Rainbow Six Siege Operation Crystal Guard Preview

A new point of view.

Have you ever been attacking in Rainbow Six Siege and though to yourself, “man, these bulletproof shields the Defenders have are great! I wish I had one!”? Well wish no more my friends, Operation Crystal Guard is here to help you fulfill your wildest fantasies.

Also? You should get out more.

Crystal Guard introduces us to Osa, an attacking powerhouse with great guns and what is sure to be a top tier gadget. She brings Thermites 556xi, an exceptionally capable weapon, and Jackals PDW 9, another incredibly strong gun with very controllable recoil. She also brings with her the Talon 8 Clear Shield, which is essentially a bulletproof shield for attackers with one distinct advantage – it’s totally see through.

This versatile gadget allows her to push sites, peak angles and be a general information gathering nuisance from almost complete safety while crouched. When it’s time to fight back though, Osa can deploy her gadget in the bottom or top of windows, doorways or even just on the ground while being totally protected from incoming fire.

In our brief play session, I got to rock and roll as Osa across several rounds and she’s easily one of the most exciting operators for me in recent memory. Even if she had average guns, her gadget alone would make her a powerhouse as she can scope out sites from relative safety. Her guns, however, are top tier with the 556xi being one of the best feeling primaries in Siege. You’re going to see a lot of Osa once Crystal Guard goes live.

Rather than a new map or a total rework, Crystal Guard brings with it some much needed, if minor, balancing tweaks to three maps: Clubhouse, Coastline and Bank. Clubhouse, a personal favourite map of mine, is getting a major rework to the Bar site and some significant rotations opened for attackers outside of the map. On Coastline, VIP has been significantly reinforced for Defenders and the whole Courtyard area now provides a much better experience for Defenders overall.

The biggest changes though are undoubtedly those coming to Bank, a map that has long been considered a slog in Ranked play. Starting at the top, literally, the skylights have now been boarded up to stop nosey Attackers from getting an edge on a rotating Defender. Then there’s the windows in Open Area that previously gave crafty snipers a veritable turkey shoot across an entire floor – those are now boarded up to further emphasise Defender safety.

Perhaps the most drastic changes come to the basement vault area on the maps lowest level. Vault is nearly unrecognisable now, with all those pesky metal bars removed and several walls gone too. The whole downstairs area now feels far less claustrophobic to move around in, and better to defend too. Finally, Attackers do get some love too: many of the run outs and spawn peaks have been blocked off to even out those early game gun fights.

Also coming this season are a few minor Operator balancing changes, though nothing to get too excited about. Twitch drones can now fully destroy gadgets again and IQ can now make use of the smart ping system when looking through her electronics detector. Our big Russian boy Fuze gets some love too and can now deploy his cluster charges onto reinforced walls and hatches for optimal hostage-killing efficiency.

You’ll be able to get your hands on Osa and stretch your legs around the freshly snazzed up maps when Crystal Guard hits the test server soon.

Rainbow Six Siege is currently available on Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, PS4 and PS5.

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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.