It feels like ages ago that Rainbow Six Extraction was announced, but I just Googled it, and it turns out that was only 2019? Time flies in quarantine, especially for a game originally titled Quarantine. A year before that, Ubisoft proved that a co-op zombie game based on the PvP-focused Rainbow Six Siege could actually work, with a fun side mode.
That mode was called Outbreak, and it only lasted for a couple of weeks before it disappeared forever. At the time, the fun three-mission campaign gave us major Left 4 Dead vibes. Ubisoft absorbed feedback, formed an entirely new team within its Montreal studio, and got to work to flesh it out.
After a few hours playing Extraction, I’m starting to think it’s actually the anti-Left 4 Dead. It has safe rooms, special infected types, and scarce medkits, but Extraction’s pacing is completely different from the chaos I’m used to in co-op zombie slaying.
The mission our group of three played was an almost leisurely stroll with small bursts of action throughout. I never encountered that classic scenario where I’m hurrying down a hallway with 23 zombies (technically aliens called ‘parasites’ in Extraction) behind me in a full-sprint to eat my flesh. I did, however, have to pull Sledge out of a gooey alien cocoon, dodge fleshy scab growths that ambushed me from the ceiling, and trudge through black ooze that can coat every inch of a room. Gross, in a good way.
Extraction’s slower pace can be chalked up to its source material: Rainbow Six Siege. Like Siege, the default speed here is a light jog that’s significantly slower than most FPSes. The speed is naturally suited for Siege’s close-quarters shootouts, but it’s a bit harder to get used to in Extraction. Normal parasite enemies are about as weak as L4D zombies, but they don’t bunch up into hordes. I’d often find one or two in a room standing still waiting patiently to be shot in the head. It also seemed like it was possible to clear out an area by destroying the parasite-spawning nests scattered around. I was surprised at how often I felt relatively safe in this dangerous environment.
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