I’m in not-so-sunny Montreal (it’s snowing) right now which, apart from the climate shock of coming from the incredibly sunny Sydney, is all kinds of awesome because I’m here as part of a celebration of one of my favourite shooters of all time: Rainbow Six Siege. The Six Invitational, a fancy name for the Rainbow Six Siege world cup, is underway right now. And as part of watching the best in the world battle it out, I’ve also had a chance to go hands-on with Operation Chimera: the latest DLC drop and first major update for the third year of content.
That’s a massive achievement for a game which, at launch, wasn’t in the best shape (and Ubisoft Montreal devs are more than willing to admit this). Here are eight things I learnt about Rainbow Six Siege’s Operation Chimera from my hands-on time with it.
Zero new defenders
Operation Chimera has two attackers. And that’s it. Unlike the year two of Rainbow Six Siege content, where Operation Health meant certain DLC drops had three operators. In a meta that’s currently favouring attackers, adding two new attackers to the mix is an interesting choice (to say the least).
No new map
There’s no new map coming with Operation Chimera. The formula at Ubisoft Montreal seems to be if there isn’t a new map there’s something else, and this first year three DLC drop is the Outbreak co-op mode.
Stay tuned for Outbreak info
I can’t talk about it right now because I’m on embargo but keep an eye on the website for my full Outbreak thoughts… soon. On top of that, I’ll be able to talk about what I’ve heard for the rest of the year three content. What I can tell you about Outbreak is what you can already find on the official website: it’s a three-player (yes, three) co-op mode.
This new operator feels overpowered. Both new attacking operators, Lion and Finka, use global abilities, which is a first for Rainbow Six Siege. All other operators have localised abilities, and these new globals are a pretty big game-changer. Case in point: Lion. His signature device is the EE-One-D, which spots moving defenders. Through walls. Yeah. Defenders are given a three-second countdown when they’re about to be scanned by Lion’s ability. After that, though, you can’t move forward, back, sideways, or vertically (crouch/prone) or your avatar outline will show up through the wall.
When I played, defenders learnt to not move, but that grants attackers around four seconds to move in on still defenders. Also, and this happened to me when I was playing, if the attackers pop it after they’ve planted the bomb defuser, they have a huge advantage against defenders moving back to destroy the defuser. Expect an outcry and an Ubisoft nerf/solution because it’s incredibly easy to wall-bang outlined enemies through penetrable surfaces without much recourse.
Mute counters Lion… kinda
The big counter for Lion is Mute. If you’re near one of Mute’s Signal Disruptor gadgets, you can move without being spotted. The movement range is limited to the range of the Disruptor, so it’s not a permanent solution over long distances. What I started doing, though, was keeping one jammer in reserve to drop it during the three-second warning window and move between firing positions (or peek without being spotted). The lax attacker expecting to see your outline might cockily overcommit and you can score an easy kill.
Finka seems more situational
But her global ability is still really, really helpful. Finka has a Doc-like boost ability with three uses. When she pops it, it affects every living attacker, offering them a temporary healthy and accuracy boost. More importantly, she can instantly revive attackers from a dead-but-not-out (DBNO) state. You only come back with 25 health, but considering reviving a teammate is usually always a risk, this is a powerful ability that can be used without even needing to be near the DBNO player. The thing is, even in casual matches, players are rarely DBNO at all or for long, so she can feel a bit unnecessary. That said, when you’re the one being revived from DBNO state, it’s awesome. Just make sure that if you’re the one playing as Finka, you let the DBNO player they’re about to be revived (it revives you very quickly and unexpectedly).
Finka has more counters than Lion
There are some interesting risk/reward mechanics at play with Finka’s buff for attackers. When Finka’s ability is active, attackers take more damage from Smoke’s gas. Lesion and Echo’s gadgets both put an immediate end to Finka’s boost whenever a dosed attacker walks into a Lesion mine or is tagged by Echo’s drone. Expect to see even more of these two popular defenders when Finka enters the rotation.
Lion and Finka are both two-speed, two-armour attackers. This means they’re not designed for aggressive pushes, nor are they so slow that they’re best left hanging back (or with support). Couple this with their global abilities and, well, you’ve got options. Ideally, you want them alive for as long as possible, especially Lion. His ability to make defenders freeze for a few seconds is handy, especially when the defuser is down and defenders are moving to retake the site. Every second counts. Finka, meanwhile, can offer a health/accuracy boost and revive downed teammates, so she’s handy to keep alive for as long as possible.
That’s it for now! If there’s anything you’d like to know about Chimera, that doesn’t have to do with Outbreak, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to let you know more. Season pass holders will have access to Lion and Finka from 6 March and they’ll be available for in-game purchase one-week later.
My flights, meals, and accommodation were paid for by Ubisoft.