Ubisoft has kept good on their promise of delivering us more details on Operation Burnt Horizon, the upcoming update for Rainbow Six: Siege that will kick off Year 4.
We already knew that the game was getting two new Operators known as Gridlock and Mozzie, but now we’ve been given a more detailed look at how each of them can be utilized in matches. Gridlock is an Attacker who makes use of her Trax Stingers as a form of “area denial” – throwing her Trax Stingers on the ground causes it to deploy a cluster of spikes in a radial pattern that both damage and slow down any Defender who dare attempt to walk over them. It’s a gadget that would, on first look, seem much more suited to a Defender, but inventive Attackers will be able to use the Trax Stingers to defend a planted defuser or even flush a camping defender out of their room of hiding, as well as its more obvious use of deploying it to cut off staircases and hallways. Jäger’s ADS gadget doesn’t affect Gridlock’s Trax Stingers, but Defenders can destroy them with bullets, explosives, or melee attacks, at the obvious cost of making some noise and giving away their position. Aside from her Trax Stingers, Gridlock will wield an F90 Assault Rifle and an M249 LMG.
Mozzie, meanwhile, is a Defender who wreaks havoc by hacking the Attacking team’s drones (including Twitch drones) with his trusty Pest Launcher. Each time Mozzie hacks a drone and adds it to his fleet he can control it fully, allowing him to drive, jump, use shock charges, tag enemies, and park it up in “sneaky spots”. He can’t pick them up though, and driving one outside for more than a couple of seconds will cause him to lose the drone. Each drone in Mozzie’s possession (and in play) will be viewable on the Defender camera feed, so they can be an important piece of surveillance equipment. To hack a drone, Mozzie can either shoot a Pest directly on to a drone—which is easier said than done, but Mute can help to keep a drone still—or shoot a Pest onto a surface, as it will pounce on to any drone that gets close. Hacked drones are indicated to Defenders by a glowing outline around them, while Attackers will see a blue light on the drone that indicates that it has been hacked and needs destroying. Attackers can get access to the camera feed of a hacked drone with a Dokkaebi hack but, importantly, they will not regain control of the drone. Attackers will get a red warning light in their drone view to let them know that a Pest is nearby, so they can be avoided, but they will act as another pain in the arse and a distraction for Attackers to have to deal with. On the weapon side of things, Mozzie will be equipped with a P10 Roni automatic pistol and a Commando 9 assault rifle.
Sticking with the Australian theme of the update, Operation Burnt Horizon will also introduce a new map called Outback, a “roadhouse in the middle of the sun-burnt country, where travellers rest and refuel before venturing out into the bush” (stop laughing). Outback will feature three main areas that are connected in an L shape, and each building will be accented in it’s own colours to make them easily identifiable and feature distinct landmarks, such as a stuffed shark, to assist with callouts.
Ubisoft has released a pretty in-depth video to show both of the new Operators (and how to play them) and the new map, check it out below:
Outback will be releasing free to all players on the day that the Operation Burnt Horizon update goes live, and players who own the Year 4 Pass will also get immediate access to Gridlock and Mozzie. All other players will have to wait a week before they can get their hands on the new Operators.
Operation Burnt Horizon doesn’t currently have a full release date, but it’s available on the Test Servers right now.
Looking further ahead, Ubisoft is also planning some other big things throughout the games fourth year. First of all, the development team is being split into a number of cells that are dedicated to working on different aspects of the game, such as operators, maps, events, and balance. There’s a team currently working on player behaviour and toxicity in the game, and there’s an upcoming feature that will address the issue of team killing. When Season 1 of Year 4 begins, friendly fire will be reversed, meaning that any players who attack their own team will take the damage themselves.
Ranked play is also coming out of beta, and the Pick and Ban game mode will be the primary match type in the competitive playlist. A ranked hub is also coming, giving players access to information like their stats for the current and previous seasons and details on which maps are being rotated in an out of the pool. There’s also going to be a Newcomer Playlist, which is designed for, well, newcomers. This playlist will only be available for players up to Level 50, and will limit players to a bomb-only game mode on a limited map pool of 3 maps. The Newcomer Playlist is designed as a way to ease players into the games competitive side with considerably less pressure than being thrown straight into a ranked match with veterans.
There will also be two new operators and a map rework with each season. Season 1 will launch with the Australian-themed Operation Burnt Horizon, while Season 2 will introduce two operators from Denmark and the US and rework the Kafe map, adding a bigger top floor, moving a bombsite and adding a new objective. Season 3 will add an operator from Peru and one from Mexico and rework the Kanal map by adding two new connectors and introducing an improved layout, and Season 4 will introduce operators from Kenya and India and rework the Theme Park map by simplifying the bottom floor and changing the Train Room and the double staircase, leading to a more streamlined layout.
Throughout Year 4 there will also be a greater emphasis on in-game events with Ubisoft promising one event per season, and there will be numerous balance changes and adjustments to numerous operators. You can read the Reddit post detailing the full roadmap for Year 4 here, but if you’re only focused on Year 4 Season 1 at the minute then you check out the Designer’s Notes for the changes that are coming with the Y4S1 patch here.
Rainbow Six: Siege is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.