Rainbow Six Siege‘s latest update, Operation Steel Wave, not only brings two new Operators into the fold but it also completely revamps one of the oldest maps in the game, House. This is an iconic map that was even used in the game’s initial E3 trailer in 2014. The latest update breathes new life into the Operator roster and opens up two valid new ways to play. However, the map rework is definitely the highlight this time around. If that sounds good to you, let’s get into the Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Steel Wave review.
Like a Wave of Steel
Like every update, Operation Steel Wave adds two new Operators into the mix for Rainbow Six Siege. The Attacker in this update is Ace, a search-and-rescue specialist with a particular interest in controlled explosives. The new Defender is Melusi, a conservationist who only fires when absolutely necessary. Also, she works to disrupt more than she does to prevent.
Both Operators bring something new to the game, and they’re fun to play within their own ways. Ace’s gadget is the S.E.L.M.A. Aqua Breacher, which he throws at doors and barricades. Once attached, the charge activates and expands to reveal three separate explosives, which will detonate one after the other.
The idea is that Ace can create a new opening without needing to get anywhere near his explosive. He can also use the delayed charges to hide in plain sight and get in quick kills when least expected.
Of course, players quickly learned that the key tactic with Ace’s gadget was to pop up for quick kills, and used it against anyone who played as him. Instead, I found that the gadget was better used as a distraction, being plonked onto a surface in one part of a map, while you head to another and actually enter far away from the action. This landed me some fantastic kills on players who were confused about where I’d gone.
I also found that returning to an opening I’d made earlier was a great way to lure players out of hiding, and take them down once they’d forgotten about the breach entirely. Getting these shots in is helped by Ace’s custom AK-12, which feels fast and reliable to use. I’ve honestly never had so much luck with a weapon, and Ace has become my favorite option as an Attacker as a result.
Wait in the Shadows
Melusi has a very different approach to battle than Ace. Her gadget, the Banshee Sonic Defense, emits sound waves that actively slow any Attackers that get near it. Initially, I had a hard time using the device, and part of the reason for that is that you never really see the benefit it provides. By placing it on walls near the entrance to key rooms, and by bombs for example, you can hinder the movement of Attackers. This makes them easier to take down in clutch encounters.
Unfortunately, Melusi’s T-5 SMG is nothing to write home about. It feels very much like a standard weapon in any first-person shooter, and I found myself relying more on her secondary, the RG15 when I needed to take a shot. However, overall I’d say that she’s a fantastic new Defender because her gadget benefits the entire team, not just one player. I definitely found that my team made use of the Banshee Sonic Defense once they knew where it was, and it saved my bacon more than once.
The absolute highlight of Operation Steel Wave has to be House. As I’ve already mentioned, this is one of the earliest maps that players could experience, but the rework that comes to it with the new update gives it a much-needed refresh. Rooms have been extended, refurbished, finished, and even added. This is not the House you’ll remember, but it’s also not completely different to how it used to be.
Ubisoft has clearly taken time to understand where players were using House to their advantage. As such, they made subtle yet contextual improvements, as if they were the family living there. This was done to mix up gameplay in every match. I found new walls where I didn’t expect them before, and had a great time planning new routes in as an Attacker when it was my turn.
The hallmark of a good update is how long it will be before the player base gets too used to the changes, and becomes bored and complacent. I think that Operation Steel Wave brings enough that’s new to the table to last until the next update. Both new Operators can be played in a number of different ways that keep them way more interesting than some of the previous ones.
Ace is a smug search and rescue worker who loves to be in the limelight. At his core though, he’s just passionate about saving people. Melusi’s life seems to be dedicated to conservation, whether that’s of human or animal life. Both of these Operators are characters that players can identify with. Yes, their vocations may have been militarised, but that’s part of the fun with the Rainbow Six Siege family.
The only issue I found with either of these Operators, or the new map, was being kicked from matches. The Rainbow Six Siege community has a big problem. Usually that’s with people who aren’t of a specific level or want to play as the new Operators. I think I was kicked from more matches that I managed to play.
This was mainly because I’d picked Ace or Melusi first. However, I can’t fault the update for that. Still, this is an issue that Ubisoft has been aware of for years, and it seems like very little has been done to address it. If you do get bored of Siege, you could always choose the game you like at Norwegian CasinoHex from their selection and win some money, which is never a bad thing, as long as you responsibly.
You might think that this Operation Steel Wave review doesn’t make the update come across as groundbreaking. That’s because it isn’t. I think what Ubisoft was going for with these Operators, and their rework of House, was to give something to players that provide a subtle gameplay change which will last months. In my opinion, they’ve definitely succeeded here. I think that many members of the community would definitely agree with me in the coming weeks.
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Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Steel Wave
Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Steel Wave is a breathe of fresh air in a game that didn't really need it. Both new Operators will provide great new ways to play for months to come, and the update to House is not only much-needed, it has been done in such a way that it shows the passion the developers have for this game.
- Ace and Melusi add new tactics to the fold in a meaningful way.
- The update to House make it feel fresh and interesting.
- Both new Operators can be played in unforeseen and unexpected ways.
- There is a toxic element of the Rainbow Six Siege community that suck.