By: Lucas Henkel | Arts & Entertainment Editor
March 23, 2018
Rainbow Six Siege is something I consider to be an oddity. Not because of how it came to be, although its history is intriguing to say the least—but that’s for another day, but because of how much support it has received over the years. Back when it first came out, Rainbow Six Siege wasn’t exactly the most popular game—not that it was bad—on the market due to several factors, such as the grand release of Fallout 4 a month earlier, and other issues pertaining to the game itself. The game was still finding its audience.
Normally this would practically be a death sentence, especially since triple-A game companies (AAA) typically pull the plug after year one in general, but surprise surprise, Ubisoft did something a bit unexpected: they kept a promise that was made early on in development that they would continue to support the game for years to come.
For better or worse, the game, and its popularity, began to grow over the course of time as new operations were implemented into the game: From Black Ice to White Noise. New operators were added in, changing the game’s meta over and over again. And on top of that, the game was constantly being balanced and optimized to try and suit its newfound audience.
And well, here we are. Rainbow Six Siege is now entering its third year, and kick off its premiere, we have Operation Chimera.
So what’s so special about this one particular update? Well, I’m so glad you asked, let’s find out, shall we?
So first things first, let’s talk about some of the m0re basic changes the update brought.
Like every season, Operation Chimera has altered the map pool. Although no brand new multiplayer maps have been added in, it seems the developers have decided to shake things up a little bit for Casual mode and proceeded to swap out an old one with an even older one–and for the better according to most: Bye-bye Bartlett University, welcome back Yacht. Junior Ashton Arenas says, “It’s a good thing Ubi did this, because I was getting sick at how unbalanced University was anyways.”
Another thing that needs to be addressed on the bulletin board are the new changes towards previous operators. For the Spetznaz operator, Kapkan, he will now be using impact grenades as an alternate gadget instead of razor wire. Whether or not this is actually a buff is debatable due to the fact that Kapkan is more of an anchor than anything else. But her, who knows, perhaps this questionable change will compel more people to play as him more.
On that note, looking at the GSG9 operator, Blitz, his new speed buff will surely attract more players. If you haven’t kept up at all with the technical test server version of the game that was released last month, Ubisoft basically created a monster. Apparently, during early testing, Blitz had a weird bug that made him even faster than his new buff intended, making him god-like to the attacking team, and an abomination that’ll have you shrieking in terror on the defending side. Thankfully, this was fixed, and Blitz is back to normal… sort of. As mentioned, Blitz is now faster than before, making him the fastest shield operator in the entire game, as if Montagne wasn’t already a pain to deal with. But on the plus side, he’s not stupidly overpowered anymore, and I think this new change is pretty fair.
Speaking of stupidly overpowered operators, let me talk to you about the last operator that had received major changes. Ela, the GROM operator that makes you want to bash her pretty little face in, has been nerfed so hard that it makes even make Blackbeard blush. Not even kidding, I don’t think I’ve actually died to an Ela once ever since Operation Chimera came out, it’s that hard. Her primary SMG has not only been reduced damage wise, but the recoil is so bad that it’s only really good for short distances–unless you have burst fire on, but who does that? On top of all that, she doesn’t even have impact grenades anymore. Instead, it’s replaced with a placeable shield that is pretty much useless unless you’re going to anchor, which is completely the opposite of who Ela is. Ahhh, I can already taste the salty tears of Ela mains. Thankfully though, not all hope is lost with her. In fact, I’ve played Ela more than ever recently after having discovered that her shotgun is still an extremely viable choice.
Apart from those major operator changes, there’s not much else to talk about when it comes to some of the new basic changes. The only thing worth noting at this point is that all attachments are free now, allowing you to customize your guns without having to use any in-game currency. The same goes for the base twenty operators the game was originally released with; Now, if you own anything higher than the Starter Edition of Rainbow Six Siege, so that’s cool I guess. Makes me wish that I can upgrade my copy. Ah well, I still got an Ash Elite skin for being a veteran.
Now let’s get to the good part. As a part of Operation Chimera, we now have two brand new attackers: CBRN units Lion and Finka.
Lion, originally a part of the GIGN, is the first operator added in as a part of Operation Chimera, and my God, he and his new gadget has single-handedly changed the meta of the game. Picture this, his gadget is a massive orbital drone that hovers over the map, and upon activation, it activates a countdown. Any enemy players who are caught moving anywhere on the map after the countdown, will be spotted and highlighted in red for a couple seconds. As Lion, you basically have wall-hacks. But with that said, I wouldn’t call it overpowered, especially since he can be easily countered by just standing still. But not everyone agrees, Senior Leo Schrickel says, “I think Lion is a bit overpowered, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets nerfed by the next season update.” But hey, as for me, I think he’s fair game. Either way, he’s certainly a force to be reckoned with since he is an absolute nightmare in some situations. For example, if it’s on Bomb, always have someone play him because once you get that defuser down with Lion on your side, he can just spam his ability, effectively handicapping the remnants of the defender team. The same goes for if you have a Jackal on your team if he’s tracking someone and you have Lion’s drone bass-boosting outside, he’s literally stuck between a rock and a hard place. On top of all of this, Lion has the V308, which is basically a modified version of one of the best SMGs in the game–currently.
