Rainbow Six Patriots The Forgotten Game

We check out what Patriots could have been, snippets of rare images and why it was ultimately canceled in our latest feature.

After the Vegas 2 was released in 2008 it took 3 years until we heard of a new Rainbow Six in 2011. Ubisoft was forced to officially announce the game following a “leak” of some target gameplay, stating a 2013 release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. This was not actual gameplay, but a pre-render concept footage of how they visioned the game would look and feel created in 2010. In an interview with IGN, someone within the studio claimed the title started as a turn-based tactics game prototype. And later on it was about robots, with enemies hacking into machines that fought team Rainbow.

The game would be made by the Montreal team with support from the Toronto and Redstorm studios. Heading the development was Creative Director David Spears from the SOCOM franchise, Richard Rouse III and lead designer Philippe Therien and  animation director Brent George. These key members would also later be removed from the project for unknown reasons in early 2012. At E3 2013 Ubisoft said they were still on track for a 2013 release of Patriots despite not showcasing it at all. They also stated that it will be released latest gen of platforms. The only trailer released was a short CGI trailer at the VGA’s in 2011.

In-game capture taken from a monitor

In-game capture from a monitor

In this iteration of Rainbow Six, the team leader is called James Wolfe, a former Navy Seal. The events in Patriots takes place in New York City and focused on a homegrown American terrorist group called the  “True Patriots”.  Their goal is to create an economic instability by going after wealthy business people. The organization is lead by Jonah Treadway who is tired of Wall Street and recruits ex-veterans to create a volatile revolt.

Ubisoft promised the most narrative story yet with tasking the player with moral and ethical choices. The developers said this would be the first Rainbow Six game where the collateral damage would not be an instant fail. Civilian lives were expected to be lost based on the players choices.

Mission overview

Mission overview



A lot of missions were already planned

The press release promised a story with ultra-realistic choices with consequences for the story with multiple perspectives for players on several events. The game also promised a very detailed squad management for your teammate AI. They would be fully tailored and adapt depending on their equipment and environment. It would take the system from Vegas and push it even further with more options and AI that adapts to the situation.

The developers were also contemplating adding in dismemberment according to David Sears, a first for Rainbow Six. The hit point registration would be very detailed with head, neck, body, arm, legs and even crotch shots having their own animations when hit. The player would also react different depending on where he was hit.

They also expanded on the rappelling system from Vegas, promising new rappelling and breach mechanics. This included fast rope rappel, inverted “Aussie style rappel”, infiltrate and subdue and wall and ceiling breach. These new and enhanced would later be refined and be the main focus point on Rainbow Six Siege.


Cover system being displayed

Ubisoft focused on team play and players would be rewarded to play as a team. They would also have enhanced communication and tactical execution between teammates.


Concept art of the “Sandtable” hologram

There was no mention of the planning phase, but they did tease a virtual sand table hologram where players could plan their strategy before entering the battlefield. You could invite your friends in a private game and explore the multiplayer map. The game would also highlight important aspects of the map like doors, ladders and objectives. The players could also drop markers in the map for teammates. The paths in the map would also be augmented with virtual reality that only your team could see for new players.

Rappeling was a key feature

Rappelling was a key feature in Patriots

Ubisoft also implemented a commander and follower mechanic, where players could make a squad and have a commander who is ranked high to issue orders to his fellow squad mates.   Little was known about the maps, but we assume most of them take place in New York City and surrounding areas. Ubisoft released 1 screenshot that reminded us of the classic Chalet map from Rogue Spear. Siege devs recently confirmed that the chalet map will return in Siege.


Chalet returns



Patriots poster spotted at Ubisoft Kiev

3 spawning mechanics was planned:

– Base camp: First spawn you start in the game world with no danger posed to the player.
– Combat zone: A safe location in the map, but it could be under attack by enemy players.
– Spawn on teammate: If the player is not under fire, you could spawn directly on a teammate.


The menu for Patriots

Why was it canceled:
The main point of Patriots cancelation was the shift from old-gen to the new generation of consoles. With key members being dismissed earlier in development, rumored issues with the Anvil engine, not being good enough on the older hardware and it being the first shooter on the Anvil engine. The devs gambled on Anvil Engine since Unreal Engine was not an option and struggled with it. Players also received a disconcerting message when Gamestop in early May 2013 removed Patriots from their database and canceling pre-orders. Rock, Paper Shotgun interviewed technical artist Oliver Couture at e3 2014 when Siege was announced. Oliver worked on the project for 3 and half years said the following:

“To be completely transparent, I worked on Patriots – on Rainbow Six for three-and-a-half years – and Patriots was old-gen. Xbox 360 and PS3. Next-gen consoles were just around the corner, and we were like, ‘OK, we want to also have a next-gen experience. What can we do for that?’ We were trying stuff out with destruction technology, and we realized destruction really changes the game. We tried to see how it could fit with old-gen, but it just didn’t work out. So for us it was just a better solution to clean the slate, reset, and make what’s best for the players.”

Sadly we won’t experience the promising story of Patriots, but it did pave the way for the refined mechanics such as destruction and rappelling in Siege. Are you sad or happy that Patriots never got completed? Let us know in the forums.

Author: Deosl

Rainbow Six veteran since 1999. Former competitive player and e-sport admin for Raven Shield on clanbase.com. Writer for AGR-S.com since 2005.

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