In a competitive game like Rainbow Six Siege, balance is everything. Operators and gadgets can be buffed or nerfed at a whim, but when a map favours attack or defence too strongly this can cause all sorts of problems that aren’t so easily fixed by a simple tweak of some numbers. Instead these often require entire reworks, in some cases changing a map entirely in the pursuit of balance.
Chalet has long such been a chronically imbalanced affair, with the unlucky defenders facing the almost impossible task of holding off attackers as they assault the hilltop home. That’s set to change in Shadow Legacy, as a wholly reworked Chalet joins the map pool in an almost unrecognisable form – from the inside at least.
From the outside Chalet looks mostly as we remember it – snowy hilltops, balconies and an array of rocky outcrops – though there are two major changes that should be immediately obvious to veterans of the series. Firstly, the balcony outside of Master Bedroom is gone, instead it has been integrated into the house in the form of the new “Solarium” area. Second, there’s the new ledge and accompanying window just above snowmobile garage. Both changes are quite dramatic, offering better options for defenders on both ends of the main building.
Inside Chalet is where things take a sharp turn away from the familiar, with almost every area of the house seeing major changes that are bound to affect game play. The area around Master Bedroom has undergone some drastic renovations, with the Solarium, a new closet, an updated bathroom and a whole new room called Piano Room on offer to provide more options for defenders. The stairs to Trophy/Kitchen have been moved too, now descending from Solarium down into Trophy. Kitchen/Trophy has gone largely unchanged otherwise, but this side of the map now plays markedly differently to before and provides defenders with more of a buffer from the attackers onslaught.
The changes continue across the other side of the map too, with Fireplace Hall now being reminiscent of the Skylight area in bank. Upstairs has seen some serious renovations to the Library area, while underneath it the Bar has had some hefty renovations too to limit attacker sight lines and make the site more viable for defenders. Perhaps the largest change comes to the previously “safe” site for defenders in Snowmobile Garage. A new corridor connects the blue stair area to Wine Cellar, and the site has been decluttered to prevent sneaky defenders from anchoring safely on site.
There’s some great changes here and the map is far, far more balanced for them.However, these changes come at the cost of a lot of the character that the map once had. While it’s all well and good to have a perfectly balanced array of bomb sites and entry points, if all maps end up feeling too samey then the game can quickly lose their lustre.
Rainbow Six Siege is currently available on Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4; Shadow Legacy heads to all platforms later this year.