I remember when I started playing Rainbow Six Siege. At first everything seemed a little slow-going. In the game’s PvE mode (Terrorist Hunt) the AI is really smart but not very challenging on normal difficulty. If you’ve played first-person shooters for any number of years and have decent reflexes, you’d have no problems pushing through the majority of the maps in a Terrorist Hunt mission. As long as you get the first shot off to stun the enemy, the kill is yours. I played Terrorist Hunt for a while before even attempting PvP, and after thoroughly familiarizing myself with the controls and a handful of operators I knew I was ready; I knew that years of Call of Duty domination, free-for-all, and TDM had prepared me to enter into this much slower game and rack up the kills. I was wrong.
Now, whenever I end up with someone new to the game in my squad for PvP multiplayer, the very first I say if they have a mic is “This isn’t Call of Duty.” It’s so important for people to understand that almost everything that makes a Call of Duty fun to watch will get you killed in Siege . Actually, it gets you killed in Call of Duty as well, but a quick tap of the square or X button and you’re back in the game in less than two seconds. In a round of Rainbow Six Siege , you only have one life, and if you go down, you’re out until the end of the round. You can still check surveillance cameras and communicate with your team, but you’re much less useful as a phantom. In order to make the most of your life and secure a win for your team you have to forget the “run and gun” mentality that is encouraged within the Call of Duty community and focus on more important things.
Things like preparation and situational awareness. In Call of Duty , the moment the match begins and you spawn you take off sprinting to the center of the map, eager to meet the enemy head to head. In Siege, the moment you spawn you need to start preparing your defenses; barricading walls, setting up signal jammers, strategically placing traps or mobile shields in choke points. Once preparations are complete and the enemy begins to advance, you never sprint out to meet them head on, unless you want to spend the rest of the match as an observer. This game is best enjoyed when the air is still, the tension is high, and you can hear your own heart beating over the silence as you scan camera feeds, listen closely for the sound of footsteps, and prepare to react at a moments notice should a breaching charge blow out a few windows followed by stun and frag grenades.
Pretty soon this all became second nature to me, and when I went back to play a few rounds of Call of Duty I realized I was much better for it. My time spent in the crucible of Siege’s one-strike-and-you’re-out, objective-based multiplayer had changed me into a hunter more patient; more resourceful; deadlier. I realized that staying in one spot for more than ten seconds isn’t called camping, it’s called holding a position. Taking advantage of a choke point or high ground to wipe out a group of wanton, spray-and-pray casuals isn’t cheap, it’s effective. I’ve found that my scorestreaks have been activating much more frequently and I’m dying much less than I used to simply because I’m taking my time and making a point to be more aware. It’s no surprise that the “Awareness” perk is now equipped on every class and I prefer to play with headphones on; on larger maps where people like to spring nonstop it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
Playing Rainbow Six Siege has also made me value my items much more than I used to. It used to be very common that I would die with both of my stun grenades or flashbangs; sometimes I wouldn’t have even used my grenade. In Siege, every item is precious because in close quarters it can mean the difference between losing that one precious life and getting to fight on. Playing Call of Duty I’ve always been about gunplay but the severity of Siege has made me a mindful steward of my inventory, and this has made a big difference in my short game.
Am I trying to say that Siege is better than Call of Duty ? Hell no, it’s apples and oranges; these are two totally different games with completely different pacing and gameplay. I am saying that Siege has much more to teach you than Call of Duty , and I think that if it came down to it a team of Siege experts could hold their own in a CoD match against CoD experts. Now you put five CoD pros in a squad against Rainbow Six veterans for a few rounds of Siege? You’ve got a bloodbath on your hands. How many of you out there play both regularly? If you can, try to name the biggest thing that one game has helped you to do better in the other.