Quite why anyone would do anything in the outback but stay in the shade and drink beer is beyond me, but it's today's new battlefield in Ubisoft squad shooter Rainbow Six Siege. Burnt Horizon adds a new map set out in a dusty desert service station, plus two role-reversing Australian gadgeteers added to the roster of playable operators. Attacker Gridlock can throw self-deploying patches of spikes, sealing off routes even when playing aggressively, while new defender Mozzie can control the other team's scout drones with his Pest Launcher, and use them against their owners. See them in action in the launch trailer below.
While the new map does look rather nice (I want that shark), probably the most interesting part of Operation Burnt Horizon are the two new operators, which play roles opposite to what you'd expect from their team. Gridlock's Trax Stingers are a spiky nightmare that caltrops want to grow up to be. Thrown like a grenade, they quickly unfurl and multiply like some kind of horrible mechanical rash. On the other side, Mozzie's Pest Launcher fires awful little hacking parasites onto drones, overriding their feeble robot brains and turning them into his minions, allowing him to scout out the attacking team in the match's early stages.
Beyond the regular slab of new content, Ubisoft have rolled out a bigger-than-normal patch. Admittedly much of this is required restructuring to keep patch sizes down in the future, but you'll need to download a big chunk today. Among the changes are adjustments to where the player's view-point is when leaning, improvements to the sprinting animation and a lot of character balance tweaks over the course of Burnt Horizon's public beta test. Capitao has been rolled back to his Wind Bastion status, some of IQ's glitchy animations have been fixed and some edge-case issues with the new operators have been worked out. See the final patch notes here.
While Siege is a heavily competitive game, they've added a 'Newcomer' playlist for lower-levelled players to get the hang of the game. Only three maps on cycle - Bank, Consulate and Chalet - to help newer players learn the ropes before getting into less linear, more esoteric environments. The Casual playlist is still available, offering all the maps too wacky for ranked play, but the Newcomer list seems geared towards brand new players who could use one less thing to worry about while practising. A good change, or so I reckon - with so many operators, Siege is a hard game to learn.
The Burnt Horizon update is live now, and you can read more on its official page here. The new map is free for all, and the new operators can either be bought with in-game currency (requiring extensive grind, sadly), or real money as part of the current yearly pass.
Our Dave has gone down under and returned with an Outback map guide, if you're looking for a quick intro.