Today, Ubisoft unveiled its first ever animated short for Rainbow Six Siege during the Six Invitational. Nobody knew what quite to expect when Ubisoft teased some sort of “short movie”, but the “Hammer and the Scalpel” short is impressive.
Starring the blunt, old-school Thatcher and the younger tech-savvy Dokkaebi, the short goes to great lengths to expand on the operator personalities we only get a glimpse of in their buried in-game bios. It’s also incredibly well-animated and rendered with impressive realism that evokes the game. I loved hearing more of the operator voices usually limited to brief quips in-game.
Like Overwatch’s excellent animated shorts, “The Hammer and the Scalpel” helps players build a stronger sense of Siege’s world. The richer the world, the more a player can identify with its characters and enjoy Siege beyond only its tactical gameplay.
You also get to see Thatcher curb stomp a bunch of hooligans in a bar like a grittier “Manners Maketh Man” scene from Kingsman. The short introduces Harishva “Harry” Pandey, the new “Six” leader taking the reigns of Angela Bassett’s character seen in the game’s opening. The direction comes off as a fresh start for Siege’s storytelling ambitions, moving on from the ultra-serious tone of the game’s origins. Instead, the short’s message is hopeful and even a bit wholesome.
Ubisoft used this opportunity to announce Rainbow Six Universe, a team dedicated to telling more stories within the Siege lore. It’s not clear whether that means more animated shorts or expansions into other media, but “The Hammer and the Scalpel” makes an amazing first impression.
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