Since September 7th, Rainbow Six Siege players have been enjoying the new season, Operation Crystal Guard. The season features new map reworks, a new operator, and fresh content in the battle pass. This season is packed with fun changes for players, in fact, it seems that this season has already gained praise from the game’s top influencers, such as Pengu and BikiniBodhi. With that being said, let’s break down what Operation Crystal Guard has to offer.
Bank: Out of all three maps reworked this season, Bank needed the most work—you were lucky if you didn’t encounter defenders trying to run out for spawn kills. In other words, spawn killing was a reoccurring event on this map either from Parking Front or Back Alley. If you look at the notes for the changes to this map, most of them are to prevent spawn kills or “runout eliminations.”
In addition to the exterior changes, there are a few notable interior changes: the hatch in Lobby is now in front of the desk instead of behind it, skylights are now blocked, and there are no longer metal bars in Vault.
The hatch in Lobby now leads into Vault giving attackers a better option to push from. Skylights being blocked will allow defense to roam through hallways without worrying about being taken out from above. Lastly, the removal of the metal bars in Vault will ensure your bullets don’t ricochet off during a firefight. Each of these changes give both attackers, and defenders, better mobility throughout the map.
Coastline: While Coastline’s changes are fewer in number compared to Bank’s, they are just as impactful for players. For example, certain lines of sight from Rooftop are now blocked to prevent unfair vantage points for attackers, the Service Entrance bomb site has been moved back, and there is a destructible wall in VIP instead of a window.
The moving of bomb sites downstairs and giving VIP a destructible wall is a massive improvement for players. Rather than attackers being able to walk into Service Entrance and immediately plant in the doorway, they will now have to push between the exterior door and Reception bomb site. This allows defenders to hold the site better and prevent attackers from holding angles outside when you could plant in the doorway. Plus, VIP now having a destructible wall instead of a window gives defenders a whole new way to approach a Penthouse/Theatre defense. Personally, as a player, trying to hold Penthouse on defense consisted of hard-breach denial and intel gathering, because that’s all you could do. If you had a roamer, you would have to stay close in case attackers suddenly gained control of bomb site (which happened quite frequently since you couldn’t hold a defense anywhere besides in site). Now, defenders can expand their hold into VIP and have better mobility around the top floor. In turn, making Penthouse/Theatre a viable option for defenders.
Clubhouse: As for the changes to Clubhouse, they are the least dramatic of the map reworks. Essentially, the spawning areas Kennels and Graffiti Area are now connected with a pathway, the bomb site in Stock room is now in Bar, and there is a doorway between the bar and stage.
Connecting the Kennels and Graffiti Area spawns allows attackers to reach each side of the map quickly rather than having to repel to the roof. Further, the bomb site in Stock room being moved to Bar gives two planting sites in a small area, preventing defenders from being too spread out when holding the site. Not to mention, the doorway in Bar provides better defensive mobility to each bomb site.
New Operator: Osa
Compared to recent operators, Osa brings players the most variety in terms of playstyle. Her Talon-8 Shield is bulletproof, transparent, can be carried while walking, and can either be placed on the floor or in a window. This ability helps her block incoming bullets while she establishes an attacking strategy.
Osa is armed with either the 556xi assault rifle or PDW9 submachine gun, the PMM pistol, and the choice of smoke grenades or a claymore as a gadget. Osa is a two-armor, two-speed operator, giving her ample mobility to fortify wherever she pleases.
Practically equipped with a transparent wall, Osa can create protected lines of sight for attackers and create paths unthought-of. Players who like to be aggressive can use her ability to quickly establish control in a bomb site, or players who like to scope out the map before planting can find enemies safely by themselves or with teammates. Osa’s variety in offered playstyle is sure to give every type of player a reason to pick her.
This season’s battle pass offers a range of gun skins, operator skins/headgears, charms, and of course, R6 credits and Alpha packs. For example, tier 50 offers the Broad Blade G8A1 skin for Amaru and IQ. Another eye-catching gun skin can be found at tier 92, which features a CSRX 300 skin for Kali.
Although it isn’t in the battle pass, I must mention the absolutely gorgeous seasonal skin for Operation Crystal Guard.
Despite Operation Crystal Guard having just started, it has already earned the praise from some of Rainbow Six Siege’s top influencers. Pengu, a retired pro player, tweeted his excitement to play Osa.
BikiniBodhi, a content creator for Esports Organization FNATIC, gave Osa high praise after his rounds of playing her. Gaining approval from Pengu and BikiniBodhi is a big change after both influencers voiced their frustrations about the current state of Rainbow Six Siege. You can read more about their opinions of the game in my previous article, “The State of Rainbow Six Siege.”
As a final thought, Operation Crystal Guard brings changes to maps that desperately needed them and a new operator that will change the way attackers push bomb sites. Though they are still fairly new, the changes to Bank, Coastline, and Clubhouse allow players to look at these maps in a refreshed way—they now have opportunities to utilize different bomb sites usually not picked. Throwing Osa’s playstyle and abilities into the mix, this season is surely promised to be the best one we’ve played in a while.