Rainbow Six Parasite, the latest in a series of tactical shooters originally inspired by a 1998 Tom Clancy novel, may be making its way to consoles in 2021. Although no official release date has been announced, a rumor indicates that developer Ubisoft plans to release Rainbow Six Parasite later this year.
First revealed in 2019, the latest Rainbow Six title initially bore the subtitle Quarantine. However, it was changed to Parasite due to associations of the word "Quarantine" with the global lockdowns and stay-at-home orders issued to combat the spread of COVID-19. Ubisoft has previously indicated that Parasite may not be the game's final name, as its final name has not yet been revealed. Like many other major titles, Parasite's release was delayed due to the difficulty of completing work during the pandemic.
However, an anonymous source connected to Ubisoft told news site GameLuster that the game was "fairly far into development," and would likely launch later in 2021. The source did not reveal whether Ubisoft would discuss Rainbow Six Parasite at the upcoming 2021 E3 event, but it seems likely. Additional rumors indicate that a Rainbow Six Parasite beta might be coming in the near future.
The source, who has allegedly played an early build of the game, described Rainbow Six Parasite as having a science fiction feel that was far from the military aspect of previous Tom Clancy-inspired titles. Earlier titles in the Rainbow Six series centered around the activities of the titular counter-terrorist unit, Rainbow, as they performed covert operations and eliminated threats. They had a primarily grounded, realistic feel and took place on Earth, with the Rainbow Operatives facing off against predominantly human foes.
Rainbow Six: Parasite instead sees a variety of playable Operatives facing off against an alien invasion that threatens the planet - an enemy first hinted at during the Outbreak event in Rainbow Six Siege. According to the anonymous source, the game involves the player defeating alien hordes on a series of medium-sized maps. At the same time, the player is also tasked with avoiding spreading black goo and preventing alien eggs from hatching and creating even more foes. This tracks with the previously leaked Parasite gameplay footage, which shows player characters defeating brain-shaped parasites.
Unlike other Rainbow Six games, Parasite will reportedly not feature separate campaign and multiplayer or free play modes. Instead, campaign and multiplayer modes will be combined, with a heavy emphasis on player vs. environment (PvE) rather than player vs. player (PvP) combat. It is possible that this decision was made to curtail the rise of cheaters, which has recently caused a number of Rainbow Six Siege players to boycott Ubisoft.
Rainbow Six Siege is still going strong, strong enough that Ubisoft is still looking to further expand the universe with their Rainbow Six Quarantine spinoff. Though the game has been pretty heavily delayed and very little concrete info has been released, it appears that it's going to be influenced by the Outbreak event that Siege saw quite a while ago. That update featured the release of two new operators, Finka and the controversial Lion, as well as a robust PvE mode featuring monsters.
One thing that's all but certain in Quarantine is the inclusion of at least some of the operators from Siege. Maybe not every operator is going to be included, but many operators from Siege have gadgets and playstyles that should fit really well with the kind of game that Quarantine appears that it's going to be.
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