Rainbow Six: Siege was launched back in 2015, and since the first year of post-launch support in 2016 we have been receiving more and more content to bolster what the tactical shooter has to offer. Operations are a big part of this - content drops and large updates every three months that freshen things up a bit as part of a season - and as the first season of the fourth year looms we got an early taste of Operation Burnt Horizon that's landing as part of this.
The first thing you should know about is the map, which is called Outback (like the steakhouse). As you might have seen from the map trailer down below, parts of it resemble Clubhouse, especially when you look at the areas like the garage that afford those upstairs a good look at what's going on down below. The aesthetic as a whole is rather familiar when compared to this older map, but there are a few fun features that really give this its own flavour, like a shark hanging from the ceiling and a mechanical bull no less.
Despite only having a brief capture session on the map, we saw the same level of complexity and depth that we've come to expect from Ubisoft. Plenty of entry points litter the walls, and the L-shaped building has three distinct areas - garage, restaurant, and motel - all separated with different colour themes. This, coupled with the fact that there are a lot of distinct landmarks, makes everything more accessible in terms of navigation and callouts.
Then we get to the Operators. Gridlock is the attacking Operator that we've got to work with this time around, and she provides a great way to manage space. This is because - much like barbed wire does for defenders - she can deploy a device that spews out circles of stingers that cover the floor, and a large area at that. These harm and slow enemies that step on them, and since they make noise when trodden on it's also a great way to keep tabs on an area as well as protect it.
That's also because defenders will need to make noise to destroy them. The stingers and the deployment device itself might be weak, but melee attacks or gunfire will give you away. When you consider Gridlock is a three armour, one speed Operator with breach and smoke too, this is a great way to control the battlefield and make sure you have particular areas covered.
Mozzie is the defender with this Operation, again bringing something rather interesting to the table. Up until now drones have been relatively safe from harm in the game, but Mozzie has three 'pests' in each round that he can either fire onto a drone directly or set as a trap to attach to drones, taking them into his control. This means more cameras, although you can't go outside with the captured drones - that'd be too easy.
Twitch drones can also be hacked, and while Dokkaebi can still hack the cameras and recapture the drone's footage, the device will still be under Mozzie's control. All members of Mozzie's team can see the camera and get an indicator of which drone not to shoot, but the attackers will have to look for the telltale blue light on the drone in question. After you've found your enemies, you can send this two armour two-speed Operator out on the hunt with either barbed wire or a nitro cell in hand.
How do these two play in practice though? Well, suffice to say the new recon opportunities afforded by Mozzie are pretty useful, as with three extra cameras you can scope out the area without putting yourself in harm's way. Much like defenders have had to deal with for so long, it also gives another camera that's rather hard to find and shoot, and is another extra element for attackers to consider before sending their drones in carelessly.
Gridlock's benefit is harder to gauge straight away, as her effects aren't quite so stark as Mozzie's. That said, the area of ground that each stinger device can cover is huge, so it's great for making choke points that bit more unappealing for defenders, and mixes things up a little. After all, defenders aren't used to having traps to deal with, and it's also a good way for the attacking team to flush enemies out in a room or detect them as they shoot an incoming stinger device. It's even better when you want to hold down a defuser and make it harder for defenders to push back and retake a point.
Our taste of Burnt Horizon was admittedly brief, but we already see the potential both Operators have to turn the tables on the enemies. Mozzie can give attackers a taste of their own medicine with his captured drones, while Gridlock brings the traps to defenders, and it's a good way to keep things fresh. The map itself isn't pushing boundaries, but we're not complaining as it's simple but with creative touches that give it flavour. Year 4 is already looking good with this trip down under, and we can't wait to see what else is coming, including a Danish Operator Alex Remy is particularly excited to show us.