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Rainbow Six Extraction release date, trailer, gameplay, story and more

Rainbow Six Extraction
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

When we think of Tom Clancy games, often it's realistic military shooters, but with Rainbow Six Extraction, the series is making a noticeable sci-fi pivot. 

Formally called Rainbow Six Quarantine, Extraction is a spinoff of the wildly popular Rainbow Six Siege. It'll keep the cooperative multiplayer, but instead will focus on defeating alien enemies called Archaeans.  Extraction was originally set to hit store shelves on September 16, but was pushed to 2022. In a news post from June (which has since been taken down), Ubisoft quietly updated the copy to read that the Extraction is now set for a January 20 launch date on PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox one, PS4, PS5, Google Stadia and Amazon Luna. 

So here's everything we know about Rainbow Six Extraction, including some of the latest news and trailers. 

Rainbow Six Extraction release date 

Rainbow Six Extraction

(Image credit: Eric Clark/ ArtStation)

Rainbow Six Extraction was initially set to launch by April 2020, but Ubisoft pushed back the game due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was then set to launch on September 16, but was pushed to January 2022.

"We are embracing the opportunity to take additional time to bring this vision to life in the way it deserves in January 2022," the development team said "We are confident this will ensure Rainbow Six Extraction is the immersive, cooperative, and thrilling experience we set out to create, and the one you aspire to play." 

Well, now it seems that the game is set to release on January 20. Ubisoft quietly updated a news post from June (which has since been taken down), changing the date at the bottom of the copy to reflect a new release date. Why Ubisoft didn't make a formal press release for this new release date is unknown. 

Tom's Guide reached out to Ubisoft for clarification:

“We are committed to delivering Rainbow Six Extraction in January 2022 and look forward to sharing more information soon.”

So, either somebody at Ubisoft let the date slip early when updating older articles or it was done in error entirely. At the moment, Ubisoft has not officially confirmed a release date for Extraction. 

Rainbow Six Extraction trailer 

While Rainbow Six Extraction was first revealed at E3 2019, we've now been given more trailers to peruse. 

The trailer below gives a clear outline of the game's action, showing how a squad of three will enter alien infested locations attempting to extract captured members of their wider team. For the full suite of Extraction trailers, head on over to the Ubisoft YouTube channel

Rainbow Six Extraction gameplay

Between the Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak event, and the recent videos, we've got a pretty good idea of what to expect on the gameplay front in Rainbow Six Extraction.  

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. 

Rainbow Six Extraction's Incursions 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. The ethos of not leaving players behind also hits the same note as Valve's beloved series. 

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 Extraction story 

From a cinematic trailer, Rainbow Six Extraction revolves around a mission to learn about an parasitic alien threat that crash landed on Earth via a meteorite. In the trailer, a trio of operatives, Ela, Lion and Nomad, are on a mission to rescue a fellow team member called Hibana. 

However, there'll be a lot more operators, 18 in total, with 12 evolving maps meaning Rainbow 6 Extraction will see operators rescuing other operators if they fall in the field. A range of other missions will see operators take on a variety of tasks such as capturing alien specimens or destroying nests. 

Rainbow Six Extraction coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X

Ubisoft announced Rainbow Six Extraction a whole year before the next-gen consoles made their debut, but the game will come to PS5 and Xbox Series X. 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 Extraction outlook 

So far Rainbow Six Extraction looks like a solid team-based survival horror shooter, 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 will arrive before Extraction on October 12. 

If Ubisoft embraces some PS5 and Xbox Series X enhancements, and ensures the beat-to-beat action is refined to a sharp edge, then Rainbow Six Extraction could be a multiplayer game worth waiting for.