Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Ember Rose hands-on preview

Rainbow Six Siege's Operation Ember Rose includes two new Operators and a total rework of a classic map. Shacknews heads into the Six Major Raleigh to go hands-on.


Ubisoft has assembled a team of Operators from all around the world to join the formidable crew of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. On Sunday, the publisher officially unveiled two more characters set to officially join the roster as part of Operation Ember Rose. They come from Latin America, two of the first characters to do so, ready to offer their specialized gadgets and unique skills to the battle. Amaru and Goyo are the two newest characters joining Rainbow Six Siege, formally unveiled prior to Sunday's Six Major Raleigh Grand Finals.

Shacknews has been live in attendance at the Six Major in Raleigh, North Carolina all weekend. And as long as two new Operators were being introduced, this felt like a good time to try them out for ourselves. So Shacknews carved out some time to check out Amaru and Goyo to see what they could add to their respective teams.

Rainbow Six Siege - Operation Ember Rose

Amaru is an easygoing adventurer coming out of the jungles of Peru. It's not often that one can say that Operators change the entire game as everyone knows it. Amaru does just that. This Attacker's primary gadget is the Garra Hook, a giant grappling hook that quickly gets her up walls and straight through windows. More than that, she can also go straight up through hatches and skylights, which is a first for Rainbow Six Siege. Amaru's loadout includes a GBA1 assault rifle, Supernova shotgun, ITA12-S shotgun, SMG11, Breaching Charge, and Claymore.

We played a few rounds with Amaru, as well as several more rounds with her on our team. Our first impression is that it's really tempting to take her and just run ahead of everybody else. If you're playing casually, you can get careless with her fast, just because she can leave the rest of the team in the dust. If you find a window and aim your Garra Hook, you can swing straight through the window in the blink of an eye, like something right out of an action movie.

Operation Ember Rose - Amaru

Because of this, it's possible to catch the defending team completely off-guard. They may not be expecting Amara to show up so suddenly. Nor will they expect her various mobility options. She can use her Garra Hook to go from one floor to the next fast by rappeling up hatches or skylights. This can either be used to escape or to set up an ambush from above.

The downside to Amaru is that her approach leaves stealth out the door. That previous action movie analogy is apt in more ways than one, because it also means that enemy teams can hear her busting in through windows or hatches. She's not subtle and defenders can react accordingly. It's also easy for Amaru to carelessly fly straight into a trap. If there's something like a Frost trap waiting right by the window, there's nothing to prevent Amaru from barreling straight into it.

Operation Ember Rose - Goyo

On defense, there's Goyo, the stoic tactician torn straight out of Mexico's ongoing drug war. Goyo's primary gadget offers a tool for anybody, friend or foe, to use effectively. It's called the Volcan Shield, a small deployable shield with an explosive cannister along the back. If any player shoots the cannister, the entire shield explodes and leaves the surrounding area ignited. This is strong for slowing down attacking teams, forcing them to either wait out the fire or try to find a different path. Regardless, it creates time for the defending team to go track them down. Goyo's loadout includes the Vector.45ACP machine pistol, TCSG12 assault rifle, P229 pistol, Impact Grenade, and Nitro Cell.

While we didn't play all of our defending rounds with Goyo, his Volcan Shield was an omnipresent part of our playthrough. The gadget can be attached to doorways, which doesn't block the path off entirely, but does slow down opponents. If attackers do attempt to vault the Volcan Shield, any defender can shoot the cannister and blow them to kingdom come. Because of that, the Volcan Shields were frequently placed around bomb sites. Even if Goyo is killed in action, the Volcan Shields are available for any other defender to use themselves.

The trouble with the Volcan Shield is that just about anything can set it off. It's a conspicuous object, so if an attacker finds it, they can lob up a grenade and the imapct will set it off, removing the danger. It's also easy for any of your teammates to blow the thing up if they're not careful. There was even an instance where a teammate tried to climb over the thing and accidentally set off the cannister, blowing themselves right into the blooper reel.

All of our playthroughs took place on Kanal, which has been completely reworked and made ready for ranked play. One of the most distinct features is that the map's two buildings are now connected by a bridge along the center area. Players will also notice a new paint job for each of the two staircases, making them easier to call out to teammates. The interiors have also been restored to allow for more cover areas, as well as better fire fights. Multiple hatches and skylights have also been added to welcome in Amaru and her Garra Hook.

There's more coming to Rainbow Six Siege, including a handful of quality of life features. Reverse Friendly Fire is being adjusted to suss out some of the exploits that have crept in. AFK players will automatically drop the defuser, which will find its way to an active player. Leave penalties are set to escalate. And a slew of other player behavior updates are planned. Players can also expect to see a refined Operator menu to help accommodate the growing number of playable characters. Lastly, for those who don't want the pressure of competing on the ranked ladder, Rainbow Six will add in an Unranked playlist, which includes all of the ranked maps and ranked rule set, but without any of the aforementioned pressures of the ranked grind.

The Kanal rework and the quality of life changes will be free to all Rainbow Six Siege players. Amaru and Goyo will be part of the Year 4 Season Pass. Operation Ember Rose is coming soon.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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