Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Grim Sky hands-on –Pitting Maverick against Clash


Ubisoft is revealing the gameplay for Maverick and Clash, the new operators for Rainbow Six Siege today at the Six Major esports event in Paris today.

The operators are part of the new expansion, Operation Grim Sky, for the five-year-old Rainbow Six Siege, which has more than 30 million players. I played a couple of rounds with the operators and captured some video of the gameplay. You can see the videos embedded in this post.

The expansion has new characters like Maverick, an attacker with a blow torch that can melt walls. Maverick is a hard breacher who can poke a hole in any wall with his blowtorch. He can peek inside and see where the enemies are hidden. If he makes the hole big enough, using some of his limited fuel, he can even shoot inside at the hiding enemies. The torch is silent, so he can surprise enemies who are just looking for enemies to come in the normal way.

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It’s such a powerful way to breach that the designers had to limit Maverick’s power, so he can’t actually poke a hole in a wall that the whole team can go through, said Alex Karpazis, presentation director for the game at Ubisoft, in an interview with GamesBeat.

On top of that, Clash, the new defender with the police shield, is a counter to Maverick. She can walk up to any breach that Maverick makes and just stand in front of it, restoring a barrier that prevents Maverick from seeing or shooting through a hole.

“It was a fine balance of tuning him so he’s more about peeking and creating interesting access for drones, instead of making large holes to move in between spaces,” Karpazis said. “That’s where the balance of his fuel came into play.”

Maverick is a new operator in Rainbow Six Siege: Grim Sky. He carries a powerful torch.

Above: Maverick is a new operator in Rainbow Six Siege: Grim Sky. He carries a powerful torch.

Image Credit: Ubisoft

Clash is also able to walk through corridors and effectively block others from getting past her. She can frustrate the enemy so much that they can get obsessed with trying to take her down and lose track of the real objectives and time limit in the match. I played in a funny match where Maverick tried to melt her shield with a blow torch, to no effect. I was trying to melee her and get a shot in, but she recovered from the blows too quickly for me to get that shot off. It seems like the best way to deal with her is to come at her from different directions, or precisely coordinate a melee and shooting.

But Clash has some limits too. She has no primary weapon and can’t shoot while she is holding her shield. She has a pistol or handheld machine gun, but she can only use her weapon if she puts away her shiled. That allows her to be a threat if she comes in behind other players.

“You see someone and you just think, ‘I’m going for you!’ But sometimes it’s best to just leave her alone in her corner and flank somewhere else,” Karpazis said. “But if your back is exposed—you can’t assume that if she disappears behind a corner, she’s not coming back with a gun instead of the shield.”

With Grim Sky, Ubisoft has also reworked its Hereford map, which was the first map in the game. But now it’s been rebalanced, with more distinct areas that be easily called out and identified in communication with other players. There are two sets of stairs, so there isn’t a single choke point where everyone gets bottled up. And the graphics for the map look much better than the original.

I played Grim Sky with Ubisoft’s team and some journalists in San Francisco ahead of the launch in Paris. A couple of the Ubisoft people were good, and so it’s fun to listen to them chatter during the matches. Rainbow Six Siege clearly isn’t my game, as you’ll see from the videos. But I had a great time playing with some players who were good. And in my final match, I even got in two kills.

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