Rainbow Six: Siege Dust Line
When Rainbow Six: Siege was released last year it really changed the way the gaming PC world looked at modern first-person shooters. It brought us more compact arenas with plenty of crevices and cubbyholes to hide in and peep out from. It also introduced a whole level of environmental destructibility that opened up new avenues of attack—or defense, making each playthrough a unique and tension-filled experience. Add to that, verticality (i.e. being able to assault your foes from above or below), and needless to say, your typical Rainbow Six: Siege match is anything but “typical.”
It’s been awhile since Ubisoft regaled us gamers with some DLC content and I found myself growing rather weary with what’s already on offer. Luckily, they’ve come dashing in with a new DLC just in time to stave-off the tedium. But does the new DLC, titled: Rainbow Six: Siege Dust Line, pack enough firepower to sate the ravenous hordes of FPS junkies—at least for the time being?
Rainbow Six: Siege Dust Line (which just launched yesterday) drops two new operators into the mix and also gives us a new desert-y map. Having just played a few sessions (actually I’ll admit it—many, many sessions) I’m here to give you a first-hand report from the frontlines.
Our first operator is a Navy SEAL codenamed Blackbeard. He’s a big strapping fellow who can either be outfitted with an assault rifle for more direct engagements, or a powerful DMR (designated marksman rifle) for close fire support. Since Blackbeard is an attacking operator, I feel that he plays best when outfitted with the assault rifle since this gives his special perk even more importance: Blackbeard just so happens to carry a mounted ballistic shield on his weapon, which effectively provides hard cover for the areas above—and to the sides—of its barrel.
This opens up a whole slew of new tactical opportunities for Blackbeard. While playing him I would sometimes find a spot, such as behind a desk or piece of machinery, and kneel down behind it. This tactic would provide only a limited amount of protection with your average, unprotected operator, but since his shield largely covers most of his upper body it effectively makes him nigh invincible—at least from the front while squatting.
I’m also a big fan of rappelling (having actually done so in the military) and when attacking, I frequently implement it into my assault game. I’m a big fan of poking the window barricades of an objective room and making the defenders in it scurry around like little scared mice, then quickly relocating to another window and doing the same thing. This tactic is great for getting defender’s heads to swivel around like ventriloquist’s dolls and really amps up their already tense atmospheres to Xanax or Valium-popping-worthy levels of paranoia. That is until one or more of them freaks out and shoots me through the window.
With Blackbeard, I can effectively shut down this spaz-tastic tactic since I can only expose his head and shoulders to a window’s opening. I found that while poking around at windows, the frequent freak-outs which would sometimes end up with me having a piece of lead or two in my cranium, would turn into me looking at bullet splash-off patterns on my rifle’s shield. This is even more effective when you hang Blackbeard over a window opening upside-down, since defenders usually assume you’re coming up from a lower position.
Now before you go thinking that Blackbeard is overpowered, let me tell you he isn’t. His weapons are pretty standard—stopping power-wise, and if you flank him his shiny little bullet shield is effectively useless. Shooting at his lower body is also a good tactic if you catch him walking around without any hard lower body cover.
Next up is another *cough* Navy SEAL, Valkyrie. I know that it’s politically correct (as well as a SJW’s wet dream) to have all of these women in games filling in on frontline combat roles, but to me it just breaks the already spotty sense of disbelief. Look, I know games aren’t supposed to be real but tactical shooters like this, which are trying to mimic real-life SOF and special response units, should at least have one foot grounded in reality.
Straight-up, having women in frontline combat roles would be detrimental to unit cohesion and that is proven (even in a game) by gamers cracking jokes about female operators such as Valkyrie during Rainbow Six: Siege matches. This makes it much more of a distracting and annoying experience than anything, and takes away from the focus that is required to win matches. Let’s just stick to a closer version of reality and not bend to whatever is popular—or in or cool, political-correctness-wise, can we? That’s my opinion, anyway.
Beyond that, as a defensive operator, Valkyrie offers a really useful gadget addition: Miniature, deployable, Black Eye cameras. This makes for some really interesting tactical possibilities, as she is able to deploy up to four of these micro-cams, and can effectively create an on-the-fly CCTV network. On more than one occasion, after being shot and killed, I found myself looking through a couple of her deployed sticky cams and marking enemies as they tried to maneuver in on an objective, and many times our foes were dealt with because of that intel, which helped to save the day. She comes standard with a machine pistol or a shotgun.
Valkyrie’s cameras force attackers to think twice about skirting around in previously under-used portions of maps, nervously scanning around on the walls, floors, and ceilings for her little inconspicuous snoop-globes. Other opportunities abound. For instance, pair her up with another operator who is using nitro cell, and when she sees enemies nearing it, KA-BLOWY, you’ve got yourself some gibs to shovel and mop up.
The new map, Border, is an immigration office somewhere in the Middle East. Since I tend to fancy larger maps I really like this one, since it offers a lot more tactical considerations for both attackers and defenders. Since the office is still in the process of being built there are a lot of unfinished walls just laying around, waiting to get demolished, making it Rainbow Six: Siege’s most destructible map yet. I think Border pairs especially well with Valkyrie’s sticky cams since they are even more useful in such an ever-changing environment. Being able to locate and tag enemies who attack from varying positions and angles can really change the tide of battle during any match.
Rainbow Six: Siege Dust Line doesn’t revolutionize anything, but rather it enhances what’s already there. Old maps can now be played in completely different ways because of the tools that the new operators bring to the table. Ubisoft has also fixed a bunch of bugs as well as improved little details here and there, such as making under-played operator Montagne’s shield more expansive. They also bumped up the graphics slightly, giving the operators and their environments much-needed facelifts. Rainbow Six: Siege Dust Line breathes new life into this crafty and intelligent (and sometimes claustrophobic) tactical shooter.
Rainbow Six: Siege Dust Line have been optimized and retouched to look a lot more detailed, but only with a decent gaming PC or gaming laptop, such as this one:
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