When Ubisoft first teased what they called Outbreak back at the Rainbow Six Pro League finals in Brazil last November, a content drop coming instead of a map as part of Year 3 Season 1 on March 6, the whole tone of the teaser raised a few eyebrows. The quarantine symbols, the spooky atmosphere, and the hint that this would be something very different made people instantly jump to 'zombies', but alas, they were all wrong, as Outbreak will instead feature aliens... with a lot of the qualities of zombies.
Yes, Outbreak is a limited four-week event coming to Ubisoft's tactical shooter that takes the realistic tone of the game so far, throws that out of the window, and goes wild with this strange new idea. Here you need to take one of 10 operators, including the two new ones coming with Operation Chimera that we detailed here, and you take on one of three story-driven missions that require you to investigate an alien infection that's posing a threat to humanity while also taking down these monstrosities as you do so.
We played two out of the three campaigns during our time at the Six Invitational esports tournament in Montreal recently, as you can see below, and each has different gameplay avenues. The first we played, for instance, saw us navigate around neighborhoods with very open lines of sight, meaning we could sneak past enemies if we wanted to, and take long shots on their unsuspecting heads, but the other campaign we played was a lot tighter, seeing us move through a hospital with narrow corridors and little room for escape - the perfect place for close-quarters combat.
These enemies come in a lot of different varieties, all of which are based on some sort of sinister alien infection that mutates their bodies. First up are the grunts, the common and numerous baddies who are the easiest to dispatch, but there are also a number of other special enemies like in other 'zombie' games like Left 4 Dead, including ones that explode when close, ones that can root you to the ground so you can't move, one that charges you, and another called the Apex that can summon a ton of other evil creatures to cause you grief. Each has their own weakness and tactics for dealing with them, such as the weak spot on the charger's back, so tactics are key for taking these guys out.
It's also worth noting that just running and gunning isn't quite the message here, as stealth is still favoured, much as players will be used to seeing already in the main game. The normal grunts will be much easier to kill when they don't detect you, for example, as once you're seen or heard they mutate into stronger variants, and it's also worth noting that stealth is vital to deal with the exploding nuisances too, as killing them from a distance means you don't have to deal with them up close and personal.