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Rainbow Six Siege - High Calibre Hands-On
Post by Joaby @ 05:55pm 09/11/21 | Comments
We recently went hands-on with RB6's High Calibre - read on for our expert thoughts...

Rainbow Six Siege's reluctance to do something about runouts has always puzzled me. I mean, it's in the name of the game. "Siege" implies a group of people who are under siege — and I'm not talking about fat fraud "martial artists"/"actors"/"sheriffs" waddling around a galley.

With High Calibre, the team at Ubisoft Montreal is finally taking more steps in the right direction. But before we get into that, let's dive into the real important stuff coming with Year 6 Season 4 of Rainbow Six Siege.


The new operator in High Calibre is Thorn, an Irish defender who brings with her a blade-based proximity mine and — bizarrely, to me — the first completely fictional weapon in the history of the game.

A member of Ireland's Emergency Response Unit, there's something pleasant about hearing Thorn's voicelines in her hushed Irish brogue. There aren't enough Irish accents in popular media in my opinion. "Sendin' out a shell" she declares as she deploys her Razorbloom Shell, a deadly proximity mine she can place practically anywhere.


"It's apparently a one-shot — but it seems to work better as a distraction than direct damage...”



It's a weird device in its current form. Once primed, it takes about two seconds to trigger, which meant in practice it didn't result in kills. If an enemy is close enough, it's apparently a one-shot — but it seems to work better as a distraction than direct damage. I believe only one kill was earned by the Razorbloom during our preview session — and from my perspective it was the gun that did the fragging, not the device.



Her gun — the UZK50GI — is a beast. It's a 50 calibre SMG, which makes absolutely no sense to me, and it's a bloody lazer, which makes even less sense. It can rip holes in walls with ease, which I think is the reason for the 50 cal bullets, and it comes with 23 bullets locked and loaded from the outset.

I suppose it's theoretically a gun that could exist — the 50. GI cartridge is a real thing, designed for custom semi-auto handguns — but it's odd to me that Rainbow Six Siege has run out of real world guns to mimic. Even Zero (Sam Fisher)'s gun is based on something real, the FN F2000, but this one has no real-world analog and it feels like a serious departure for the series. And I haven't shot a Guncrafter Industries custom M1911 designed to chamber the 50 GI round, but I have fired a regular M1911 and a regular Desert Eagle, and the absence of meaningful recoil on the UZK50GI feels crazy to me.


"She can now pop her Adrenal Surge while Down But Not Out to get back on her feet, making her more similar to Doc...”



Maybe I'm dwelling. Finka's Spear 308 isn't based on an actual in-use military weapon, after all — the Saritch 308 will remain a mere prototype until the UNSC adopts its design to outfit soldiers in the Human-Covenant war.

Speaking of Finka, she gets a pretty big buff with High Calibre. She can now pop her Adrenal Surge while Down But Not Out to get back on her feet, making her more similar to Doc. She's always been a pretty good pick, but now she's even better (although they doubled her cooldown).



And on the other side of things, all cameras lose signal when outdoors for 10 seconds. That means Valk cams, Bulletproof Cams and Maestro's Evil Eye all get disabled after 10 seconds beyond the defensive perimeter, and they need to be picked up and re-placed to be functional again.

It's a pretty big nerf on Valkyrie. Many top tier players relied heavily on outdoor cam placement, and some of the throws resembled the pixel perfect positioning you see pros use for cross-map nades.


"As I said earlier — it's called Rainbow Six Siege, not Rainbow Six Outdoor Parkour Spawnpeekathon...”



It's also bad news for the sweaty spaghettis who love their runouts — their vision is neutered by this change, which makes bursting out a much riskier proposition. I still think defenders should be "detected" and marked the moment they vault over a window or breach the external boundary of the map — not after a second, but instantaneously. But this camera change is good all the same. As I said earlier — it's called Rainbow Six Siege, not Rainbow Six Outdoor Parkour Spawnpeekathon.

Anyway, you're not here for Rainbow Six Joab's Whingeathon either, so let's crack on. Outback got a rework to make it more competitively viable, which I initially thought was odd — Outback was the first map debuted utilising the team's new map design philosophy, so why would it need a rework?



But in practice I think it's good. There are more soft external walls so there are more entry options from outside, and rejigging areas like the piano room, which was previously a weird no-man's-land, or the garage area mean fewer weird angles for defenders to pop you from. And the personality of the map remains, down to the absurdity of a taxidermied shark in a bar area for a pub deep in the Australian outback.

That said, I cannot understand how Yacht hasn't gotten a rework yet. I understand that it's less a fixer-upper and more a teardown-and-start-from-scratcher, but if any map needs a rework, it's always been that one.


"It's a fantastic way to create non-verbal communication opportunities, which I'm always a fan of...”



The final big change is the brand new UI. They've given Siege a fresh coat of paint, and it looks great. I particularly like the new compass, which shows levels for pings. Inner ring pings are below you, while outer ring pings are above — it's a fantastic way to create non-verbal communication opportunities, which I'm always a fan of.

Back when I previewed Season 3, Crystal Guard, I said I hoped the year would end with a bang and I don't really think it has. But it could be worse — it could be getting nothing at all. We call that “doing an Overwatch”. Maybe Rainbow Six Siege has entered a phase in its existence where big, exciting new elements just don't happen any more — but High Calibre shows that the team at Ubisoft Montreal are still hard at work trying to make Siege as good an experience for as many players as possible.
Read more about Rainbow Six Siege on the game page - we've got the latest news, screenshots, videos, and more!



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