Do you prefer the brute force of a shotgun over the control of a rifle? What about said shotgun paired with the destructive power of a massive sledgehammer? Each of the classes in Rainbow Six Siege, dubbed Operators, comes locked and loaded with his or her own special tool, which will require players to master different strategies for each character. When Rainbow Six Siege was announced at E3 2014, we were only able to see six placeholder Operators – three Attackers and three Defenders. At a recent preview event, the team at Ubisoft Montreal showed off ten new and improved Operators, with the promise of ten more shipping with the final game. Game Designer Andrew Witts gave us the lowdown on all of the new Operators.
Sledge – British SAS – Sledge is the perfect Operator for the player who just wants to take care of business and doesn’t care if he or she makes some noise while doing it. Armed with a heavy-duty breaching hammer, Sledge is capable of destroying surfaces like walls, floors and barricades with speed and no small amount of force.
Thermite – American FBI SWAT – Like Sledge, Thermite doesn’t mind bringing the ruckus when it comes to getting a job done. His powerful thermite breach charges are capable of eating through the ultra-strong reinforced walls like they’re made of cotton candy.
Ash – American FBI SWAT – Ash is perfect for players who favor distance over up-close-and-personal combat. She can fire a long-distance breach charge, making her a handy Operator to have if you are down to only a couple of teammates.
Thatcher – British SAS – Armed with special EMP grenades, Thatcher can knock out all electronics in range for a short period of time. Use Thatcher to help your team get the upper hand against Defenders like Pulse, whose heartbeat monitor lets him track people through walls.
Twitch – French GIGN – Surveillance is key Rainbow Six Siege, and with Twitch, your surveillance can do some damage. Twitch has a handy little drone that can deliver electric shocks, dealing minor damage and disabling traps. She’s the perfect Operator for people who like to look before they leap.
Castle – American FBI SWAT – Once everyone has spent their wall reinforcements, they will look to Castle and his durable Kevlar barricades. These can be placed in windows and doorways and take about 12 melee hits to bring down (as opposed to the average barricade’s 3 hits). Sledge can knock it down in 2 hits with his hammer, but the noise he makes will be more than enough warning for the Defenders behind Castle’s walls.
Smoke – British SAS – Smoke is the silent killer. He can deploy and remotely detonate a chemical gas charge that deals damage to everyone in range of the smoke. Dropping a charge near a potential breach point ensures you’ve got an extra line of defense should Attackers make it through. Hit them with the gas and let the bullets fly.
Pulse – American FBI SWAT – We’ve all wondered what it would be like to be able to see through walls. With Pulse’s heartbeat monitor you can do just that. Track your opponents’ heartbeats and determine their locations to help your team prep for attack. As this is still the Alpha build, the dev team admits this device is currently a bit too strong and they are working on ways to adjust it. “We already know Pulse’s heartbeat monitor is a little over-powered, so that’s something we’re aware of and will be fixing,” says Witts. “This is the time for us to look at it and ask, How is it over-powered? Is it because you’re allowed to use it for too long? Is it because of the range? What can we do to perfect it?”
Rook – French GIGN – Nobody wants to go into battle naked (or no one sane does, anyway). Rook ensures his teammates go into the fight with some extra armor that might mean the difference between living to finish the round and going out in the first 30 seconds. If you choose to play as Rook, I recommend dropping his box of armor in a central area during the prep phase so your team can start out the round with some extra protective covering.
Mute – British SAS – Like Thatcher, Mute can knock out all electronics, but unlike Thatcher’s grenades, Mute operates a special jamming device that remains active until it’s destroyed. “Mute’s class is kind of a protector,” says Witts. “He places his jammer in a certain spot and can protect that specific area from breach charges or drones. So if you go to breach a wall and try to remotely detonate your breach charge, his jammer might prevent you from doing that. You’ll either have to eliminate the jammer in that area or you can place a new breach charge somewhere else.”
In addition to these 10 Operators, each side also has access to the Recruit, who is more of a blank slate character and can be assigned any of the 5 CTU backgrounds. “The Recruit Operator is an extra lever for players to use and kind of perfect their strategy for that round,” Witts explains. Let’s say what we really need for one round is a lot of tactical grenades – a lot of smoke and a lot of flash. The game allows you to do that by grabbing the Recruit Operator. The Recruit has more customization in terms of generic gadgets, but he has no unique gadgets.” A strong team is one that knows how and when to take advantage of the Recruit.
Though only ten Operators have been shown this far, there will be 20 unique Operators (plus the Recruit) in the final game. And the ten in that list still have room for adjustments, as Witts tells us. “We’re at 70% quality and that includes gameplay and everything else. This final 30% is what we’re trying to gain in terms of honing everything as we show it and let people play it. Tweaking the Operators is also part of that 30%. Visual quality will grow as well once all those mechanics are finalized and the parameters are set.”
Players will be able to get their hands on these ten Operators in the upcoming Closed Alpha. Test yourself and your team with the House map revealed at E3 last year, as well as the brand new Plane map, a three-level map set in a jumbo jet. Register for the Closed Alpha at the official website.
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