The Spanish island of Ibiza is one of Europe’s premier tourist playgrounds, but in the Operation Velvet Shell expansion for Rainbow Six Siege, it’s the site of a high-stakes showdown between two squads of CTUs. Rainbow Six Siege’s new Coastline map turns an opulent Ibizan compound into a tense tactical battleground, and after two hours spent alternately fortifying and breaching its interior in TDM Bomb matches, we’ve come away with a clear picture of what the first Year 2 expansion adds to the Siege experience.
First, there’s the Coastline map itself, a two-story neon-decorated party palace filled with pool tables, lounge spaces, and purple mood lighting. It’s surrounded by Balearic ruins and a beautifully tiled swimming pool, but the main focus in the matches we played was indoors. With a big roofless atrium and breachable trapdoors on the second floor and rooftop, it offers plenty of entryways for attackers, and the large rooms that the defenders’ bombs appear in can be tricky to protect if your team isn’t on the ball with barricades, traps, and deployable shields.
If you’re on the team that’s hunkering down, Velvet Shell’s new defensive Operator, Mira (Spanish for “look”), is particularly well-suited to spotting the enemy as they creep through Coastline’s hallways. Her specialty is creating Black Mirrors, nearly indestructible horizontal one-way windows that can be punched into barricades or destructible walls. While enemies can see the mirrors themselves, they can’t see if anyone’s behind them – and if they’re careless, it’s easy for a defender to get the drop on them by smashing a small gas canister in the frame to eject the glass and turn a Black Mirror into a murder hole. Black Mirrors can be placed at standing or crouching height, making them especially useful for spotting sneaky enemies or kneecapping overconfident ones. And because Mira comes standard with either an ITA12L shotgun or Vector .45 ACP submachine gun, enemies can rapidly go from “spotted” to “dead.”
Then there’s Jackal, Velvet Shell’s attacking Operator, who can activate special eyewear that lets him see enemy footprints. The more recent the prints, the “hotter” they’ll appear in Jackal’s view, so if you see bright red bootprints, there’s likely an enemy nearby. Even if you find older prints that are green or blue, you can still get valuable intel by scanning them and revealing their owner’s position to your team. Once an enemy is scanned, they’ll be marked with an icon (similar to a camera scan marker) a few times over the course of the next minute of the match. Jackal can scan up to three times per match, and it takes a few seconds of looking at the floor, during which you’re vulnerable – but if you’re dealing with roamers, looking for someone to shoot through an un-barricaded wall, or trying to find that one last straggler on the enemy team, Jackal’s Eyenox Model III can lead you right to them.
Both Operators come with either a USP 40 pistol or a small ITA12S shotgun as their secondary weapons, making them the first Operators to carry shotguns as sidearms. Jackal and Mira will be available exclusively to Year 2 Season Pass holders for seven days, after which all players will be able to purchase them individually with Renown or R6 Credits. The Coastline map, meanwhile, will be available free to all players.
Velvet Shell comes with a host of other additions, including new weapon skins and Elite outfits for your Operators. It also comes alongside a patch that, in addition to bringing a raft of fixes and tweaks, features improved menus that remember the last mode you played and more clearly show your progress toward various challenges.
Rainbow Six Siege’s Operation Velvet Shell DLC will be available February 7 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. For more on Rainbow Six Siege, check out our previous coverage: