It was a no-show at E3 this year, but it appears a new Rainbow Six game is in development at Ubisoft, who're looking to re-energize the squad-shooter with a series of bold and ambitious design choices. Instead of simply focusing on the high-tech exploits of the titular team, the new Rainbow Six is set to offer a far more narrative-centric experience, with choice and consequence a top priority.
Set in the present day - or at least the very, very near future - the new Rainbow Six focuses on a band of American extremists who - disillusioned with the greed and corruption rife in Wall Street and the government - plan a series of terrorist attacks targeted on New York. In a bold move, Ubisoft is including branching story-threads within the main narrative. Decisions you make can potentially spin the story in an entirely different direction, with multiple endings already in place.
A scene described by Kotaku sees the would-be extremists kidnapping a man in his own home. You're put in control of the hapless civilian, as the terrorist strap an explosives-laden vest over his torso and stuff the detonator in his hand. You're forced to hold the detonator's trigger down to avoid catastrophe. This sequence then segues to the next, where the Rainbow Six team is dispatched to take down the man rigged with explosives, let loose on the general public.
Eschewing the raucous firefights of old, the new Rainbow Six looks set to focus on these more intimate, emotionally-driven scenarios. Taking down the rigged civilian isn't a simple task. He's joined by a number of the terrorists, who you can choose to off with headshots or multiple rounds to the torso, or simply incapacitate with a leg or arm-shot. The HUD also details the man's potential blast-radius as he walks further into the city, numbers popping up signifying nearby civilians and lives at stake, including a bus packed with over a hundred souls.
It all sounds like terrific stuff, and a genuine breath of fresh air amid all the explosive and bombastic dueling between the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield. However, a word of caution; Ubisoft is apparently undecided over the branching morality system, and may actually remove it all together, opting for a more traditional Rainbow Six experience instead.
Here at Dealspwn, we hope they make the right choice. [Kotaku]