Hands-on with Rainbow Six Siege Operation Grim Sky

In just a few short weeks, Ubisoft will be unleashing their next season for Rainbow Six Siege called Operation Grim Sky. Aside from a bevy of tweaks and adjustments, Grim Sky also has a reworked Hereford Base, and 2 new operators: Clash (Defender) and¬†Maverick (Attacker). Ubisoft invited us recently for a taste of what Grim Sky has to offer, and I must say I can’t wait.

Hereford Base

First off is the rework of the classic map, Hereford Base. This old 4-floor SAS map has been home to some of the best matches I’ve ever experienced playing Rainbow Six Siege, so it was nice to see that they decided to do a rework of it. This is in a similar fashion to Year 3 Season 2’s Operation Para Bellum, where we were treated to a freshly redone Clubhouse map.

Unlike Clubhouse though, Hereford Base feels like an entirely brand-new map. Almost everything has been changed and updated to the point where you might as well forget all you once knew about Hereford. The teams at Ubisoft have spent countless hours adding in all new details, visuals, and whatever else to make you eyes salivate. To put it simply, the map is gorgeous. But that’s not all that’s changed.

Besides visual aesthetics, Ubisoft has listened to much feedback regarding the layout of the map. This has led to the addition of another staircase on the inside, the removal of a balcony, and many other physical changes. Playing through the map, it really felt more balanced than it ever was before. I think the hardest parts were just getting acclimated to the new surroundings. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this start to become integrated into competitive play more often as well.

New Operator: Clash (One-Speed Three-Armor Defender)

Clash hails from the mean streets of Britain as a Riot Police Officer, and is the first Defender ever to carry a shield. Now this is no ordinary shield either, as it has an electrocute ability that slows and damages enemies. This crowd-control ability will allow teammates to flank with her to neutralize the opposition, as well as stymieing overly-aggressive rushing Attackers. She carries either a pistol or a burst-fire dual-shot machine pistol.

Now unlike other shield operators on the Attacking side, Clash does not have the ability to melee. She can have her shield knocked away from a melee hit though (and Zofia’s concussion grenades), which will leave her partially exposed momentarily. Her shock charge can run out after use, so you’d have to wait for it to recharge. Thatcher can temporarily disable the shock ability with EMP grenades as well.

After playing a few rounds with her, it’s safe to say that she will be game changer for sure. Something that should be emphasized though, is that she isn’t effective at all if she’s solo. This is especially true since she can’t carry a sidearm and the shield at the same time. So coordination and teamwork is a must.

New Operator: Maverick (Three-Speed One-Armor Attacker)

Maverick is an American operative coming back from being MIA in Afghanistan. He joins Hibana and Thermite as the newest hard-breacher, although it’s with a twist. He carries a Surrey Torch than can burn through almost anything: Castle walls, reinforced hatches/walls, and regular walls, hatches, and floors. The twist is that the opening he creates isn’t large enough to walk, crouch, or crawl through, but rather small murder holes. Maverick’s main objective will be opening lines of sight all throughout the map.

Now it is possible to create a large enough opening to fit through, but you’d use almost all of your torch fuel, which is limited of course. You also have to be fairly close to a surface in order for the blowtorch to do it’s work. I mean we’re talking about a foot away, which could leave you slightly susceptible to wall bangs on soft walls. Luckily the blowtorch is fairly quiet, so you can create openings without much people noticing.

Maverick comes equipped with either an M4 or modified AR-15 DMR that fires .50 caliber rounds. As an Attacker, I usually main Dokkaebi and her MK-14 EBR, but I have to say that I absolutely loved using the AR-15 DMR with Maverick. With him being a three-speed operator, I was able to traverse much of the map opening sight holes all over for my teammates to get better vantage points on our opponents. I foresee him being used quite a bit once he enters the competitive arena.

Final Thoughts

It seems that every time Ubisoft brings on a new Season for Rainbow Six Siege, they find some way to top the one prior. With taking into consideration a lot of what the community says, they’ve been able to continue molding one of my favorite franchises into the best possible game that it can be. With Operation Grim Sky, they’re proving yet again why they’re the best in the business. If you’re a Rainbow Six player and don’t have the Season Pass, I urge you to do yourself a favor and get one, as it is well worth it. And if not, it might be grim skies for you.

Operation Grim Sky will be available on September 3rd for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.

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