Rainbow Six Siege: Everything that was revealed during the 2020 Six Invitational
During this year’s Rainbow Six Siege Six Invitational esports tournament in Quebec, Siege developer Ubisoft Montreal was on hand to unveil a ton of new information about the game’s upcoming 2020 content additions. A lot of attention was given to Siege’s next major seasonal update, Operation Void Edge, but Ubisoft Montreal also addressed smaller yet still significant additions and changes it has in the works.
Below, we’ve rounded up all the major highlights of what was revealed during the 2020 Six Invitational and what Siege fans have to look forward to as the venerable competitive shooter enters its fifth year of active support.
Into The Void
Operation Void Edge will be the first of four new seasonal updates Ubisoft Montreal plans on releasing throughout 2020 as per Siege’s Year 5 content rollout. As of this writing, Operation Void Edge isn’t yet live and doesn’t have a set start date, but fan speculation posits that it will begin in early March. Supporting that speculation is the fact that Void Edge’s two new playable operators, the Dutch-born Attacker Iana and the Jordanian Defender Oryx are both currently playable on Siege’s public test server as of February 17.
The addition of Iana and Oryx brings Siege’s operator count to an impressive 54 operators in total. Here’s a synopsis of the new operators’ unique abilities and playstyles:
- Iana’s ‘Gemini Replicator’ gadget allows her to project mobile holograms of herself. The player controls these holograms directly, but this obviously leaves Iana herself exposed. The holograms can perform basic actions like aiming and sprinting, but they only last for a total of 15 seconds. Also, unlike with the stationary holograms conjured by the Defender Alibi, a player who shoots Iana’s hologram isn’t automatically spotted.
- Oryx can use his ‘Remah Dash’ ability to bust right through soft walls, making him a solid Defender counterpart to the Attacker Sledge. In addition to busting down walls, Oryx’s Remah Dash also gives him a slight speed boost and allows him to knock over enemy operators, even ones using a shield. Oryx is also the only operator who can leap up to an open hatch so he can peek through into the room above and decide whether to mantle up or drop back down. The drawbacks to Oryx’s high mobility are that he’s extremely loud and takes a small bit of damage whenever he busts through a wall.
Along with Iana and Oryx, Operation Void Edge will include a major rework of the Oregon map, Siege’s first proper seasonal battle pass, and the debut of a new Arcade experience which offers a series of rotating modes and events. The very first Arcade experience will be a nod to the classic N64 shooter GoldenEye 007: a “Golden Gun” team deathmatch mode where every player has a one-hit-kill weapon that must be reloaded after every shot.
Three More 2020 Operations to Come
Finalized plans for the three subsequent Year 5 seasonal updates are obviously still being put into place, but Ubisoft Montreal did at least share some preliminary details about what players can look forward to later on in 2020. The second update will have another two new operators, one hailing from Norway and the other from South Africa. Updates 3 and 4, however, will only have one new operator apiece. The update 3 operator’s nationality remains classified for now, but update 4’s new operator will be a native of Thailand.
Ubisoft Montreal says that the reduced number of new operators is essential so that it can focus more on implementing core reworks for existing Siege content like maps, gameplay systems, and operators. For example, after Oregon the studio will be reworking the House, Skyscraper, and Chalet maps in season 2, 3, and 4 respectively.
In an interview with IGN, Ubisoft Montreal revealed that Tachanka, one of Siege’s least-popular operators due to the stationary nature of his turret gadget, is actually getting a brand new gadget: a ‘Kulakov Grenade Launcher’ which can fire incendiary grenades. Conversely, Ubisoft Montreal is also considering a rework for the Defender operator Clash (and told as much to PC Gamer) because she currently feels a little too overpowered in competitive play.
Along with new operators and existing content reworks, each new Year 5 seasonal update will also include new Arcade events and playlists and a new battle pass. Release dates for the Year 5 updates haven’t yet been nailed down, but each season typically lasts three months so if Operation Void Edge begins in March that means season 2 should arrive in June, season 3 in September, and season 4 in December.
2020 And Beyond
As exciting as it already looks, Operation Void Edge is just a small part of how Ubisoft Montreal hopes to keep improving and expanding Rainbow Six Siege over the coming years. Despite the smaller number of new operators arriving in 2020, the studio says it’s still committed to its long-term goal of having over 100 operators in the game, so fans should keep expecting new content well beyond 2020.
While they don’t have set release windows yet, Ubisoft Montreal also mentioned the following upcoming features and tweaks during the 2020 Six Invitational, many of which should ideally arrive before Year 5 is over:
- A revamped ping system which will allow for easier call-outs of crucial information, thus helping teams make more informed game plans during each round’s preparation phase. Revamped pings should also benefit more casual players who don’t like playing with a headset mic.
- An in-depth replay system that will let players view recordings of previously played matches. Replays will even allow viewers to see the action from the perspectives of different participants so they can get real-time feedback on what worked (and what didn’t) during the match’s engagements.
- A map ban system which will join the existing operator ban system that was added into Siege during Year 4. The system will let teams pick a specific map they don’t want to play on during a competitive match.
- An in-game reputation system so players can acknowledge helpful teammates and more easily report toxic ones. This system will build on Ubisoft Montreal’s previous efforts of implementing in-game methods for promoting teamwork and fair play while discouraging negativity and poor sportsmanship.
- New secondary gadgets for attackers which will allow them to more easily breach walls and disable electronics. As per this report from PC Gamer, these new gadgets will lessen an attacking team’s dependence on core operators like Thatcher and Hibana without making such operators obsolete.
- A new elite skin for the operator Ash which dresses her up as Tomb Raider icon Lara Croft. Ash’s Tomb Raider Elite Set bundle is set to launch alongside Operation Void Edge and includes the Lara Croft outfit, a unique victory animation, a charm, and new themed skins for her weapons and gadget.
Lastly, if there was any lingering doubt regarding Ubisoft Montreal’s continued investment in Rainbow Six Siege, the studio put those doubts to rest as the 2020 Six Invitational came to a close. In an interview with Windows Central, Ubisoft Montreal confirmed Siege will be ported over to the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles. The studio also plans on implementing cross-play and cross-save functionality between the two console generations to avoid community fragmentation.
Suffice it to say, Rainbow Six Siege still is and will continue to be one of the most expansive, in-depth, and highly supported tactical competitive shooters on the market, which means that the best time to give it a try for yourself is really anytime. Now’s a particularly good time, though, since Operation Void Edge is just on the horizon, and 2020 is already looking like it will be another strong year for Ubisoft Montreal’s ever-evolving shooter experience.