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The next season of Rainbow Six Siege is called Void Edge and it brings two of the most fun operators the game has seen since it launched. One is a blunt tool, the other a walking magic trick. While it's too soon to say if we'll see them used much in competitive play, Oryx and Iana are certainly going carve their way into casual and ranked play.
Oryx, the new defender coming in Void Edge, is a human bulldozer. The operator has a charge ability that lets him smash through walls and barricades as if they were paper. If he launches into an attacker, or they're on the other side of a barricade he ploughs through, then he knocks them down, making for an easy kill. It's hard to overstate just how much fun it is to play as this blunt instrument of a man.
Using his charge ability, the Jordanian operator is the fastest character in the game, making him a competent roamer. While attackers are breaching a level, Oryx can be sprinting around the perimeter breaking up the assaulters' formation. Not only can he emerge into a fight, smashing through a wall to surprise attacking players, he can use his ability to escape combat. A number of times while playing with him I'd find myself cornered in a room with only one entrance and using his charge to escape through one of the walls, leaving a large Oryx-shaped hole behind.
Increasing his mobility further, Oryx is also able to climb up through the hatches dotted around Siege's maps. Normally used for going down a floor without using a staircase, or opening up an angle on enemy players in the room above or below you, Oryx can use them to climb up to the next floor. Facing Oryx is a little like going up against the xenomorph from the Alien movies, only, instead of razor sharp claws and teeth, he's armed with a shotgun.
Oryx has some notable weaknesses. For one, smashing through a wall causes him 10 damage each time. So if low on health, you may not be able to escape from a fight by charging through a wall, not without killing yourself in the process. Also, there's a brief window after breaking through a wall where your gun is lowered, just enough time for quick-fingered enemies to shoot the man mountain before he's recovered.
Where Oryx is a blunt tool, the new attacker, Iana, is a more subtle operator. Her special is the ability to summon a hologram of herself which you can control as though it were your actual character, giving her a dual role of both intel and counter-intel on the team.
When you summon a hologram, control switches from Iana to the projection. You can then move around the level as though it was your character, though it can't rappel or climb ladders. This means the hologram acts similarly to a drone, and you can call out what you're seeing to your team as you scout areas you wouldn't want to risk entering yourself.
The hologram is an identical copy of Iana, including any custom items you have equipped, so there's nothing to give away to the enemy team that it's only a projection. Naturally this opens up a string of possibilities. You can use the hologram to distract an enemy player while a teammate attacks them, or you can coax the enemy into triggering their equipment against the hologram, or simply into confusing the enemies' communication, by having them report Iana advancing on one part of the map while you're in fact in a different area entirely.
Iana's hologram can't shoot and it can't take any damage without dissipating, so it's very much a tool rather than a weapon. However, Iana is also armed with the choice of two different assault rifles so she can hold her own in a gunfight.
I can't deny that I have simple tastes when it comes to Siege, I just want to see walls explode. So Oryx has charged his way into my heart by letting me burst through plasterboard like The Terminator. But a close second to straight up destruction is an operator who lets me make my enemies feel silly, and running in circles around a foe as Iana's hologram is a great way to piss someone off. I was a big fan of Kali and Wamai when they launched as part of Operation Shifting Tides, but I think these two new operators have surpassed them.
Void Edge isn't just new characters. The season also brings a reworked version of Oregon, the isolationist militia camp that's been part of Siege since it launched in 2015. After so many years in circulation, the map has become a little stale, with new operators doing little to shake up the best strategies for winning there. The updated version of Oregon doesn't change the map's exterior much, though it does expand the office tower, making it easier to defend, but it creates new routes into and through the building. For instance, there's a new staircase down into the basement, making it easier for attackers to reach the bomb site down there. Windows added on the second floor also make it easier for attackers to enter the building and defenders to circle attackers breaching through the roof.
Other changes include an update main menu, making it easier to get into the game mode you're looking for (as well as providing information about what the different modes are). And some tweaks to destruction to stop fragments of barricades obscuring your view. While these tweaks and the map's rework are welcome changes, it's the new operators that steal the show.
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