We saw a few seconds of leaked Rainbow Six Parasite footage last month. Now, we've got slightly more. A streamer who seems to have had trouble reading the NDA has broadcast over an hour of gameplay from the current technical test to Facebook.
The footage is all tutorial, but it shows that the basics of Rainbow Six Siege gunplay and tools are present, including drones, barricades, and destructible walls, as well as six of its operators: Alibi, Lion, Vigil, Ela, Finka, and Tachanka.
The enemies are called archaeans, which in reality are single-celled organisms able to survive in extreme environments, like hydrothermal vents. In Rainbow Six Parasite, archaeans are blue-green aliens with blades for arms and heads that glow when they're alerted. At least, that seems to be the basic enemy, though there's a variety of subtypes.
Each mission is an intel-gathering expedition, with opportunities to gather tissue samples by performing stealth takedowns and planting autotrackers on alien nests. If those nests are alerted they spawn enemies as well as a black goo called biofilm that slows movement. Destroyed archaeans also spread biofilm.
After gathering intel points in a given sub-zone players pass through an airlock to the next one, kind of like going through a safe room in Left 4 Dead. Each sub-zone has more intel and more danger than the one before, and players will have to decide when they've scored enough intel and want to leave via an extraction point.
Operators who don't make it to the extraction point, or get left behind when an airlock closes, can be rescued later—again, like Left 4 Dead. Here they have to be freed from an archaean tree, a mass of biofilm that webs itself to an area and has to be weakened by shooting its glowing anchor points and cells before the operator can be hauled free and carried to an extraction point.
When it was a co-op PvE mode called Outbreak added to Rainbow Six Siege in 2018 it was a fun surprise, but as a standalone game Parasite comes with higher expectations, and will have to compete for attention with all the other co-op shooters around. A fair bit of what's in this footage is clearly placeholder, like the text-to-speech voiceovers and I suspect the pillarizing effect when archaeans are killed, but even so it's tough to see what the final version can offer that other co-op games don't—beyond perhaps a familiar brand. Maybe that's enough.