The operations took place under the bridge, and while some proved to be forgettable and forgotten, others gradually broadened the focus of the game, making Siege the shooter of today. If you’ve ever wondered how the title got to this point on its way while still retaining a very large player base, the answer we give you in this article is thanks to DLC like How steel waves work, the new additional content of Rainbow Six Siege which introduces two new operators in addition to the overhaul of Casa, the famous map that Ubisoft chose to present the game to the world, during a remote E3 6 years ago.
Due to the Covid emergency, we were unable to reach the development team to thoroughly review the content for the new season, but the Transalpine publisher quickly ran for cover, allowing us to preview. Rainbow Six Siege test servers and try out all the news from Operation Steel Wave, which is plentiful and has a real chance to influence the game’s balance. We are convinced because Ace and Melusi, the new operators of this season, both have prominent roles within their respective teams and benefit from skills that seem to have a significant impact on the balance of the game.
Ace, the new striker, is the one that immediately caught our curiosity, since the gadget in his possession places him in direct competition with two other giants of the Rainbow team, Thermite and Hibana. Yes, Ace is part of that very tight circle of characters who can break through walls reinforced by large-scale defenders, providing their companions with openings to access the structure and attack opponents’ positions. The new Norwegian operator succeeds in this task thanks to his SELMA Aqua Breacher, which works very differently from the explosive charges of his colleagues.
Unlike other gadgets, in fact, Ace does not cause a real explosion but uses pellets driven by high hydraulic pressure to open three different holes, all similar in shape and size to what Hibana inflicts with his X-KAIROS. . SELMA, however, is a single, sequentially operating device made up of three separate blasts that follow each other in ten seconds, a large interval of time that operators such as Mute, Bandit and Kaid can take advantage of. to place their devices.
The advantages and disadvantages of SELMA are strongly correlated with the sequence of explosions, which while on the one hand offers the defenders the possibility to prepare properly, on the other hand it allows the operator to launch his gadget and to stand. hide to enter a safe distance. Ace has a total of three charges that he can use not only to destroy walls, but also to tear down hatches and take out any enemy accessories within range, a factor that greatly increases the Norwegian’s playability.
Of course, the SELMA lends its side to all of those defensive skills aimed at limiting the use of Burglary Charges: Kaid’s Bandit Batteries and Electric Claws, with their electric effects applied to reinforced walls, instantly destroy the Gadget. Ace and can be deployed without the risk of being killed by explosions, which being hydraulic do not harm any enemies near the wall.
Rather, Mute’s Jammer interrupts the streak as long as it remains active, it follows that the new Operator’s best friend is none other than Thatcher, the British veteran of Team Rainbow who disables electronic devices with the EMP grenade. . Finally, devices from Jaeger and Wamai also neutralize SELMA, in the event of a launch across their entire range.
On the equipment side, the new expansion does not introduce any new element in the Rainbow Six Siege armory either, with operators who must necessarily borrow the load of other characters. Oddly enough, Ace uses an Eastern Bloc weapon, the AK12 of the Spetsnaz Group, as a neat assault rifle, which, however, can mount all Western sights and in particular ACOG, a sight highly regarded by gamers. of siege. The rest of the arsenal consists of the M1014 rifle, the P9 pistol, explosive charges and smoke grenades, excellent for covering the movements of the Norwegian while the SELMA is in action.
Looking ahead, Ace’s gadget doesn’t seem to prevail in terms of efficiency over charges from Thermite and Hibana, not only because its particular operation exposes it to a long series of counters, but mostly because a defender could exploit the progressive destruction of the wall to surprise the attackers outside.
However, the new Choose and Ban mechanic required the addition of a new frontline character, able to break through armored surfaces and bring a breath of fresh air into the dynamics of hardbreaching, so we cannot welcome the introduction by Ace as a necessary and welcome innovation, which inevitably ends in improving the quality of the Steel Wave operation.
On the other side of the barricade, we find Melusi, the new South African defense operator who, with his sonic Banshee defense, will prove to be a real thorn in the side of the attackers. Thandiwe “Melusi” Ndlovu’s unique ability, at least initially, did not make us cry for the revolution. Game after game, however, we realized how many potential applications the Banshee had, a bulletproof electronic device that drastically slows down the movement of any opponent entering its range.
