It's been a long time since gamers have gotten a chance to play a new Rainbow Six game. Rainbow Six: Patriots was announced (and then cancelled) years ago, and it wasn't until last year's E3 that Ubisoft announced that Rainbow Six would make a comeback.

Since then, players have gotten to see footage of the game in action, and it looks great - but watching is nothing compared to actually playing.

Good news: Ubisoft is pulling the curtain back and finally putting the game in player's hands later this year, via the Rainbow Six Siege Closed Alpha test.

While the dates of the test have yet to be announced, it's clear that Ubisoft knows what it wants to do with the Closed Alpha. There are a lot of new systems in the game, and plenty of new mechanics that players have never seen before - understandably, Ubisoft wants to make sure everything works before shipping the final product.

As it stands, the test is currently limited to PC users only. While it's possible that Ubisoft could hold some sort of test for next-gen console players, the Closed Alpha will be a PC exclusive. Considering that a strict set of system requirements must be met to even enter the Alpha, it's likely that Ubisoft is still trying to optimize the game for the platform. Rainbow Six may have started out as a PC-centric series, but over the years, Ubisoft's PC ports have been a bit lackluster. Making sure the game plays and runs well on PC is a necessity, and it's clear that this is partially what the test is about.

In terms of gameplay, maps and modes, there's not much to go on just yet: Ubisoft is keeping quiet about exactly what players will be using in the Closed Alpha, though it's easy to assume that most of the gear from the E3 reveal will be available. With any luck, players will be given plenty of opportunities to tear a few new environments apart - the two story house shown last year was a great start, and hopefully, the Alpha will include a few more equally-destructible maps.

There's a lot of new, interesting mechanics in Rainbow Six Siege, and it's obvious that Ubisoft is hearkening back to the glory days of the franchise, but can such a complicated game still succeed in today's twitch-shooter market?

It's impossible to know how things will turn out now, but the Closed Alpha should give fans a better idea of what to expect when Rainbow Six Siege launches later this year.


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