If you’ve been playing Siege since launch, you’ve probably seen a lot of new operators being added to the mix. Nearly every operator – sorry Grim – has a huge impact on the game’s meta but very few have had me as excited about their possible implications as the newest attacker added for Year 8, Season 1 of Rainbow Six Siege.
Meet Brava. This Brazillian operator has a drone – described by Ubisoft’s own trailer as a “little tank” – that can hack electronics and turn them onto your side. It’s a role that’s already partially played by fellow attacker Twitch, who has her own drone which can zap gadgets out of existence, but Brava offers a lot more utility as things you zap will actually be counted as yours, allowing you to control them as you would if you were the operator who originally placed them.
The depth of the game’s 66 other operators means that there are already some hard counters and interesting interactions. Piloting Brava’s drone you’ll have to watch out for Mozzie’s drone catching spider-bots. While playing as Mozzie I was able to capture Brava’s first drone, before turning this first drone around and capturing his second with the original drone. Vigil, who can turn invisible to electronics, is also very good at taking down the hack-drone.
Honestly, Mozzie now feels like an essential pick, just as insurance against all of your gadgets being flipped to the enemy side. Brava can easily slip into an enemy base and take control of things like Aruni’s laser gates to trap defenders onto their sites or even one of Maestro’s bulletproof Evil Eye cameras, before using the anti-gadget laser on the Evil Eye to take out even more gadgets. This sort of snowballing impact on the Defending team’s previously impenetrable defences is where Brava seems to thrive, and it feels like he’s going to be an insta-ban at mid-level play, where players don’t always have the aiming skills to instantly pop the Brava drone on sight.
This gets more complicated when you factor in the fact that if Mozzie takes hold of one of these drones, every attacker’s gadget can now be hacked. I saw this happen during the playtest when an attacker’s claymore was hacked, but I’m now curious about how hacks might work with regards to one of Zero’s cameras, or even one of Nomad’s incapacitating Airjab launchers.
My worry – to insert my own experience of playing Siege for 8 years – is that Brava is going to make a complex game even more difficult to keep track of. Kapkan traps for example have no indicator, and could now be blowing up fellow defenders after it’s been hacked by Brava’s drone. Worst-case scenario, it encourages a situation where attackers and defenders are shooting every gadget they see in case it could harm them. Most likely it’s just going to slow things down a whole lot as players treat every gadget seen as a potential threat. We saw a lot of drone friendly fire incidents after the introduction of Mozzie and the camera-infiltration Dokkabei, and it seems like this is going to be a much larger problem now that every possible gadget could be taken over.
Brava is a three speed, one armour operator, with the development team explaining that this is to allow Brava to catch up with her teammates after using her drone. She has a distinct look with this too: her gear is stripped back, comprised of a light plate carrier and a t-shirt.
However, her guns hit hard and will have no issues messing up any threats she runs into. Her primary weapons are Capitao’s Para-308 and Buck’s CAMRS DMR. Both are slightly better at long range, but because DMRs are so strong in the current meta and the Para-308 has no issues taking enemies out up close, players with a sharp aim will find Brava a pretty natural fit.
The secondary weapons are strong too. The USP40 is a personal favourite, but really it’s a pistol as good as any other. However, the Super Shorty shotgun will allow Brava to make a breachable hole quickly, in addition to being absolutely terrifying at arms-length.
All of this combines to make Brava’s role next to Twitch even more confusing. The two attacking operators have very similar roles in that both will infiltrate with drones before turning into fraggers for the rest of the round. Twitch is a 2/2 operator and has the fast-firing FAMAS, but it’s tough to see a reason to take a Twitch now when you could otherwise be running Brava and not just destroying gadgets but taking their benefits for your team.
These questions will probably persist until we see how much of an impact Brava has on play at all levels, something that won’t become clear until Year 8, Season 1 launches on March 7. In the meantime, it’s hard not to be excited by the possibilities on offer.
Year 8, Season 1 of Rainbow Six Siege will also make the game much more tactical – read more here.