With a difficult best described as maddening, Rainbow 6: Siege offers players hours and hours of fun and frustration.

The Crushing Brutality of Rainbow Six: Siege

Sheer difficulty forces a new respect for the FPS genre.

I have been playing first-person-shooters for so long that, I have reached the point where I immediately default to the hardest setting possible. That usually ranges between, realistic, insane, impossible, or a variety of other adjectives that describe how difficult a game is. The problem with most games ends up being that they just aren’t difficult enough. I’m only talking FPS here folks so don’t come at me with “Dark Souls,” cause you would be preaching to the choir. I’m talking about Call of Duty, Medal of Honor and other shooters in that category. I finally met my match when selecting the “realistic” difficulty in Rainbox Six: Siege.

Before delving into multiplayer I figured, I would hit up the “Situations” option. This familiarizes you with the mechanics of the game and puts you through training scenarios for different kinds of counter-terror operations.

The first of these situations tasks you with clearing a structure filled with enemies in a “methodical sweep and clear.” The description sounds easy enough and I have been playing a lot of “Black Ops III” lately, so I went into the area with the same confidence that I do other shooters.

I crossed the road and nailed a headshot on the first enemy I saw. After looking around I entered the structure, carefully peaked around the corner and was immediately killed by a gunman inside. I re-spawn, go back in and get taken out by the same guy. This happened a few times before using a stun-grenade to blind the dude before popping around the corner to take him out. This only got me a little further inside before I was gunned down again, and again, and again.

Frustration kicked in, not with the game but with myself. Confidence was waning. This game was punishing me for thinking I knew crap about FPS and it did so pretty much all night. No matter what I would try, I would always end up with my ass shot off.

When I eventually passed the first scenario, it advanced me to an even more difficult area where I was supposed to get into a house and extract a hostage that was guarded by gunmen. There, I met more of the same—an infinite loop of deaths and re-spawns. I finally discovered that it wasn't that my skill had decreased or that my sleep deprivation was playing tricks on me. It was that “Rainbow Six: Siege,” when set to realistic, is an actual challenge. It doesn't hold your hand and it gives zero fucks how many times you have to try the same level. The thought of lowering it to an easier setting constantly coursed through my brain, despite my ego’s refusal.

After a few hours, the game didn’t become easier but I became a lot more careful. This helped but was in no way a total solution and didn’t always keep me from getting destroyed time and time again.

I have a new found respect for Rainbow Six. This entry is proving to be challenging and will no doubt continue to be so against other players. The ability to shoot through walls, blast your way into sealed rooms and use a drone to look around the area before you go in are all tools that I will have to become more familiar with as I go along. I forgot what a challenging FPS looked like, but Rainbow Six: Siege is here to give me the middle finger and laugh its ass off while doing so.