Rainbow Six Siege’s new season, Operation Commanding Force, is a statement of intent from Siege’s developer, pointing the game toward a new, more tactical, future.
Speaking to NME, Rainbow Six Siege’s creative director Alex Karpazis says that while he thinks Siege is “in a really fun spot”, the changes we’re going to see coming to Siege throughout Year 8, Season 1 and later in the year will be emphasising more strategic action. “We’re starting to really reinforce what it is that makes Siege so special,” adds Karpazis. “It’s such a fun tactical strategic experience unlike any other, and so we’re trying to lean into that with everything that we do.”
Crucially, this doesn’t mean that Rainbow Six Siege is going to be more realistic. The game has long operated in the sci-fi world, but new attacker Brava – who we’ve covered in-depth here – looks to be bring a whirlwind of chaos to the game, switching and reshuffling the allegiance of nearly every Siege gadget.
Indeed, Brava’s presence is going to force players to pay a little more attention. Anyone who has played operator Dokkaebi, an attacker who can take over defender cameras, has experienced the heartache of fellow attackers shooting the cameras you’re controlling. Now, attackers and defenders will both have to keep their eyes open as with both a Mozzie and a Brava in a round every single electronic gadget in the game could change allegiance.
Get past that, which is terrifying, and the flow of the game should feel a lot more deliberate. This change is exemplified by the changes to reloading in Rainbow Six Siege. This is the most obvious change for all players because everyone needs to reload. Reload cancelling, when players cancel a reload animation and use the noise and appearance of reloading to bait players into pushing them before shooting them in the face, has been a part of Siege’s high-level play for a long time but it will be getting removed in Operation Commanding Force.
Cancelling your animation mid-reload now will leave players with a single bullet in the chamber of their gun and no magazine. This single bullet could be enough to defend you considering Siege’s one-shot kill headshot mechanics, but it’s going to be a huge change for the majority of players.
Elsewhere, operator Zero is getting a rework to the same goal: the camera he has which can drill through walls and provide vision on either side will still do that, but now it has to be manually triggered by Zero, which will prevent the camera from being shot out by people on the other side of the wall before Zero has a chance to look through it. Teammates can also get Zero’s camera to change sides, although they won’t be able to punch through the wall for the first time.
Elsewhere, Commanding Force changes seem to be about making choices more interesting and diverse. The muzzle break and compensator are getting reworked to offer huge buffs that should make them easily identifiable, and it’s easy to see this as a blueprint for future attachments getting reworked in the future.
It’s an exciting time to be a Siege fan if you’ve been with the series since the tension-filled days of the earlier games in the franchise, but also if you want your matches to feel a little more tactical and less about prefiring the four potential hiding spots in each room. For me, who falls into the middle of that particular Venn diagram, I couldn’t be more excited for the launch of the new season on March 7.
As for the rest of Commanding Force, here’s our impression of Brava, the newest operator arriving in Siege.