Montreal Comiccon saw a boom in video game-related presence this year, with many industry names, both AAA and indie, setting up shop, showcasing games and paneling throughout the weekend. Amongst them, the big fish in the Montreal pond, Ubisoft!

The GoG team was lucky enough to enter the convention before regular opening hours on Friday, which meant we were some of the first to get our eager hands on those demo station controllers. Our first stop: the booth for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege in the middle of the show floor.

First off, Ubisoft set up a great demo area for Siege. The tower emblazoned with promotional images, industrial scaffolding and eye catching red lights was visible from pretty much everywhere and with 20 different stations, two games of 5v5 could be played at all times. Each time I passed the booth over the weekend all 20 seats were filled and people were waiting to play while watching live gameplay on mounted screens. It was pretty cool to see such a constant stream of enthusiasm for a single booth when there are so many things to see and do at Comiccon each year.

I was a bit nervous when it came time to play and as I sat down and picked up that XBOX One controller and slid the Rainbow Six branded headset over my ears I remembered I don’t have much of a flare for more realistic-style FPSs or objective-based combat. I feel more at home with an overshield than a riot shield but as soon as I spawned in-game I could feel my excitement rising. Our first objective was to protect a biochemical cannister from being snatched. The controls were intuitive after the initial “Where’s crouch?!” panic, and we quickly discovered the options available to help protect our objective, things like barricading doors and windows, setting up obstacles and even tossing an experimental flash grenade. The round started, and after roughly two minutes of hectic call-outs, gunshots and some friendly fire our whole team was dead. Whoops!

Death in Siege isn’t all bad, you’re dead until the end of the round but you’re still able to cycle through your teammates’ POVs or through the map’s security cameras and can pass along enemy positions like a guardian angel with a grudge or laugh maniacally as you watch a players struggle through a patch of barbed wire.

After playing, it’s obvious that communication is key in Siege. Proper teamwork is the difference between things like barricading to hinder the enemy’s progress or accidentally barricading your teammate inside instead (sorry, Simon!). Even though our team lost in the end we had a great time, and we could see ourselves getting better and thinking a bit more tactically with each round we played. Gameplay was smooth, fast paced and fun even with such a tense in-game atmosphere.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege quickly & successfully won me over this past weekend and I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Closed BETA and then the game’s full release. Guess I better learn to make use of that riot shield!

PS: You can rappel down from rooftops and break through barricaded windows. Learn from our mistakes.