After a long hiatus, the Rainbow Six franchise is set to make a return to to lives of video gamers everywhere. Ubisoft's upcoming Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege seems poised to take the franchise back to its roots by placing an emphasis on unrelenting, tactical gameplay that gives players the power to plan and execute daring raids.
However, if the new commercial for Siege starring Idris Elba (Luther, Beasts of No Nation) proves anything, it's that sometimes best laid plans lead to chaos -- and improvisation becomes essential.
The trailer features Elba in the background of an intense S.W.A.T-style assault -- the sort of tactical engagement that Siege will center upon. He exists as a sort of omnipresent force, aware of all the action as two teams prepare for the coming battle. As soon as the firefight commences, the action comes as fast as it is relentless -- with environments exploding all around Elba as he narrates with a sort of sadistic glee. When one faction seems on the ropes, a soldier hammers his way through the second floor of the house and drops in to change the tide of battle in what the actor describes as "one bold move."
The commercial seemingly aims to highlight what should set it apart from its competitors: the balance of tactics and improvisation. While most first-person shooters have leaned on fast paced carnage to sell their gameplay, Siege seems poised to take the opposite approach by giving players time to plan their assault, but then putting them in situations where they may have to think fast if things do not go the way they envisioned. Much like the commercial, the game will feature extensive destructible environments that players can use to turn the tide of battle and any given time.
Elba remarked on the unique nature of this commercial and the game:
"Getting to work on a set with explosions and big destruction always adds an element of excitement. The Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege shoot was unique in that my character is at the eye of the storm during the chaos around him... In the game, walls can be shattered; ceilings and floors can be breached to change how players experience the game. My character walks the viewer through the destruction, while coming out unscathed on the other end."
Between Elba's work on this commercial, and Michael B. Jordan's (Creed) prominent role in the ad campaign for Call of Duty: Black Ops III, it would seem that alumni from HBO's The Wire have cornered the market on video game commercials. Both actors have brought a sense of gravitas to their respective game titles, effectively elevating the firefights to something almost gladiatorial. Unlike games such as Star Wars Battlefront, which has thus far sold itself on nostalgia, these games have leaned more towards the visceral thrill of battle to draw players in -- and it seems to be working.
Rainbow Six: Siege drops on December 1st, 2015 on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One platforms. An open beta will take between November 25–29 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC platforms in anticipation of the game's wide release.