Gamescom has officially ended, which means it’s about time to review some of the more exciting news from last week. Ubisoft revealed gameplay for Rainbow Six: Siege’s three new playable operators during the studio’s presentation on Saturday, and while they each come from very different backgrounds, it’s easy to see already how the three will fit snugly alongside the game’s cast of characters. Check out the below livestream from the event for a look at Siege’s Ying, Lesion, and Ela (reveal begins at 12:20).
This isn’t actually the first we’ve heard of any of these operators. “Operation Blood Orchid,” as the update has been dubbed, was initially detailed in a post over Ubisoft’s blog, which came coupled with a trailer for the three new characters over the studio’s official YouTube channel. There’s one attacker and two defenders, each with their own unique abilities and skills.
The first operator detailed in the above stream is Lesion, a Hong Kong-born character with a background in scavenging and toxic waste disposal. It’s this latter characteristic that plays a part in Siege; as a Defender, Lesion’s primary perk comes in the form of an assortment of throwable “Gu mines.” These mines launch needles into the bodies of any players unfortunate enough to trigger them, and will begin affecting the player with a damage-over-time mechanic and a nasty, visual distortion. This effect also cripples the player, preventing them from sprinting, and persists until removed – a delicate procedure that leaves the player temporarily vulnerable.
Lesion has access to seven of these mines, though not all at once; they become available every 35 seconds and are indicated by a cooldown timer on the player’s screen. It’s this last ability that will likely sway the actions of the enemy team the most, as players will likely feel pressured to eliminate Lesion more quickly to prevent him from continuing to deploy his full arsenal of Gu mines.
The next character is Ying, another Chinese character that hails from a more aristocratic background than her poorer counterpart, Lesion. The lone Attacker of the Blood Orchid update, Ying is equipped with three “Candela” devices, which are described as “small spheres that shoot flash charges into the air and blind anyone nearby” – with one exception. Ying’s special glasses prevent her from being blinded by her own Candelas, which allows her to quickly follow them into a room for maximum confusion and advantage over her opponents.
Like normal grenades, Ying can “cook” Candelas by holding them in her hand before tossing them. A series of status lights on the side of the Candela indicate how long she has before they go off, allowing for the optimum level of control over timing the powerful, blinding grenades. They can also be “Fuzed” to a breachable surface, which will flash all of Ying’s opponents on the other side as she breaches in.
The third and final member of the new update is the Poland-born Ela. As a Defender, Ela’s abilities are very similar to Lesion; she’s equipped with a number of “Grzmot” mines that, upon close proximity with a player, detonate with a concussing force. Grzmot mines can be stuck to ceilings, walls, and floors, and will stun nearby enemies long enough for the speedy Ela to quickly arrive and dispatch them.
Operation Blood Orchid is scheduled to arrive to Rainbow Six: Siege on September 5, and will include a new, Hong Kong-themed park as an additional map. The three operators will be available for free to Season Pass holders and will be made purchasable over the in-game story the following week. For more information, tune in to Ubisoft’s official Twitter page, or check out the studio’s blog for access to future media releases and news.