The latest installment of the Tom Clancy FPS game franchise is not your typical competitive shooter. Rainbow Six Extraction is a co-op, mission-based PVE game with a lot less actual shooting than you might expect. It’s not a way to pass the time while chatting with your friends about their latest Discord crushes. In fact, it will require your full attention.
What is it? — Extraction is an intense survival shooter centered around missions in confined, apocalyptic locations where aliens called Archæans have bred and spewed toxins everywhere.
Valorant and Rainbow Six Siege players will find their aim and cautious positioning rewarded, but Dead by Daylight players will excel at achieving Extraction’s objectives and ultimately winning the day.
Gameplay — There’s a need for strategy and team communication, as running around shooting at everything you see won’t help. Instead, players have to take a calculated approach. Crouch-walking and smoke grenades will allow you and your team to evade the endless onslaught of alien monsters which vary in time-to-kill difficulty. Depending on which character you choose, your load out and abilities will give you a different skillset that makes you either better or worse at different tasks.
Just like in Rainbow Six, you can’t run-and-gun this. Extraction has a steep learning curve, but once players get a hang of the different types of missions, the endgame becomes clear. What matters is that you achieve the preset objectives and “extract” your team.
As long as at least one of you completes the tasks and makes it out alive, you’ve essentially won — no matter if you’ve killed zero aliens or a hundred. There isn’t exactly a clear win/lose binary unless you all die. Extraction demands smarter gameplay, which is refreshing in a world full of mindless Call of Duty sequels and a seemingly endless pipeline of battle royales.
Operators — Extraction’s characters are familiar ones, pulled from the world of Rainbow Six Siege. While it would have been nice to see some fresh faces, the unlockable legendary skins in Extraction are incredible.
Specifically, the elemental skins wowed me. The stone and fire-themed skins blew me away. The molten fire Scorch Troll skin for Doc reminded me of the legendary Hell Raiser Lifeline skin in Apex Legends, where her skin and outfit has been re-textured to resemble a demonic Greek titan of sorts.
The Rococo headpiece and outfit for Hibana also surprised me with how elegant it was, looking like something out of Diablo III lore.
Graphics — Extraction’s game visuals are unexpectedly beautiful. The toxic particles in the air give the dystopian environments a cinematic ambiance. And the sprawling parasite that covers the ground is surprisingly aesthetic — if you’re into bio-horror. The monsters themselves are reminiscent of the Doom games, or the Netflix show Stranger Things.
Fans of Resident Evil or Amnesia games will appreciate the thought that went into the development of Extraction’s horror elements, which merge with the sci-fi as players explore abandoned testing facilities and laboratories.
Hardware specs — I play tested Extraction missions on ultra settings with a 3090 GPU and had no frame drops, input lag or screen tearing issues whatsoever. It looked incredible, even when I was blowing up nasty, pus-filled alien vesicles. I lowered the settings a bit for my stream, but the game and cosmetics still looked great.
Regardless of what system you’re running, the game’s small map sizes should ensure that you too can appreciate the dark, twisted beauty of the game while also killing monsters and rescuing teammates.
Replayability — While Extraction has a good-enough core story for a shooter and is tough to beat without repeated practice, it’s not exactly replayable. Once you achieve everything within a certain region — whether it’s New York, San Francisco, or somewhere else — you probably won’t want to go back and replay those maps unless you’re showing the game to a friend.
Because of its focus on objectives and PVE nature, Extraction feels like it has less replayability than a PvP shooter like Rainbow Six whether players are pitted against each other. This isn’t a bad thing, though, as any game can become stale with time.
TLDR — Overall, Extraction isn’t exactly original or breaking the traditional FPS mold, but the things that make it familiar don’t take away from the gameplay experience. It has a clean UI, well-designed graphics and challenging objectives. Both competitive and casual gamers will like this title, which is now available to play on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox, and Xbox Game Pass.
Extraction is best enjoyed as a survival experience with friends. Think of it like a virtual escape room, but with aliens.