A handful of rounds. That’s all I’d ever played of Siege walking into this Blood Orchid hands-on. I remember loving what I played of it, but for one reason or another, I moved on. Competitive gaming has never been my scene, always opting to lone wolf against A.I. or to just trot through a game’s single-player campaign. Knowing full well Siege’s fan base is passionate and that it’s huge in eSports at the moment, perhaps there’s no better time for me to return.
Because, even though I had no idea what was going on, Siege is a whole lot of fun and the new update, Blood Orchid, offers up a few new ways to play and a really neat map titled Theme Park.I was about as useful as a screen door on a submarine to my team, excluding one round where a clumsy and accidental headshot in a one-on-one stand-off could be mistaken for heroics. When I wasn’t saving the day, I spent matches playing it safe while my far bolder squadmates, despite their bravery, get literally blown away. I tried my best to just follow those who had a clue, all the while scoping out Theme Park. Neon signage still burns bright strangely enough, considering how dilapidated and rustic the rest of the park is. Once inside, it’s more of a plaza with a spattering of arcade machines and odd, creepy horror props tucked into most nooks. It’s a really cool map that was fun to play from both sides of the fence.
To compliment the new Theme Park map, the Blood Orchid update also introduces three new Operators.Two of the new Operators, Ying and Lesion, hail from Hong Kong, while the third, Ela, is a member of Poland’s anti-terrorism unit. Ying is an attacking character who’ll have you, as Manfred Mann once sang, blinded by the light. His Candela gadget lets off a series of blinding flashes in the air. The coolest thing you can do with these is to attach them to breachable walls, this sees them go through and detonate on the other side.
I don’t envy an Operator that happens upon someone who plays Lesion well, either. I got on the wrong end of his Gu mines once or twice, and they’re just awful to deal with. True to his name, his mines inject a lingering and disorienting poison that leaves an Operator open to attack. Being able to deploy up to seven of these at once, as a defending player, is super cool and opens up a whole lot of ways to set up perimeter defenses.Ela’s Grzmot mines are really useful too as they’re attachable to any surface. The downside is they don’t hurt those who trip them, though they stun them, allowing you to swoop and pick up a hard-earned kill. I learned along the way that most kills in Siege are hard-earned.
I started the day having only played a handful of rounds. Now that I’ve played a handful more, I think it’s about time I rejoin the party.
Rainbox Six Siege: Blood Orchid has a tentative release date of September 5th
Press Start is attending Gamescom 2017 as a guest of Ubisoft. This does not prevent us from covering titles exhibited by other publishers, nor does it hinder us from providing honest impressions about Ubisoft’s show line-up.