Rainbow Six Siege has joined the Ubisoft+ Classics catalog, which means it is now free to play for all PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium subscribers. A multiplayer shooter where information and knowledge can be as important as aim and destruction, Rainbow Six Siege rewards smart strategy and planning. If you haven’t experienced the intense and tactical firefights of Rainbow Six Siege yet, now is the perfect time to jump in, and with 65 Operators available, there have never been so many ways to play.
While each Rainbow Six Siege Operator introduces a unique game-changing gadget, Year 7 kicked off with the launch of Season 1, Demon Veil, and in particular the new Defender Operator, Azami. Azami’s unique gadget, the Kiba Barrier, allows her to set up a bulletproof barrier from a distance on a wide variety of surfaces. In Rainbow Six Siege, controlling cover, barriers, lines of sight, and movement spaces can be just as important as steady aiming. The Kiba Azami barrier can change the geometry of the map at any time.
Envisioning an Operator with so much potential to manipulate the map was a challenge and took years of development, as game designer Dominique Clément explains: “The idea for an Operator that could patch holes has been in the air for a long time, but it never came to fruition. t is always possible due to technical limitations. It used to be, and the first thing we did was take the Ela mines and crush them to make big pancakes. We realized that it does a super efficient job of patching holes and means you don’t have to be close to the surface to create cover and you can react.”
Previously, if the Defender wanted to block an entrance or patch a gap, he had to go through the long process of deploying cover, leaving him vulnerable and undefended; plus, some violations just couldn’t be blocked. Azami can now place barriers as quickly as attackers can take them down. “We felt like it filled a hole in our game,” Clement says. “We have a bunch of operatives who can completely erase the map, but we didn’t have anyone who could repair or repair the damage.”
Rainbow Six Siege was released in 2015, but the development team continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible. As Clément points out, they’re constantly updating the game behind the scenes to support new elements, and a dynamic gadget like the Kiba Barrier has some very specific challenges. For example, when thrown, Kiba Barriers will expand parallel to the surface they are attached to. In a game like Rainbow Six Siege, with many different surfaces and realistic maps, it would be very easy to move Kiba’s Barrier a bit, causing it to expand in the wrong direction.
“The two programmers, Thomas Texier and Wilfrid Pouchou, are the geniuses behind the Operator code,” Clement says. “We know how players love to stress test our operators, and if they can be broken, our players will figure out how to do it.”
Texier and Pouchous may have helped make sure the barrier deployed as intended, but there was still a problem with players using them in ways the developers never intended. Early in the development process, Azami’s Kiba Barriers introduced an unforeseen, potentially critical problem as testers discovered that they could use bulletproof barriers as climbing platforms. “At first, we allowed Kiba Barriers to deploy both horizontally and vertically,” Clement says. “It meant that if you deployed close to a ledge, it would expand over the ledge and you could stack them up and create a new platform for yourself. We’ve had players parkour all over the map during our play sessions and someone managed to make a ladder all the way to the edge of our skybox. We quickly realized that we couldn’t let players walk on them without support.”
The potential for players to gain access to almost any area, especially areas that the developers never planned for players, would ruin Siege’s unique gameplay in which information is paramount and understanding where your opponent is, and more importantly, can be – can be the difference between winning and losing. Thanks to the work of developers like Clément, Texier and Pouchous, Siege fans won’t have to worry about this anymore.
Azami may have been an Operator for seven years, but her introduction only opened the door to what’s possible in Rainbow Six Siege. “We have other ideas that we want to bring to the game,” says Clément, “that are beyond what players can expect.”
Rainbow Six Siege is in its seventh year of post-launch content release with the recent release of Year 7 Season 3 of Operation Brutal Swarm. The upcoming Season 4 will bring Year 7 of Rainbow Six Siege to a close, but stay tuned for more information at the Six Invitational in Montreal, Canada from February 7-19. Not only is Invitational Siege the biggest competitive event of the year, it also gives the development team the opportunity to share some exciting news about what’s to come next year of Siege.
Rainbow Six Siege is available today for PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium subscribers.