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When Rainbow Six Siege was released, some people tried to foresee a short and painful future for this shooter. The opposite, however, happened.
I’m not a hardcore Siege player and there are many well-qualified gamers among my friends, who know every tiny bit about the game’s gameplay. And, for sure, I wasn’t among those who believed in the latest Rainbow Six from the start. But here I am, trying to spend my free time to play and understand the game for which I decided to buy a Year 2 season pass.
Rainbow Six Siege has a faithful group of active players, who appreciated the strategy and unending support from Ubisoft. The original game has been actively updated and expanded through the season pass. When it came to deciding if the sequel is needed, the community voted for further expanding of the current game. And that brings us to some impressive development milestones.
Siege is now a well-represented e-sport title and while people may pay for some useful shortcuts (quicker access to new Operators), everything except the base game is available for free. I’ve started playing the game last year, encouraged by a friend. The start of a “Second Year” was a good point to join the fight for real.
Year 2 starts with Velvet Shell expansion that adds the Coastline map and two Spanish Operators. At the same time, Siege’s user interface received a bit of a makeover. There’s some great UX work here – it’s cleaner and much simpler. But it still needs some additional work, especially if you think about the game in the context of Uplay (I’m playing on PC this time). There’s an easy example: when a team waits for the match to begin, you are able to press Alt + F2 to see the Uplay overlay. There you can check weekly bounties. But it’s impossible to see the daily ones and you have to visit the game’s main menu (daily challenges are a different system to weekly ones). That’s horrific.
But when we start our gameplay with the Velvet Shell additions, we can already see some nice touches. Starting with the Coastline map, I like the design decisions. Fortunately, it’s not as spacious and complicated map as Border or Favela. It’s much closer in scale to the fan-favourite House. Although a bit larger, the clear layout of the rooms and the relatively small spaces encourage quick and dynamic actions.
One of the Coastline’s interesting features is the patio, where defending Operators can move freely as well. It generates an adrenaline rush with a level of uncertainty for the attacking commandos. I like playing here as Twitch, with various ways to sneak up with my drone and annoy the opponents. In general, I believe it will be one of the most frequently chosen maps.
Two new Operators joined the Rainbow team this month – Jackal and Mira. The former supports the attacking team and his main skill is the ability to discover the defenders’ footprints. What is important is the fact that he is able to share that knowledge with the team – a skill that Pulse is still missing. He seems to be a perfect remedy for lone walkers like Caveira or Frost.
Mira is our window to the world. Ok, maybe not literally, but her special ability allows to create a Venetian window in a wall. It’s black and impenetrable for the attackers, but the defending team gets additional information on the enemy’s’ movements. There’s a can that you have to shoot to remove the glass – it’s a risky trick that leaves an open space for the opposing team, but it makes wonders when used with the almighty lord Tachanka and his ammo-spitting machinery.
Mira received a Vector .45 ACP Submachine Gun and a short shotgun ITA12S as a sidearm. She’s not a very agile Operator and because of that she is placed somewhere in the middle of the roster.
I found the start of Operation Velvet Shell a good entry point, even though I’m playing with much more experienced people. In the upcoming months we’ll see more maps, tournaments and most importantly Operators from Hong Kong, Poland and South Korea. It might be just a hunch, but I think it’s not the last time I’m writing about Rainbow Six Siege.