Rainbow Six Extraction, the PvE co-op alien shooter, is getting its first big live content update in the shape of a defence-focused Crisis event called Spillover. NME has gotten their hands on the event, and it’s a defensive buffet – if that buffet was made of old shoe leather and tire rubber.
It’s not that it tastes bad. It’s just tough, and your three-person team is going to need to bring the A-game to have any hope of finishing Spillover.
Spillover has players locked to a small subset of a map that’s filled with 9 sprawl colonies, impervious alien devices that can only be destroyed with a canister collected from the spawn. As a result, you and your allies – this is a three-person event, with none of the scaling of the base game – must grab a canister, hoof it to the location you want to destroy first, and then dig in with as many defences as possible.
Defending enclosed spaces from extraterrestrials is Aliens enough, but the viscous gunk that covers the entire map makes the whole place look like a Xenomorph nest, in addition to making it spectacularly difficult to work out which walls can be reinforced or not. The result of the goop smeared over everything means the first part of any defence is often you and your pals running around with your face smushed into walls waiting to see if the reinforcement prompt pops up in time. When you’ve got turrets set up, mines set and choke points prepared, you’ll slap down your canister and hop on the express elevator going straight to hell.
You can take as long as you want here, bearing in mind the 25-minute timer, and a successful run at “finishing” Spillover is by knocking out all nine of the colony nests, with each one getting progressively harder. There’s no barrier to entry beyond “finish the VR tutorial” but the intensity is so high that is seems unlikely many players will be able to hack the pace until they’ve got a few levels under their belt. I know that after just three runs, our entire team was exhausted and confused at how we were ever supposed to destroy more than one of these Sprawl Colony’s without a full team wipe, and indeed many of our runs ended prematurely, with one person carrying the two fallen players back to extract, while gibbering to themselves nervously.
During my Extraction review, I was surprised by how well Extraction riffs on the calculated movement of Rainbow Six Siege, its video game big brother. Spillover, meanwhile, delivers the other side of that experience, letting players plan out a defense and slapping down traps and reinforcements to make your own battleground. This lets you experience all the joy of, say, a Left 4 Dead finale but in a hell of your own making.
But at the moment it’s so difficult that it’s unlikely many people will be able to tough it out. Aside from those who have spent the time since launch growing their CV of alien slaughter, most players simply won’t have the experience to make this work. Regardless of this, there’s something incredibly satisfying about playing Tachanka and slapping his turret down to watch a door that you know is going to be attacked – especially when there’s no chance of a Siege player showing up to off you through a wall with a cheeky headshot either. Perfect.
Spillover launches today (February 18) for all Rainbow Six Extraction players.