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Why it's OK that Rainbow Six: Siege has no campaign

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Many of today’s modern shooters seem to place little emphasis or importance on stories. As we already saw, the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is leaving out a campaign mode for last generation editions. Now another big game is doing something very similar, but on all platforms: Rainbow Six: Siege.

On a panel, the game’s art director confirmed it won’t have a “story mode per se”, according to Polygon. While there would be enemy AI you could fight off with your friends, there is no campaign story that’s playable for those of us who prefer single-player.

Indeed, this isn’t even about offline or online play; even Year One Destiny attempted a campaign (poorly, but it was there and you could play with no requirement you had to join anyone). What Ubisoft are admitting is that their game is entirely about creating scenarios via multiplayer - whether player-vs-player or player-vs-environment.

Some have expressed disappointment, due to how incredible Siege looks and that it’s part of the Tom Clancy brand. Whether or not you like Tom Clancy stories, you can’t overlook that story and world-building are supposed to be hallmarks of fiction bearing the Tom Clancy name. But, more than that, the Rainbow Six series is one that has included a campaign - one that was fun to play in co-op, of course, but it was still there. It might seem a sudden shift and now feels like slap in the face to fans. Even this however seems wrong: Those campaigns were laughably uninteresting. I played Rainbow Six: Las Vegas dozens of times - and I can’t tell you a single character's’ name or motivation.

To me, this is what I’d prefer more games do: take an honest, streamlined approach to what they’re producing. If the Call of Duty after Black Ops 3 announced no campaign, I would be unsurprised and also glad. These companies don’t make these decisions lightly. Probably, few of us play Call of Duty for the stories - despite the huge budgets, time and performances they put into those few hours.

But resources are limited: if not including a campaign so few would play meant better multiplayer, why not do that? After all, multiplayer is what keeps consumers playing months or years later. Despite enjoying Advanced Warfare’s campaign, I can’t tell you any of the character’s names.

I despise multiplayer games. But I support streamlining because it also works to my advantage. If, for example, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain had managed to have a complete campaign (Chapter 2 and 3), instead of a chapter and half, along with awful multiplayer, I would be happier. Mandatory multiplayer modes that feel half-baked are awful; the same for mandatory campaigns that few would bother playing. That’s certainly not why people purchase these games in the volumes they do. Everyone benefits, even if it does feel a little bit insulting to long-time fans.

What's your take on Ubisoft not including a single-player campaign in Rainbow Six: Siege?

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