Siege Y8S2 preview – Fenrir’s fear factor

We’re already moving into Season 2 of Year 8 of Rainbow Six Siege, which launches on May 30th. Operation Dread Factor introduces a new defense operator from Sweden, a rework of the Consulate map, some new gameplay updates for the Shooting Range, a new permanent arcade playlist, and more. This isn’t necessarily the heftiest of updates, but there’s still no shortage of content to unpack here. For me, it’s a bit of a mixed bag between the good and the… not quite bad, but also not the best, but, regardless, what we have coming our way continues to demonstrate Ubisoft’s relentless pursuit of player satisfaction.

Hailing from Uppsala, Sweden, Emil “Fenrir” Svensson is a new tactical Defender whose gadget can cause a fright. He’s equipped with the F-NATT Dread Mine, a throwable device that attaches to any solid surface and releases the Fear Effect gas which temporarily limits the visibility of any Attackers within its proximity. Attacking operators are suddenly enclosed in a dark fog, cutting off their view until they leave the gas’s range, making them vulnerable to attack by Defenders. Thankfully the gas isn’t toxic, so you won’t take any damage from it. Finka’s health boost will also increase the visibility range for those caught up in the gas, but you still have to leave the device’s proximity to fully escape it. Up to 5 of these devices can be deployed, however only 3 can be active at a time.

Darkness closes in on Finka after triggering a Dread Mine

Activating Finka’s health boost has pushed the darkness away, but only for a little while.

I have a few qualms with this gadget already. Only 3 of the 5 can be activated at a time, which often leads to 2 of the 5 not getting used at all. I honestly forgot the other two existed and rarely ever had the chance to activate them either way. In hindsight, deploying all 5 at once was probably not the strat, but I still fail to see how all 5 could ever be fully utilized. The other issue I have with this is a balance issue, as unlike other gadgets that have a usage clause, such as a limit to how many times effects can be activated, Dread Mines never seem to run out of gas. The only thing that will stop a Dread Mine is if it is destroyed. There’s also the fact that they can be activated from anywhere on the map, it doesn’t even have to be within your line-of-sight. I can definitely see some rebalancing done in the future so not as many Dread Mines go to waste, but also to put some limitations on how long they’ll last as well as an activation range.

Aside from Finka’s health boost effects reducing the limits on visibility, there are some other handy Attacker gadgets that can counter the Dread Mine. The current season’s (Y8S1) operator, Brava, can send out a Kludge drone to hack and destroy the device, as can Twitch’s shock drone. Of course, a well-placed grenade or other explosive will do the trick as well. Inactive Dread Mines are bulletproof, but those that have been activated can be shot out before they get triggered. On the flip side, Dread Mines go very well with anything that can slow an Attacker’s movement, like barbed wire and Melusi’s Banshee, and can also be paired up with Thorne’s Razorbloom and other trap gadgets to quickly take out opponents.

Fenrir is also equipped with the MP7 or the SASG-12 shotgun as primary weapon choices. It’s nice to see the MP7 getting more love, though I don’t particularly care for the shotgun because the higher rate of fire means defenders are likely to just spray in your general direction and still take you out, which is a problematic meta within the game already that I hope is addressed soon – this isn’t Call of Duty, it shouldn’t be played like it is. As a secondary, Fenrir will have the BAILIFF 410, the same revolver-sized shotgun used by Oryx which packs a heavy punch against breachable surfaces, like hatches. He is a 2-speed, 2-health operator, giving him a good balance of mobility and health.

Loading into the match, we can see new walls blocking line-of-sight, protecting attackers as they approach the building.

Approaching the garage from Gas Station spawn point

That’s enough about Team Rainbow’s new attack dog, it’s time to move on to the changes made to the Consulate map. I don’t personally think the map needed nearly as much of a rework as what happened here, but they went all out with a full top-down rebuild, leaving no corner or crevice untouched. Long sightlines have been removed virtually everywhere, leading to an almost claustrophobic experience, forcing the player to take a slower and more methodical approach, especially when attacking an objective. Use of long-range optics is strongly discouraged, though I did find the 1.5x optics to work quite well.

The flow and layout of the building doesn’t make much sense from a logical design perspective, some of the rooms and walls just don’t make sense when thinking about how a business or government would operate within the space. There is a room on the main level that isn’t connected to the rest of the main level at all. The only way to access it is from the basement level or from the outside via the breachable wall. It’s not all bad, however, as they’ve also reworked a lot of the exterior, putting up new walls in the surrounding area to help prevent spawn-killing, which has been a pretty big issue on this map since day one. The garage has also been redesigned so attackers don’t have to stand out in the open, risking taking shots from above. There are a ton of other details that I’m sure will catch people’s attention, but we’d be here all day if I went through them all. It’s a lot, that’s all that’s left to say.

Fans of competitive shooters are always looking for ways to up their game, speed up response times, and increase accuracy. One of the best tools for that was the introduction of Aim Labs. Well, Siege is getting its own variant in the Shooting Range called Aiming Lane. This new lane will allow players to test out and master any and all weapons in the game by testing their movement speed, distance accuracy, and more, by training with several target types and configurations. You’ll also be able to test out the destructibility of different weapons with new breakable walls being put in the Range as well. It’s about time these features were brought in as players have been asking for this for ages. Aim Labs is a great tool, no doubt about that, but nothing beats a first-party range that will more accurately represent Siege’s gameplay.

Hacking the Dread Mine with Brava’s Kludge drone destroys the gadget.

Triggered Dread Mine can be seen on the right as the darkness closes in.

We are also getting a new permanent arcade playlist featuring a collection of different yet familiar modes, like Team Deathmatch, Snipers Only, Headshots Only, and Golden Gun. On top of that, a new mode is being introduced this season if you want the ultimate test with Free for All. These modes don’t represent the core gameplay of Siege, but can serve as a unique challenge for players who want to assert dominance across the board or for those who just want to take a break from typical Siege. Headshots Only will become particularly useful as a sort of training for those who struggle with not looking at the floor…

Some balancing updates are arriving this season, including the introduction of a new gadget, the Observation Blocker. This device’s digital barrier can be seen by drones and other observation tools, but is invisible to operators. Placing these strategically will make it harder for attacking operators to gather intel on the objective. I don’t know if this gadget was overtly necessary, and I’m curious to see how often it gets used in the long term. Grim’s Kawan Hive launcher is also getting an update. The Hives will release their swarm faster. The swarms will be bigger and stick around longer, giving Grim a better chance of actually catching a defender.

Operation Dread Factor is adding new controller layouts with alternative inputs for shooting, crouching, and leaning to make the Siege experience a more comfortable one for everyone. Also, Free Camera is coming to Match Replay soon, so you don’t always have to spectate a player when rewatching matches. We’ve also been told that in the future, the ability to hide the HUD elements will be added as well. I’m just imagining the possibilities for those who like to create content around Siege as these updates for Match Replay will open doors… or frames?

Operation Dread Factor is launching on May 30th, just a couple weeks away. Be on the lookout for more Siege content and more from us by staying tuned to, the Gaming Trend YouTube channel, and all of our socials.

Siege Y8S2 preview – Fenrir’s fear factor

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