It's that time of the year again. We're a while into Operation North Star, so Ubisoft is already eyeing up the future for its multiplayer tactical shooter Rainbow Six: Siege. Next on the cards is Operation Crystal Guard, the third of four seasons in Year Six of the game, which is set to bring a new Operator, a bunch of balance and map changes, and even some updates to Elite skins. Here's the major updates coming in Crystal Guard.
The latest Operator to join Siege's roster is Osa. Coming from Croatia, this character is known for designing a lot of the gadgets used by other Rainbow agents, and is bringing her own unique tool that will change how Attackers face an objective.
Osa's gadget is the Talon, a transparent bulletproof shield that she can carry around like a lightweight ballistic shield that even covers her head from damage. Osa can mount the Talon in doors, windows and on floor openings to easily peek and provide information to her team - a lot like a transparent Mira window. This item also comes with a pressurised canister that can be detonated to collapse the shield, and since it is bulletproof glass material, can be shattered with the new shatterglass mechanic added in Operation North Star.
As for Osa's weapons, she can choose between the 556XI assault rifle or the PDW9 SMG, and features the PMM as a secondary weapon. Her equipment includes either a claymore mine or a smoke grenade, giving her even better objective control.
Osa is also a medium speed, medium armour Attacker.
In a slight change to the usual map update format, Operation Crystal Guard will see tweaks to three maps at once.
Clubhouse will be getting significant improvements to its flow, with removed walls and less clutter. One of the many bomb sites has also been shifted for this map.
Coastline is receiving a few quality of life updates that include more rappel locations and breakable walls. Likewise, in some places around the map, you'll now be able to barricade windows that were previously permanently open.
Last of all, Bank is undergoing a massive change. The map itself has been rebuilt from the ground up with blocked windows (reducing certain long range sightlines), and more destructible walls. On top of this, bars have been removed from the underground vault and across the map, making it easier to take gunfights where they previously were. It won't look too different, but these minor changes should drastically change how Bank is played.
As for the Operators, Crystal Guard has a few touch ups to note.
IQ will be able to smart ping electronics with her Spectre gadget, to share that information with her team.
Fuze is getting the ability to deploy his charge on reinforced surfaces. This will come with a much longer activation period, and can even be easily destroyed by shooting it when it breaches the tougher surface.
Finally, Twitch will now no longer start the drone phase with her own device - mostly to make up for the ability of Attackers being able to switch before getting boots on the ground. Twitch's drone however, is receiving a little bit of love, and will now be able to jump like a regular drone, and will even shoot with laser damage, rather than the taser, which means the gadget will be more accurate and have a longer range.
The quality of life changes revolve around two main areas: flashes and lighting.
In terms of flashes, a new system is coming in Crystal Guard that will mean players are always flashed if they are in the proximity of a flash grenade. The distance a player is away from the flash will determine how long the status duration lasts for, but this mechanic is being introduced to stop people from simply looking away from flashbangs to avoid the effect.
Looking at lighting, a new rim effect is being introduced on all Operators and skins to make it easier to identify a player against the map. This will help with the issues of certain skins blending into the environment, and if it something that doesn't take your fancy, can be simply turned off in the settings.
Finally, we were given a little update on the changes coming to Elite skins. Starting in Operation Crystal Guard, Elite skins will be customisable, meaning you can mismatch parts of the skins with other Elite skins. This will only include the skins at the moment, with operator cards, victory dances, and other goodies still being tied to each Elite skin for the time being - although Ubisoft did note that this will be changing in the future.
We were also given a look at the next Resident Evil skin coming to the game. Set to bring Leon S. Kennedy to the game, this skin will be for Lion and will be arriving as soon as tomorrow, August 17.
As for when Operation Crystal Guard will release, Ubisoft hasn't yet set an official date, but we do know that the new update, with Osa and all of these changes, will arrive on the test server starting tomorrow, August 17.