When I first played Rainbow Six Siege around release, it seemed like the type of game that would die on the vine. It has unique shooter mechanics and a dedication to hardcore tactics that is antithetical to the traditional wide appeal FPS mainstays. Thankfully, it found an audience and widespread popularity, leading to a string of updates and expansions that continues into this year. Success like that in an untapped space is bound to breathe new life into a dying genre, and games like Due Process are the fruits of that AAA labor.
Of course, that could be simplifying the situation just a bit. Due Process started life more than half a decade ago when all we had to go on was the original debut trailer of Tom Clancy's wall breeching simulator. The graphics have come a long way since those early days, but the core gameplay seems to have made it through the development process in one piece. Two teams are placed on a procedurally generated map and given time to plan out their strategy. One team are trying to enforce the law and disarm a bomb that the opposing team of ne'er do-wells has deployed. Guns have lethal efficiency, and you sit out the round once you die. Simple, yet oh so satisfying.
Besides the stunning visual design of the game's voxel graphics, what really makes it stand out from the pack is how it deals with the planning stage of each round. Your team is given a map of the situation and the ability to freely draw on it and call out strategies like John Madden on game day. You can mark paths to where you think your opponents will breach the building, circle windows that give a line of sight or start up a game of tic-tac-toe in the corner. Whatever you end up doing, your doodles will remain on the field as you switch to first-person, which allows even the most tactically ignorant of your teammates to follow along with the plan.
Another feature that stands out is the way that Due Process handles its arsenal. Players are given access to the full set of shotguns and riot shields from the start, but they're all one-use items that never respawn. If you grab all the smoke grenades to flush out your enemies in one round, you'll have to without for the remainder of the match. This works to both encourage players to get good with everything the game has to offer and reward skilled veterans who can identify what their opponents have left in the final round.
As far as the gameplay goes, Due Process feels right. Shooting is accurate, but not punishing. The guns themselves are a wide assortment of weapons with playful names and descriptions that let you know exactly what they're about. Some of the rarer power weapons even bring the combat into the realm of the ridiculous, with my favorite being a shopping cart/machine gun hybrid that players can creep along with while shooting.
Although testing on Xbox has been done according to the devs, the game is officially PC only and lacks any form of controller support. As for a release, the team wants to avoid the hazards of multiplayer only games launching on Early Access to dead servers and frustrated fans. Therefore, the game will be out when it's fully complete, which won't be a while if some of the minor glitches I saw during my run was any indication. Even if it will be a long wait, Due Process is one to look out for if you're looking for a fresh take on hardcore tactics.
Due Process was demoed at PAX South 2018 in the Giant Enemy Crab booth with two full 5v5 matches.