Revealed earlier this week, the Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 Season 4 (Y5S4) update, also known as Operation Neon Dawn, is right around the corner. Like Operation Shadow Legacy, which featured Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher looking old and grizzled, this new update will only feature one Operator (a Defender this time), a map rework, and several other changes to make each encounter more balanced and engaging.
I had the opportunity to go hands-on with Aruni, the new Defender, as well as played a few matches on the reworked Skyscraper map. Like the Operations before it, I think Neon Dawn is another solid update to one of this generation’s best first-person shooters.
Aruni, the Newest Defender in Rainbow Six Siege
Aruni is the first Thai operator to join the Rainbow Six Siege roster. She is described as dedicated, dynamic, and intelligent. More importantly, she is a great anchor who can secure any given area pretty well.
This is due to her gadget, the Surya Gate. To put it simply, Aruni has the ability to deploy a laser gate on walls, hatches, doors, and windows. Fellow defense Operators will be able to go through the Surya Gates without being harmed. However, moving too close to the laser gate will give away your position as the gate shuts off if you or a teammate are within close proximity to it. It will do pretty significant damage to enemy Operators — 40 damage, to be exact — and will destroy any drone or projectile, both friendly and unfriendly, that attempt to move past it.
Aruni has a total of three Surya Gates she can deploy, allowing her to secure any point pretty well. She can also move any of these gates after they’ve been deployed, as they can be picked up after they’ve been deployed.
If an enemy, projectile, or drone comes in contact with the laser gate, it will deactivate, leaving that space wide open for anything to come through. When the gate has been used, the gadget will begin to spark. Once it stops sparking, you can shoot at the device and reactivate the gate.
Another ability that really sets her apart from everyone else is her melee attack. Due to her prosthetic arm, her melee attack packs more of a punch. I’m not entirely sure it will make it to the final build of Neon Dawn, but you can make pretty sizable holes in soft walls which is pretty useful.
In terms of her stats and weaponry, she is considered an Operator that is moderately difficult to play with. She has moderate speed and armor as well. You can equip Aruni with a P10 RONI submachine gun or Mk 14 EBR marksman rifle as her primary, the PRB92 as her handgun, and barbed wire or bulletproof camera as her second gadget.
Other features coming to Neon Dawn
Like recent updates, Operation Neon Dawn includes a reworked map. This time around, Skyscraper gets some much-needed changes that make it more balanced and competitive. The number of balconies has been reduced and relocated to attempt to force Attackers inside the building. Bomb sites have also been relocated to make it more balanced.
A number of accessibility features have been added to Rainbow Six Siege. Voice to Text and Text to Voice options for the in-game chat channel has been added. Additionally, you can now adjust the size of the font, as well as adjust the audio and visual cues for the chat.
Several balance changes are coming to some of Rainbow Six Siege’s most popular Operators. Hibana will now have three configuration options for her X-Kairos Launcher; you can now choose to shoot 2, 4, or 6 X-Kairos. Echo’s Yokai drone will now be visible when it is on ceilings. Lastly, Jager’s Active Defense System will have a 10-second cooldown; the gadget cannot takeout projectiles while it is on cooldown. Additionally, the ADS will have an infinite amount of charges rather than the 2 it currently has.
I had a couple of hours to check out the new Operator and map rework coming with Operation Neon Dawn. From what I’ve played, the changes generally seem great. Like previous Operations, the updates don’t drastically change the game by any means, but it seems different enough to make the game more balanced, competitive, and fun.
As previously stated above, the Skyscraper map rework changed its bombsites and balconies to make it more balanced and competitive; I feel like Ubisoft has succeeded in doing just that. While I haven’t played too much of the Skyscraper map, I do remember it being the map “where I just hang upside down outside and try to pick people off from the balcony.” I felt like staying on the balcony did not feel as safe as usual, really forcing us to move inside.
Additionally, like other map reworks, I really like how they’ve redesigned Skyscraper’s look. Going back to the old version of the map, it is pretty difficult to differentiate between all the rooms. The reworked version adds a bit more “personality” to the map, with different colors and landmarks that make each room better suited for shot-calling.
While the Skyscraper rework is great, it is Aruni that steals the show for Operation Neon Dawn. I really like the addition of the Surya Gates. Going into the preview, I thought the laser gates would be a bit overpowered. However, that notion quickly changed just one match in. While the gadget is solid for securing any given site, it never felt like the gates really stopped any defender from getting in. Both hard and soft breachers could easily find ways around the gates. Also, if you have the means to do so, you could just waste some utility and deactivate the gate if you really need to.
I also really liked Aruni’s melee attack. Instead of the typical bop with your gun, you use your red prosthetic arm (which totally reminded me of Metal Gear Solid V, a great video game) to punch your opponents. Not only does the attack do more damage, but it also makes bigger holes in soft walls, making her great for creating holes without wasting utility.
I feel like I say this every time I preview one of these updates, but Operation Neon Dawn brings more solid additions to one of the best first-person shooters around. Aruni is a fun Defender I can see myself using frequently and the Skyscraper map rework seems to include the changes it needed to make it more competitive. Operation Neon Dawn is a great update to close off this year’s season.
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