Moving on, we have Finka, a Spetznaz operator who is essentially Doc for the attacking team. The only thing is, she’s better in almost every way possible. Not only can Finka do everything Doc could do, but she could do it without even looking at the intended target–or targets in her case. Instead of having to carefully aim and fire a syringe gun that’ll most likely miss anyways, all she has to do is press a button and boom! Instantly, every player on your team, including yourself, will get a health boost. Not only will this revive any downed players, but it also gives them a major recoil buff, turning some of the worst weapons in the game into the stuff of nightmares. Seriously, this buff alone is the reason why I use the SASG-12 shotgun over the Spear .308, it’s the perfect weapon for spraying and praying. Plus, Finka has only a few counters–namely Lesion and Echo–as well, making her one of the few operators that will always be appreciated to have on the team. If you plan on rushing the enemy team, it is imperative that you pick her.
Like any other DLC operator, each come at the price of 25,000 Renown (in-game currency), which is 25 hours of grinding, or 600 R6 Credits, which equates to $5, so if you want to get these two operators for free, get cracking. However, as for me, I just got the Year 3 Season Pass since it was easier (plus I got to play them a week earlier, so that’s neat). If you want to know more details about both operators, you can just watch the video below.
Moving on from these two, let’s take a look at the main star of the show. As a part of Operation Chimera, Ubisoft now boasts a zombie coop gamemode for the game now–but only for a limited time. Yes, you read that right, a tactical “realistic” shooter with zombies. But honestly, who cares. It’s something different for Rainbow Six Siege, so why not? Well after playing the Outbreak gamemode myself, I admittedly have some mixed feelings.
It’s not that I don’t like Outbreak, I just don’t really play Rainbow Six Siege for a zombie mode. But, with that said, I did enjoy in some regards. For starters, Outbreak has an interesting story. Although only three cutscenes were released with the gamemode, you can tell that a lot of time and effort went into those three. For once, we got a gander at some of the operators’ personalities and how they react in grim situations. They also look really good, like seriously, whoever animated and rendered these cutscenes should get an award because they are downright gorgeous.
Another thing I enjoyed about Outbreak was the originality of it. Although it’s a zombie gamemode, it does it in a way I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before in a game. The origins of the outbreak–via crashed Soviet space capsule–is pretty unique, the setting in New Mexico is unusual, and the zombies are not your typical Romero shamblers. If I had to describe what these buggers are like, imagine the infected from the movie Splinter, but on a much bigger scale. Yeah, not pretty. Anyways, as much as I can appreciate that, the gameplay itself? Well…
It’s not bad, but nor is it good. The best description for the gameplay of Outbreak is that it’s basically a watered-down Left 4 Dead clone. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re going to do it beat for beat, then why bother? Like not even kidding, you can even look at the enemy roster and odds are you’d be able to figure out their original counterpart. You might as well just play the game it’s based off of and get a better experience out of it. But it’s not all bad, it’s still fun to play with friends. The only other problem I have with the gamemode is the balancing. Basically, the way I see it, Outbreak has only two difficulties: Normal and Pandemic. The main problem with this, is that Normal feels too easy, and Pandemic is hard, very hard, hard to the point that you better have both Finka and Doc on your team. Oh yeah, did I mention that you can’t even have more than three players playing? This makes the gamemode not very fun to play, unlike Left 4 Dead, it doesn’t ever hit that sweet-spot between challenging and fair. This becomes especially clear when you’re trying to hold out a position for three minutes, only to be destroyed by a single massive tank-like zombie that is an absolute bullet-sponge, making it an absolute chore to kill. At least in Left 4 Dead, their tanks could be immolated with a Molotov, here, all you can do is just shoot its backside for ten minutes straight.
Now at this point, it probably sounds like I’m heaping nothing but crap onto Outbreak, but again, I do appreciate the effort put into it. It has some great ideas, but its execution is flawed. Rainbow Six Siege is simply not the kind of game tailored towards this kind of gamemode. Sure, the game already has a PvE gamemode via Terrorist Hunt, but it works in that scenario since it’s against soldiers that camp around, not zombies that beeline towards you at mach speed. This is why many of the operators’ gadgets work because they are made for situations like these. There are only a few operators that would actually work in the gamemode. For example, Buck works since he has both an assault rifle and a shotgun, which is great for when you’re being swarmed. Tachanka–our Lord and Savior–for once is actually really good at doing what he does best: LMG MOUNTED AND LOADED!!! And Castle would be perfect as well since he can reinforce doorways with his armored barricades, except–oh wait, he’s not even a bloody choice! Instead, we have Ying, who does nothing but flash you and your teammate as a hobby!
So at the end of the day, Outbreak is nothing I would write home about considering the fact that the gamemode has very little going for it. Like I said, I liked the cinematic aspect of it all, but playing it just doesn’t feel all that much fun at times when compared to the base multiplayer. Unless Ubisoft adds some sort of incentive in playing, such as awarding players with Outbreak packs, I’m probably not going to miss it much once the event is over by April.
Oh yeah, the Outbreak packs, almost forgot to mention that. When you start up Rainbow Six Siege at any point during the event, you will receive four Outbreak packs, which are basically the game’s limited edition loot crates. There’s not really much to be had with these, they just basically give you a weapon skin or uniform, nothing big there. I ended up getting some pretty nifty stuff out of my four admittedly, such as a hazmat uniform for Zofia, but I don’t really care all that much. But, knowing that there are people out there who have nothing better to do than burn through their bank account, you could buy all fifty of these special packs for $90. Yeah, that’s not really worth the price if you ask me, and many others agree that it’s just an Ubi cash-grab scheme.
So all in all, that’s pretty much what I think of Operation Chimera. It’s certainly different than the norm, but I honestly like it. The new changes are nice, new operators are fun to play with, and the new gamemode is… well it’s there…