Rainbow Six Siege Neon Dawn Preview: Hands-on with Aruni

Operation Neon Dawn is hitting the Rainbow Six Siege test servers soon, and Stevivor was lucky enough to get a hands-on preview of all the changes slated for the new season. Among those changes is the launch of Aruni, the newest operator to join Team Rainbow, and her Surya gates.

Aruni is a pretty special new operator for two reasons. First off, she’s the first Thai operator to join the squad, bringing representation to a whole new part of the world. Second — and perhaps more importantly — she’s the first amputee seen in the game so far, with Ubisoft taking special care to consult returned veterans to get that representation right.

A new operator of course brings a new gadget, and Aruni is certainly no slouch in that department. The best way to think of her Surya Gate is like a Castle barricade, but better. She’s almost as if Castle and Jager had an attacker-busting love child created solely to bring the opposing team pain. The Surya gate is fired directly from Aruni’s prosthesis, and is mounted either above a door frame, window or at the top of a wall – covering the space with a projectile catching laser grid.

While windows and walls will be fully covered, there’s enough space on doors for drones to be able to move underneath. Any gadget, projectile – be they from a friend or foe – or enemy that comes into contact with the gate will be destroyed and the gate will be deactivated for around 20 seconds.  After this, Aruni or any of her teammates can shoot the gate to reactivate it once more, re-establishing the anti-everything field.

The Surya gates are sure to provide a lot of utility and denial for defenders, but that’s not the only strength Aruni is bringing to Team Rainbow.  She also gains the use of the Mk14 EBR, better known as Dokkaebis’ DMR, becoming the first defender to utilize the potent long-range weapon. Equipped with your choice of any of the 1x scopes or the 1.5x, the Mk14 will be sure to give Aruni strong long-angle holds to help lock down the defenders site. Aruni also gains access to the P10 Roni, a small SMG that is a firm community favourite, previously only used by the Australian operator Mozzie.

While seemingly quite strong, I’m pleased by the amount of counterplay that attackers have when coming up against Aruni. The Surya gates are very strong but have a long cooldown between activations, and defenders do have to expose themselves to turn them back on once that cooldown expires. Her weapons are exceptional but are again balanced by having either limited range or a relatively low zoom optic. Overall, Aruni continues the trend of having pretty good operators that bring a bit more flavour to the current line-up, and I’m excited to see her hit professional play next year.

Rainbow Six Siege is currently available on Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4; Neon Dawn heads to all platforms later this year.

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About the author

Hamish Lindsay

Avid reader and general geek, justifying the time I spend playing games by writing about them. I try not to discriminate by genre, but I remember story more than gameplay. I’ve been playing League for longer than Akali and I’m still Silver. Fallout 3 and MGS3 may be the pinnacle of gaming.