'Rainbow Six Siege' has been a smash success for Ubisoft, overcoming a difficult launch period to become one of the biggest video games in the world - now it's getting a spin-off in the form of 'Rainbow Six Extraction'.

Just before Christmas, we were given the chance to have a 4-hour long hands-on demo with the game and our impressions of the game were solid.

'Extraction' is a spin-off of 'Siege' and returning players will feel right at home in the game, while also serving as a good jumping-on point for new players.

To call the game glorified DLC for 'Siege' is doing the game something of a disservice.

For one thing, DLC doesn't typically use a new game engine.

'Rainbow Six Extraction' uses an updated version of the Anvil engine that powered Ubisoft games in the 2010s, and the upgrade works well in 'Extraction'.

Players who like to destroy the map and open up new avenues will find plenty to smash and those who like to get up close and personal will find there's more emphasis on verticality and will be kept on their toes.

There were 3 difficulty levels available in the demo and the journalists were capped at level 10 for progress, which gave us more than enough time to get a feel for the game, and the results were stellar.

Like 'Siege' before it, communication is absolutely crucial in 'Extraction', and in the moments where you're relaying information to your teammates while fighting off another wave of enemies, the game sparkles.

During the demo there were very little latency issues, and perhaps most remarkably for a brand new video game, the game was able to maintain a solid framerate and graphical clarity on an off-the-shelf Dell laptop.

The games colour pallette is classic 'Rainbow Six', a lot of grey and black in industrial environments, but the enemy design is varied and interesting enough to keep players coming back time and time again.

The game is well-optimised, and those fearful of 'Rainbow Six Extraction' being a mere reskin of 'Siege' can rest easy.

A decent chunk of the community may take umbrage with the game using the 'Rainbow Six' name and would prefer if Ubisoft make a new 'Rainbow Six Vegas' game, but based on our playthrough, the franchise is in good hands.

If anything, this game feels like a test run for a 'Vegas' game, where co-ordination and communication are key - but more on that later.

'Rainbow Six Extraction' feels more like its own thing, and there's enough variety to justify calling this a full game.

The game being made available on GamePass is also a sign that Ubisoft wants the game to be made available to as wide an audience as possible and can make their money back through DLC.

If Ubisoft weren't confident in the game, they wouldn't have demoed it for journalists and certainly wouldn't be as open and transparent with journalists and fans of the game as they are.

Suit Up: The moments in the airlocks are brief pauses before getting back into action

As stated, there were three levels available for demo purposes, with the first map taking place on Liberty Island.

By our own admission, the game kicked our arse starting out, but to the game's credit, it's entirely fair.

You must unlearn a lot of modern FPS habits to play 'Extraction' but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Health doesn't regenerate automatically, and knowing where the pickups are located is key to survival.

Like 'Siege' before it, levelling up characters is also a well-thought-out and fleshed out experience, adding a bit of an RPG element to the game which is always welcome.

The very best FPS' are ones based on tension, and 'Extraction' delivers that in spades.

In the course of the demo, there was an abundance of variety with objectives, with the highlights for us being extracting a fallen Operative and extracting a monster to the extraction zone.

Like 'Siege' before it, players pick their favourite Operative to bring into battle, and in a fun twist, when an Operative falls in action it is kidnapped by the monsters.

The game encourages you to mess around and play as the Operative that best suits your playstyle, but when your favourite level 8 character goes down in the field, you form an 'Xcom' style attachment to them and you become desperate to get them back.

What ensues is a 'Mission Impossible' style field excursion to get the Operative back, and communication becomes crucial.

The Operative is trapped in an alien web, connected by veins in a Cronenbergian display of body horror.

One player must focus on extracting the Operative and the other two players must focus on shooting the pulses as they travel down the veins while holding off the enemy.

It's tricky, tense, and above all, fun.

There were two failed attempts before successfully extracting an Operative and when we pulled it off, the sense of satisfaction was second to none.

Communication was a key part of the success, with myself and the other journalist tasked with shooting the veins communicating through Discord and keeping the journalist who was extracting the Operative in the loop.

Teamwork and communication is crucial to survival in 'Rainbow Six: Extraction'

In its best moments, 'Extraction' evokes 'Left4Dead', and this is most apparent when you're attempting to lure an enemy to the extraction zone.

One player serves as the bait, the other player keeps the pressure on with suppressing fire, and the third holds off the remaining enemies.

In these tense, tight moments, the game is a class apart from its contemporaries.

One level set in a New York police station saw an enemy chase the Operative we nominated to be the lure up a flight of stairs and backed him into a corner.

We had to track him down and get him off our teammates back, and still get to the extraction zone.

Another level took place in a San Francisco factory, and bursting through a wall like the Kool-Aid Man when our teammate was in trouble was singularly satisfying and cathartic.

These unscripted, organic moments are the bread and butter of any good FPS, and 'Extraction' nails it.

Over the course of the demo, every encounter or mission felt fresh, which is a given when you have a 4-hour playtime, but from what we've played there is enough variety and freshness to keep players coming back just like 'Siege'.

The game is due for release on January 20th and based on our time with the game, Ubisoft has another hit on its hands.

It's too early to tell if it will be as successful as 'Siege', but 'Extraction' does enough things differently to warrant a purchase.

It exists in the playground and world of 'Siege' but 'Extraction' is very much its own game.

2022 is shaping up to be a big year for games, and 'Extraction' is poised to be the crowd-pleasing curtain-raiser.