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Rainbow Six Extraction pits three co-op players against deadly aliens

rainbow six extraction
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

E3 2021 is here, and Ubisoft Forward was the first press conference from a major publisher. We saw a variety of games, but Rainbow Six Extraction, one of the first titles on display, was also one of the most memorable. This game aims to shake up the Rainbow Six formula by pitting three players against procedurally generated environments, full of deadly aliens. While players can upgrade their skills and equipment as they go, dying will reset their progress, making Rainbow Six Extraction a high-risk, high-reward experience.

Ubisoft showed off two substantial looks at the game: an extended story trailer, as well as a mission where three players team up to tackle an Alaskan facility that’s been overrun by Archaeans, the alien race in question. There are a variety of different Archaeans to defeat, from the zombie-like Grunts, to the goopy Sprawl that covers floors and alerts enemies to your presence, to the armor-piercing Spikers, to the fire-breathing Lurkers.

If you want to see the full gameplay reveal for yourself, Ubisoft has uploaded the footage to YouTube:

Rainbow Six Extraction essentially takes the same gameplay mechanics as Rainbow Six Siege, then applies them to the “cooperative zombie-killing” genre, popularized by games such as Left 4 Dead and the Call of Duty zombie modes. Where Rainbow Six Extraction sets itself apart, though, is that it’s not a high-octane run-and-gun experience. Each map still requires stealth, tactical cooperation and judicious use of distractions in order to get out alive.

And getting out alive is extremely important, since if your operators get captured, you’ll have to embark on a mission to rescue them. This is precisely what happened to operative Hibana in the story trailer. How exactly this play out during the course of a mission, we don’t know yet, as the gameplay reveal jumped around a few times to showcase different parts of the Alaska level.

We do know that each map will include procedurally generated elements, and that structures called airlocks will separate different subzones. On your way to an airlock, it’s all combat and stealth; once you’re in an airlock, you have a chance to regroup and resupply. Each sub-zone is more difficult than the last, so players will probably have to decide whether to retreat with what they’ve collected, or press on for better rewards.

Rainbow Six Extraction will come out on September 16 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Stadia. It will also be available via Ubisoft’s cloud gaming service, Ubisoft+. We don’t have any pricing details yet, but if it’s a full-fledged release, expect it to retail for $70. Tom’s Guide will have more information as it becomes available.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.