleviate the challenge a little bit more, Ubisoft has also added a couple of new goodies, including a new piece of gear, and a new Operator.
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Zofia, of Siege fame, is coming to Extraction alongside this new mode, and is bringing her explosive and tactical KS79 Lifeline gadget and various heavy machine guns. She's an ideal character for Spillover as she really lacks any kind of subtlety and instead excels in chewing through hordes of Archaeans like a hot knife through butter. While her gadget is admittedly a little flat, as is the case for most Operators in this game (you get four shots of stun grenades or middling explosives and they can be challenging to really use to your advantage), her arsenal of weapons is broad and features plenty of customisable options, with her playing like the more aggressive Operators such as Sledge or Fuze.
To add to this, the new piece of gear further helps when it comes to chewing through the Archaean hordes. The Auto-Turret automatically locks onto approaching threats and proceeds to cut them down with a stream of lead. It's not as intuitive as I'd hoped, as it has a small detection cone, can be very pedantic when it comes to placing it, and breaks after a couple of hits, meaning you need to protect it to get any meaningful value out of it. But, considering the Turret is earned by simply racking up 500 Archaean kills as a squad, you can earn yourself one in approximately one hour of gameplay, and that doesn't even need to be specifically in Spillover either.
But regardless, this post-launch update gives me a bit of faith in the future of Extraction, as if we can count on new, unique game modes like Spillover, then there will be plenty of reasons to continue diving back into this title going forth. Don't get me wrong, the issues with progression are still present in-game, i.e. the people who will be diving into Spillover will likely not be doing so for experience as you'll probably already be long past the point of needing XP to advance your Operators, but if you are looking for a new way to kill a few evenings, Spillover is definitely looking to be an ideal way to do exactly that.