The gadget, which has a radius of six meters, activates the instant an attacker within range enters its field of view and at that moment begins to emit ultrasound, slowing down and annoying the opponent. The device is not even easy to backfill, as it can only be destroyed by the use of explosives or melee fire, forcing an enemy to be exposed to possible defender ambushes.
As is natural, the Banshee is all the more effective the better it is positioned, so it will be fundamental in the role of Melusi to identify during the preparation phase all the bottlenecks that the attackers will necessarily have to go. To achieve the objectives, place the Banshee in such a way that it cannot be easily reached by the melee of the attackers. The new Operator also has three points on speed and one on armor, so it’s perfect for quickly getting around an opponent slowed down by the gadget.
The only counters that slow down Melusi’s ability are all operators with long range explosives such as Ash, Zofia, and Kali, while Thatcher and Twitch can deactivate the Banshee, but only for a short time. Finka, on the other hand, can apply a movement speed buff to all team members, which can counter any effects of the slowing down for a few seconds.
The operator, on the contrary, coexists very well with those allies capable of inflicting state sanctions on the enemy like Smoke, Goyo or Lesion. In fact, imagine being poisoned, on fire, or under the influence of a poison grenade, and not being able to run for cover because of the Banshee’s ultrasound: in this case, Ndlovu’s device is not only incredibly boring, but also threatens to become life-threateningly dangerous.
As well as having a skill that seemed to be very effective, the new South African Operator doesn’t shy away from comparisons even when shooting, having access to one of the most valid weapons in the Rainbow Six Siege defensive roster. Melusi uses the T-5 SMG submachine gun, the same as Lesion’s, as a neat weapon, which can be replaced with Frost’s Super 90 rifle anyway. The equipment is completed by the 9mm MK1 pistol, bulletproof camera and portable shield, two accessories that are too static and do not perfectly match the idea we had of the role of this character in the field.
Melusi is, without a doubt, the most intriguing novelty introduced by Operation Steel Wave, not only because the Banshee seems to be really a gadget capable of influencing the balance of the game, but above all because its great mobility combined with the T-5 submachine gun will make the operator very popular with members of the Rainbow Six Siege community. The point is, the DLC not only introduces the two new characters, but even marks the return of a historical setting that has been missing for too long in the game’s rotations.
We’re obviously talking about Casa, one of the most popular cards among players who, after a major overhaul, is about to come back to play in the non-competitive playlists of the Ubisoft shooter. The goal of the developers was to make the setting much more open and free from anything that restricted movement inside, also providing new possibilities for rotation for defenders barricaded on the first floor of the building. All this, of course, without trying to alter the charm and atmosphere that have made Casa an iconic menu.
The task was not the easiest but it must be said that the result is exceptional. The entire first floor of the structure has been redesigned to provide much more flexibility for Defenders who, for example, can now safely move from the bathroom to the room under construction without having to leave the building.
The master bedroom is connected by a series of new rooms to the old children’s bedroom and among these we can find an unusual staircase, which leads to the ground floor in the kitchen area. The basement is the floor that seems to have come out unscathed from the work, without much difference: the garage now has only one destructible entrance, and is therefore much more defensible than in the past.
But that’s not all, as Operation Steel Wind brings many other innovations, including new accessories, new customizations, and new scales for Rainbow Six Siege operators. The gadget making its debut this season is the Proximity Alarm, a small, discreet device that goes off when an attacker enters its range. As in the case of the Banshee, the alarm also needs eye contact with the opponent and therefore cannot work through walls, but when activated it issues a warning that stands out even at great distance.
As part of the operator changes, the protagonist of Operation Steel Wind is Amaru, who was a bit too predictable when he used the Hook Garra. As a result, the character was given a decent buff which now allows him to be much faster using his gadget, and also to go through unreinforced hatches from below without having to destroy them first. Finally, with this DLC, Ubisoft will present the skins for weapon accessories, which will initially be available in three variations for free to all Rainbow Six Siege players.
In short, Operation Steel Wind is truly a DLC like they haven’t seen in a long time, and it’s the best answer for anyone still wondering how Rainbow Six Siege continues to break through the numbers.
Admittedly, the dev team hasn’t always managed to present characters that can defeat the purpose of the game, but when it does, the whole community is again caught in the hands of a burning passion that made Siege, in the end, a true genre of cult shooter.