After a series of technical stress tests, Ubisoft finally opened the gates to the Rainbow Six Siege beta for a lucky selected few.

The first thing that I can proudly say is that the Rainbow Six franchise is back to its form. After a few matches, the classic R6 flavor is intact and it reminds us that it’s really a game that requires a bit of strategy. Don’t expect that running and gunning will make you a winner. It’ll make you a bullet-sponge. Online matches of this beta are “perma-death”. If you die in the match, you’re dead; there are no respawns. You can be downed and revived by one of your teammates only once. And there’s also no mini-map so players are going in blind and must proceed with caution.

The beta offered the traditional Team deathmatch or Terrorist Hunt. Deathmatches are are attack-defend affairs. Two teams of five players enter and the team still standing tall is the winner. When kicking off a TDM match, one of the teams must defend the objectives while the opponents must find and capture the target. In order to successfully defend your objectives, the defending team has a few tricks up their sleeves to hinder the enemies’ progress. Players can easily barricade doors by a simple button press. Not only does it slow down the attacking team, but when they try to take your defenses down, you’ll hear them either shoot, blow or melee the barricade, giving the defenders a few seconds to get ready and prepare for the onslaught.

On the other hand, the attacking team has a few minutes at the beginning of the round to send little two-wheeled decoys to help them spot the objectives and also target members of the opposing team. Opponents and the objective can be marked to make things easier once the timer runs out. If you run out of time and fail to target the objective, you’ll be going in blind; carefully moving forward to find the objective all the while avoiding getting killed.

Whether you’re attacking or defending, you have quite a nice selection of classes to choose from. All of which can be unlocked by progressing online and gaining Renown Gain; “XP” points which players gain after each match in order to unlock new classes. The better you perform, the more Gain points you’ll earn at the end of the round.

For each unlocked classes, players can also upgrade and change their loadouts at the start of the game; such as adding a scope for better accuracy or even a silencer to keep things “quiet”. There’s one little annoying quirk is that matches, TDM or Terrorist Hunt, can’t feature more than one of the same class, besides the default Recruit one. Although I can somewhat understand why they’re doing this, I think it’s a huge bummer because that means players won’t be able to try their latest unlocked class on the spot; unless you can do Private Terrorist Hunt. Meaning you’ll need to get yourself acclimated with multiple classes in order to use one that you’re comfortable with.

If you struggle against human opponents, you can also give the Terrorist Hunt mode a spin. This mode pits a team of five human players against A.I. controlled terrorists. This is basically a Horde-like mode where, as up to a team of 5 human players, run around the map and find A.I. enemies. Although unlike other games with a similar mode, enemy AIs are actually prepared for your arrival. They have barricaded doors, bombs activated by motion sensors and barbed wire. Luckily, to avoid a simple find and kill mission, some enemies are actually built like small tanks. Oh some enemies are also kamikazes: Don’t let them near you or boom goes the dynamite. Terrorist Hunt is a great way to get a grasp of the game’s control and strategic intricacies; playing against A.I. controlled enemies will let you play around with the different weapons and classes. Also a great way to practice and get ready to take on human players in Teamdeath matches.

With the recent news that Siege won’t feature any single player campaign (booo!!), this return to form of the Rainbow Six franchise is sure to keep players busy for quite sometime. Additionally, Ubisoft plans on supporting the game with free DLC maps post-release.