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R6 Siege invades Villa in Operation Para Bellum today

If you seek peace, prepare for this big free content update

Summer's almost here, so Rainbow Six Siege is kicking in the door of a nice Italian villa ostensibly to stop terrorists or something but more likely to claim a place in the sun. Operation Para Bellum launches today, the latest free content update, with the new map, new operators (well, not for everyone just yet), bug fixes, tweaks, and balance changes. The reviled 'dropshot', which let players drop to prone without upsetting their aim, diving to the floor and murderising the poor opponent who's left shooting at air above them, is banished for starters.

The new map sends the Rainbownauts into the grand villa of an Italian crime family, scampering through gardens, cellars, grand rooms, and secret spaces. It's a pretty one:

Watch on YouTube

Para Bellum also overhauls an older map, Clubhouse, improving how it plays by adding and altering paths and areas. They've prettied it up a touch too.

Back to Italy, the update adds two new Italian characters, both Defenders. Alibi can throw decoy hologram projections of herself, and is armed with a new submachine gun or new autoshotty. Maestro can deploy a remote-controlled laser turret, and he's armed with a new LMG or that same autoshotty. They're instantly unlocked today for folks who own the season pass, while regular players will need to wait seven days to unlock them by paying Renown or R6 Credits.

Also new: the option for a MOBA-style 'Pick and Ban' so teams must carefully construct their lineup as their opponents try to foil them by banning characters.

Sadly, Ubisoft have chickened out of letting players throw grenades back.

"This feature did not perform as we had intended, and was prone to collateral damage as a result," Ubisoft explain. "As such, we looked at the data and saw an unnaturally high occurrence of team kills and suicides that resulted from throwing grenades back."

I understand, but I do still find it hilarious when attempted heroics go badly wrong.

Para Bellum rolls out today. Siege's servers will go down for maintenance at 2pm today, then should be back up with the update after about an hour.

For the full story on Para Bellum, look at the update's page for the bulk of the patch notes and today's addendum for the finishing touches.

Oh, and reader, I must apologise. When I said no one knows what "Si vis pacem, para bellum" means, I wasn't entirely correct. I'd missed a fascinating chain of discoveries that meant while we may never know its full meaning, let alone its language, a partial translation survived in a forgotten monk's chronicle, as reader "Monggerel" explained. Thanks for that! And, again, I'm so sorry to have misinformed you all.

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