This weekend during the Pro League III finals for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft used the event in conjunction with another free-to-play weekend for the game to unveil details of the next content expansion. As officially revealed last week, but leaked a while earlier, Operation Pera Bellum is the title for the Year Three Season Two Rainbow Six Siege DLC and brings to the game a host of updates, gameplay changes, alongside a pair of new operators and a cool new map - all releasing in June 2018.
Operation Para Bellum is one of the largest Rainbow Six Siege updates to date and is playable as of today (right now!) on the PC test server client. We dove right in and have our impressions below. Para Bellum ("Si vis pacem, para bellum" translates to "If you want peace, prepare for war.") introduces two new defending operators, Alibi and Maestro, alongside an all new map, Villa, set in the Italian countryside. There's also a new intel gadget, operator speed adjustments, various other gameplay improvements, and the all new Pick & Ban setting - A feature that evolves the way players engage with multiplayer.
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Before we share our thoughts - here are the basics:
In Operation Para Bellum, two Italian G.I.S. Operators join Rainbow as the unit raids a luxurious Tuscan villa, Rainbow Six Siege’s 20th map. The land belongs to the Vinciguerra, a dangerous crime family known for their smuggling activities. The house is their retreat, where they lead a lavish lifestyle and collect rare art pieces. Players will catch Villa in a snapshot in time: Vinciguerras are burning documents and transporting their holdings before the big raid. But they’ve got wind of Operation Para Bellum and fled, leaving everything in disarray with vital information ready for the taking.
- Speed: Fast (3)
- Armor: Light (1)
- Primary weapons: Mx4 Storm, ACS12
- Secondary weapons: KERATOS .357 Pistol, Bailiff 410 Pistol
- Side Gadgets: Impact Grenade, Deployable Shield
New operator, Alibi, is an undercover infiltration specialists in the Italian Gruppo di Intervento Speciale (G.I.S.) unit. She is a cunning adversary with a gift for infiltrating dense networks of organized crime. Alibi is notable for her deployable Hologram, a mechanism that makes it difficult for enemies to positively identify her from her incredibly realistic projections.
Alibi was born in Tripoli, Libya and immigrated with her family when she was three years old. Her father managed a small ordnance manufacturer, using his contacts to open up exports. She earned her understanding of Italian firearms through the family business and training on the shooting range. At 18, Alibi entered the European Championships, and won gold in two divisions. Following the event, a Carabinieri recruiter convinced her to join the police force.
Alibi’s precision shooting skills shot her up the ranks, and she served for a time with the elite Raggruppamento Operativo Speciale in fighting organized crime. She eventually earned a spot in the Gruppo Intervento Speciale (G.I.S.), and following a successful operation in Afghanistan despite being separated from her unit, she was singled out for undercover work in organized crime. She infiltrated the Vinciguerra Crime Family and spent several years among them before bringing them down from the inside.
UNIQUE ABILITY (GADGET: PRISMA)
Prisma projects holograms identical to Alibi in an idle position. If you shoot or touch the holograms, you’ll be marked and pinged for the next few seconds. If Prisma is deployed outside, a false “Defender Outside” warning is triggered for Attackers. To add an element of surprise, Prisma conceals the identity of any Defender who ventures outside. Any bullet, melee, or explosives damages Prisma, and will shoot through the hologram. Be careful not to stand too close.
- Speed: Slow (1)
- Armor: Heavy (3)
- Primary weapons: ALDA 5.56, ACS12
- Secondary weapons: KERATOS .357 Pistol, Bailiff 410 Pistol
- Side Gadgets: Barbed Wire, Deployable Shield
New Operator, Maestro, is another member of the Italian, Gruppo di Intervento Speciale (G.I.S.) and participated in joint operations in Iraq, earning a facial scar from a roadside IED. Maestro is notable for his remote access turret, which is also bulletproof, capable of seeing through smoke, and able to fire low powered-laser beams.
Maestro is oldest in a family of eight children. He grew up in Rome, but attended the Military Academy of Modena at 18. He then joined the Carabinieri and earned a spot as an Explorer Paratrooper in the 1st Paratrooper Regiment known as Tuscania. After several distinguished tours, Maestro qualified for Gruppo di Intervento Speciale (G.I.S.) and participated in joint operations in Iraq, earning a facial scar from a roadside IED. He went into private consultation where his courses quickly became a top-rated operator boot camp for teaching advanced techniques to Tier 3 and Tier 2 units, as well as private military companies. The Tuscania eventually convinced Maestro to re-enlist to help upgrade one of their units to a Tier 2 Special Forces classification, and this enabled him to join Rainbow as a representative of the Italian Units.
UNIQUE ABILITY (GADGET: EVIL EYE)
Maestro uses a remote-controlled turret firing high-energy laser beams. Once affixed to the floor or wall, Maestro can remote-surveil and provide overwatch in a location through the swivel-mounted camera. When the camera device breaks open to fire a laser beam the core is exposed to damage. Otherwise, the turret is unaffected by bullets and melee. Lastly, Evil Eye can see through smoke.
Operation Para Bellum will also introduce the Pick & Ban system. This feature provides an extra layer of strategy between teams, as each side tries to counter their opponents’ picks during the banning phase. Players can even anticipate a thrilling twist at the last moment, when teams swap Operators for the unexpected 6th Pick.
Additionally game updates include:
- Deloyable Bullet Proof Cameras
- New Counter Defuser Animation
- Dropshotting Adjustments
- Weapon Sight Misalignment Adjustments
- New Observation Tool Management
- Operator Speed Adjustments
- Echo Buff
- Clubhouse Map Buff
Operation Pera Bellum First Impressions
Operation Pera Bellum launched on the Rainbow Six Siege test server (exclusive on PC via Ubisoft's Uplay service) on May 22, 2018 and we jumped in to check out everything that's. The revision to the Clubhouse map is great and offers a drastic redesign to two high-traffic areas (the large ground-level bar and pool table area and upstairs in the construction area). Both areas seem offer more pathing and help the defenders quite a bit.
As for the new operators, Maestro being the game's first ACOG-capable LMG to the game is very interesting since he's basically a heavy defensive attacker who can also sit back in support while operating his pair of bulletproof, laser cameras. Alibi on the other hand is a great roamer who can hold an entire path with the use of holograms (she can place 3!). Her speed and impact grenades let her chase attackers who reveal themselves by shooting the holograms.
They both come with the game's first fully automated shotgun which is the new best non-explosive way to open holes in destructible ceilings, floors, and walls. In terms of combat though, it's only good if you're virtually point blank with enemies since its damage drop off at range is extreme. The same goes for their shotgun pistol which is great as a secondary for hole-making and drone-killing but ineffective at mid range and beyond. Their other pistol, the six-shooter can take a silencer and is fun to use.
The new Villa map however, fails to impress. It's heavily focused on corridors and most of the walls are made of brick and there are minimal windows. An open center to the structure and it's focus on verticality in this area are interesting, but for a large villain it feels way to claustrophobic. It'd benefit with some revisions taken from the Coastline and Favela map designs. More windows, open spots, and destructible walls are needed. It's too dark like Theme Park as well.
Lastly, a few defensive operators get a new bulletproof gadget which offers another option. They only get one and it must be placed manaully on a surface. If there's a key path to block, it's good to have one on the team but it feels less an addition, as more a replacement since the operators who get this option, lost a side gadget choice for it. With this new gadget, Valkyrie, and now Maestro (plus the change to camera use in the build phase), there's a big push to get players looking at cameras with Operation Pera Bellum.
- Rainbow Six: Siege (2015) release date: Dec 01, 2015