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Rainbow Six Parasite: Release date, trailer, gameplay, story and more

Rainbow Six Parasite
(Image credit: Eric Clark/ ArtStation)

Rainbow Six Parasite has had a tumultuous history. Ubisoft unveiled it as Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Quarantine back in 2019, before the words "quarantine' and "lockdown" became part of our everyday vernacular. The company has since ditched the "Quarantine" subtitle because of the ongoing pandemic, and also pushed its release date back to a vague 2021/ 2022 window.

The game has picked up the "Parasite" subtitle in the meantime, while we wait for more official updates. The publisher has confirmed that it's just a placeholder name for now.

The Outbreak event in Rainbow Six Siege influenced the upcoming Parasite, which will essentially be a zombie shooter. The game will borrow elements from staples in the genre, such as Left 4 Dead, while bearing some similarities to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. 

There have already been a few leaks about Parasite, which we'll delve into below. But here's everything we know about the game so far, as well as rumors and leaks that have slipped out since Ubisoft first revealed the game.   

Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak

(Image credit: Ubisoft )

Rainbow Six Parasite news (updated April 7)

Rainbow Six Parasite may not have a firm release date yet, but the game is in closed beta on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Despite players having to sign an NDA, gameplay has nevertheless made its way to the internet.

An hour-long video leaked from the alpha test back in March via Facebook and YouTube, but is no longer available on either platform. It showed the game's tutorial, and confirmed that at least six operators from Rainbow Six Siege will be present: Alibi, Ela, Finka, Lion, Tachanka and Vigil.  

More gameplay emerged just this week, via Twitter leaker SkyLeaks . While it wasn't anywhere near as lengthy, it gave us a look at operative Ela, and how rescuing downed allies will work. That video is also no longer available, but given the flippant attitude towards the NDA, we'll no doubt see more footage as the closed testing continues.  

Rainbow Six Parasite release date 

Rainbow Six Parasite was initially set to launch by April 2020, but Ubisoft pushed back the game due to the pandemic. The new date should be in this fiscal year, meaning we'll see it launch any time between now and March 2022. As the title is still in closed testing, we don't expect it to debut in the immediate future. 

Fingers crossed that we'll have it in our hands before the end of the year. But we'll just have to sit tight and wait for an update. 

Rainbow Six Parasite trailer 

Unfortunately, we've not had much in the way of trailers when it comes to Rainbow Six Parasite. Aside from the E3 2019 trailer and the leaked gameplay, videos of the game are thin on the ground. 

The official teaser sets the spooky scene, giving prospective players an idea of what they'll be getting into when the title finally debuts. While it doesn't showcase the enemies, it lays the foundations for game's atmosphere, which looks suitably tense. 

Rainbow Six Parasite gameplay

Between the Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak event, and the two leaked videos from closed testing, we've got a pretty good idea of what to expect on the gameplay front in Rainbow Six Parasite.   

From what we've seen, players loadouts are pretty standard fare, with grenades, weapons and equipment, including barricades and drones. Your team of operators will face off against zombies/aliens called archaeans, although you don't necessarily need to take them head-on. 

Incursions in the game seem to be stealth-based, and will have you navigating the environment looking for intel, like samples. If you get spotted, you're in for a showdown with the hostiles. 

The Left 4 Dead comparisons come into play with the sub-zones, which get more dangerous as  you progress. There are airlocks between each zone, similar to the safe houses in Left 4 Dead, which will give players a much-needed breather. 

You can find and rescue downed teammates as you push ahead, even if you left them behind in previous zones, just as in L4D. You'll need to carry these teammates to extraction points, which also means you can't use your main weapon while you're saving the day. But that just makes the rescue even more exciting. Or stressful. Either way, it'll get your heart rate up!

It's not just archaeans you have to look out for. Black goo on the floor will slow you down, but you can eliminate it with a few well-placed bullets. And, just like L4D, there are a variety of enemy types to keep things interesting. 

Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak

(Image credit: Ubisoft )

Rainbow Six Parasite story 

As you might have guessed, the story details of Rainbow Six Parasite aren't out in the open just yet. Expect some similarities to Rainbow Six Siege's Outbreak event. 

This limited-time mode saw players investigating a biohazard outbreak, which has evidently gotten worse in Parasite — or perhaps it's a whole new threat to deal with. We can't speculate too much beyond that, given the lack of information, but that seems to be a pretty safe bet for now.

Is Rainbow Six Parasite coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X?

Ubisoift announced Rainbow Six Siege one whole year before the next-gen consoles made their debut. We've no doubt that you'll be able to play them on PS5 and Xbox Series X. But whether we'll get optimized versions specifically for the new hardware is another question entirely - and one that we don't have the answer to for now. 

Rainbow Six Parasite outlook 

Rainbow Six Parasite is now in closed testing so things are coming along, despite the initial delays. While we're keen to find out if we'll see PS5 and Xbox Series X versions at launch, or in the future, Ubisoft has kept things relatively quiet. 

The gameplay looks solid, and if you're familiar with the franchise, there shouldn't be too many surprises. We love that Outbreak inspired a dedicated game with PvE play and tight-knit squads. Left 4 Dead fans might also be able to get their fix here. Although that's only until Back 4 Blood launches on October 12.  

Hopefully we'll see Rainbow Six Parasite before then, but the real life pandemic has proven disruptive. We're sure the developers are beavering away as best they can.