After the hot Operation Ember Rise update, Ubisoft looks to cool down Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege with the final Operation on the 2019 content roadmap and the final Operation of year 4. The aptly named Shifting Tides looks to shift and change things up, introducing two new unique Operators that are certain to make a splash in both competitive and casual play. Joining the new Operators is the long-anticipated rework of the Hong Kong-based map, Theme Park.
Kali – New Attacker
- Speed: 2
- Armour: 2
- Device: Low Velocity (LV) Explosive Lance
- CSRX 300
- C-75 AUTO
- P226 MK-25
- Breaching Charge
The newest attacker to join Rainbow 6 is Kali an Indian born sniper who leads a private military contractor service and has now joined the ranks of Rainbow 6 counter-terrorism unit. Kali is one of the most exciting attackers to join the game recently as she brings Rainbow Six’s first-ever bolt-action sniper rifle with her, and let me tell you, it packs a hell of a punch. This custom-designed CSRX 300 rifle is able to penetrate through multiple soft walls with a single shot, as well as multiple unfortunate defending operators who get in Kali’s sights. As you can imagine, a headshot with this rifle is an instant kill, but also a body shot is also a confirmed down, meaning the margin for error peaking against a Kali is incredibly slim. Kali’s rifle scope also has a 12x zoom option, making her undoubtedly the most dangerous Operator at long distance in all of Seige.
Besides its immense stopping power and lethality, Kali’s custom rifle also provides excellent utility with the under-barrel attachment the LV (Low Velocity) Explosive Lance which fire a penetrating round that destroys all gadgets on both sides of breakable and reinforced surfaces, within a set radius. This means she works as a great replacement for an Operator like Thatcher (the first to really contend for the long-standing attacker’s spot), as she is able to take out nearby gadgets like Bandits car battery booby traps or any other device behind a protective barrier.
Her huge bolt action sniper rifle puts enormous holes through drywall and enemy defending operators alike. Though the downside of her weapon would be that its bolt action, I actually found her fire rate to be quiet forgiving. At one point during my hands-on with Kali I was able to relatively quickly fire multiple rounds through a wall and down a corridor, taking out 3 defending operators before I was stopped. Needless to say, it was super satisfying, and the highlight reel kill potential for Kali is something I’m looking forward to in competitive play.
Wamai – Defender
- Speed: 2
- Armour: 2
- Device: Magnetic Neutralising Electronic Targeting System – MagNET
- AUG A2
- RHINO D-40
- Barbed Wire
- Deployable Shield
On the defending side of Operation Shifting Tides is Wamai, a Kenyan private military contractor that works alongside Kali. Wamai fills your classic anchor defender operator tole, offering up Rainbow 6’s first real alternative to fan favourite Jager, who has long been a staple defender in competitive and casual play alike.
Like Jager, Wamai can place throwable devices on surfaces that intercept incoming ordinance, throwables and some projectiles, but with a very key difference. Unlike Jager, who neutralises incoming threats by destroying them with his ADS device, Wamui’s MagNET’s attract and magnetise projectiles, redirecting them and deciding their place of activation, distorting them rather than destroying them.
A prime example of how this can be utilised and its effectiveness is how Wamui’s device interacts with characters like Capitão. Say Capitão wants to fire a flame bolt into a room, clearing it our or creating a zone that defenders have to avoid. Wamui’s MagNET can actually catch the bolt mid-air, redirect it and have it detonate in the entrance where Capitão fired through and intended to breach, meaning he can no longer walk through without being burned himself. This is just a simple example of the device’s potential, and in the right hands of a highly skilled player, I’m certain the MagNET devices are going to make for some high-level tactical plays.
Also, another glaring difference between the two operators is that Wamai starts each round with just a single MagNET device and generates an infinite amount throughout the round just like Lesion with his Gu devices. This means that Wamai gains utility and usefulness longer he manages to survive through the round, compared to Jager who can place all his devices out immediately at the beginning of each round. Only time will tell whether or not this difference establishes who is the better of the two operators in competitive play. Along with an interesting device, Wamai has access to some powerful weaponry like IQ’s AUG A2 and the MP5K, a weapon Mute mains will be all too familiar with.
The largest addition besides the new operators is the rework of Theme Park, a map that fans have wanted changed for some time now. Previously Theme Park had mixed reception, with areas players loved, like the downstairs drug lab, but areas that were nearly universally disliked, like the odd train car area upstairs and the dark rooms that shot off from the corridor on the eastern side of the map. Now the rework sees not only a more understandable and enjoyable map but a more thematic one, with the interior now decorated in traditional Chinese statues, iconography and colours.
The upstairs is nearly completely revamped, with much clearer lines of sight and more understandable pathing for both teams. The largest changes come to the twin staircases and the previously mentioned train car corridor, which no longer exists. Instead, a more traditional corridor leads into several rooms (some of which act as sites for the bomb) that have multiple points of entry. The main entrance has also been moved, with arcade machines now blocking access to it. Ubisoft has also reworked the lighting of the map. No longer is it incredibly drab and dark, but instead much more visible throughout. Now, the main entrance has flipped and can now be found on the other side of the map. From the few hours I played, I can tell you now it’s a huge improvement on the previous rendition of the map with a much more forgiving layout that’s a lot more fun to play around with a mix of larger open rooms and dangerous chokepoints throughout.
Besides the reworked map, Shifting Tides also looks to make smaller-scale changes to the game such as a new bullet hit detection system. In Rainbow 6 characters have an animation when they are flash banged, raising their hand in front of their blinded eyes. Previously this would actually mean a well-aimed shot would be soaked by the character models hand. This will no longer be the scale, with bullets passing through hands now and straight into the head of the target. As well as in-game changes You’ll also find changes outside in the main menu, such as ‘casual’ play mode being renamed to ‘quickplay’, possibly attempting to strip the stigma of the mode being for more casual competitors.
Shifting Tides looks to mix things up and put a positive full stop on a huge year four for Rainbow 6 siege, and if this Operation is anything to go by, year 5 will be a lot to look forward to. For more information of Rainbow 6 siege future content and competitive scene, stay tuned to Respawn Ninja.
Images provided by Ubisoft