Home Technology News Rainbow Six Siege Operation Grim Sky: Everything we know

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Grim Sky: Everything we know

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grim sky hero

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is soon on track to receive its next major expansion, with the release of Operation Grim Sky. Following June's Operation Para Bellum, the third season of the year brings two more Operators, an all-new map rework, and various welcome changes.

Although the full reveal for the next season still lies ahead, we already have an idea of what's next. Ubisoft has confirmed several changes in the pipeline, while leaks also lay the foundations for various new content. Here's everything we know about Rainbow Six Siege's Operation Grim Sky, expected to be released later this summer.

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Rainbow Six Siege Operation Grim Sky release date

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rainbow six siege year 3 teaser

Ubisoft isn't currently discussing dates for Operation Grim Sky, though looking back on previous updates provides an idea of what to expect. Currently, we're expecting a release date of September 4, 2018 – or at least an arrival within that week. The expansion's full reveal has been confirmed for the Six Major in Paris on August 19, likely followed by its Technical Test Server debut on August 21. Assuming this test concludes after two weeks, its arrival should be in early September.

So far, Ubisoft has taken to the official Rainbow Six Siege Twitter account to provide the first tease of Season 3. The newly-released GIF shows the reflection of a "Hereford Royal Air Force" emblem, hinting at the forthcoming map rework of "Hereford Base." Ubisoft has since provided a brief overview of the new season, alongside its title, Operation Grim Sky. Expect more details in the coming days, ahead of a full reveal.

New Operators: Blowtorches, shields, and more

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rainbow six siege year 3 pass

Like previous Rainbow Six Siege expansions, Operation Grim Sky is on track to deliver two new playable Operators. The expansion is set to implement Operators from separate counterterrorism units (CTUs) simultaneously, in a similar way to Operation Chimera. One half of this duo will hail from Scotland Yard in the UK, while the second serves the U.S. Delta Force. Both these Operators represent Rainbow's "Urban Tactical Response Team" bearing the cryptic codename "Grim Sky."

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rainbow six siege grim sky attacker

First up is a currently unnamed attacking Operator, "with a remarkably sharp mind" in tactical operations. After finding a love for Kabul while stationed in Afghanistan, this Delta Force solider has seen a lot on the field.

As teased by Rainbow Six brand director, Alexandre Remy, the team has been exploring a new Operator breaching role. This would likely be a new hard breacher that opens reinforced surfaces, expanding on the skillset of Thermite and Hibana. Information found in the game's gadget files surfaced an unannounced "blowtorch," matching the gadget silhouette in the first Grim Sky teaser.

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rainbow six siege grim sky defender

On the defending team, a new shield-wielding Operator appears to be on the horizon. She's an "expert on mob behavior," following deployment among Scotland Yard's riot control personnel. We don't know much about this character, but she appears to handle a bulletproof shield and mounted taser. While we have several shield Operators already in Rainbow Six Siege, this is notably the first defender using such a gadget.

Reference to a "hole blocker" Operator was also found and appears to use a projectile-based system with single, double, and trap states. This could still be on the way for a future season or have been simply canned during development.

Once Grim Sky releases, both Operators should be available at no additional cost to owners of Rainbow Six Siege's Year 3 Pass. Seven days later, these Operators will be available to the public using Renown or R6 Credits.

Map rework: Hereford Base

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rainbow six siege hereford

Ubisoft also plans to debut a "rework" rather than a completely new map, overhaulling an existing in-game location. Likely the first of several reworks, the publisher hopes to maintain the map's essence while delivering "considerable changes to level design and art direction."

Grim Sky's map rework is set to revitalize "Hereford Base," as first showcased during February's Six Invitational. Hereford Base was designed as an archetypal map during early development, though as mechanics evolved, it was less-suited for heavy destruction. Ubisoft has only shared concept art for the project, though we can already see some major changes.

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2x1 17rainbow six siege hereford base concept

One of the biggest additions is a vibrant red brick design, abandoning monotonous colors of concrete and plywood. This revision is set 30 years prior to the existing SAS design, using more varied materials to make destructible surfaces easily identifiable.

The heart of Hereford Base is preserved, maintaining a similar atmosphere and gameplay flow. However, notable changes include reduced entry points, a revamped exterior stairwell, and a revised courtyard. The roof has also undergone a complete overhaul, removing the original balcony. While we've yet to see the interior, expect some significant changes to room layout.

The team plans to better balance bomb sites, too, and aims to make all four viable for defenders. As seen with the new Villa map, bomb site access is being moved away from windows to encourage more internal firefights.

Like previous content drops, access to the new map will be free to all players regardless of owning the Year 3 Pass.

Fixing weapon sights misalignment

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rainbow six siege buck season 1

Back in March 2018, Ubisoft formally addressed an issue affecting the game's primary weapon sights. Known as "weapon sight misalignment," the bug causes bullets to slightly diverge from the sight reticle, leading to unpredictable inaccuracies. It's not immediately noticeable, but for a highly competitive game like Rainbow Six Siege, this has become a major cause of player frustration.

The game's development team has been working on a solution for some time, before eventually settling on a solution this year. Recoil is now being overhauled entirely, requiring reworks on a per-weapon basis. Operation Grim Sky aims to correct these issues without affecting the feel of each weapon's recoil.

Dynamic render scaling for Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro

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rainbow six siege hacking

With the release of Operation Para Bellum, Ubisoft implemented visual upgrades for Rainbow Six Siege on Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro consoles. Taking advantage of their additional horsepower, the game's resolution was bumped to 1728p and 1440p respectively. However, the game still forced 50 percent render scaling, meaning under the hood, scenes were rendered at half the pixel count.

In the expansion's patch notes, Ubisoft touched on plans to introduce dynamic scaling at a later date, allowing consoles to surpass 50 percent in low-complexity scenes. While the true resolution and frame rate will remain unchanged, this will make for sharper images in select situations. This is currently on track for the release of Operation Grim Sky and should make for minor upgrades in clarity.

Further anti-toxicity measures

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As outlined previously this year in response to player toxicity, Ubisoft plans to roll out further tools to combat negative player behavior. A new advanced muting function is the first of these features, to mute specific players over text chat. This can be combined with the existing voice-mute capabilities to finely tune match communication. This expands on the new automated chat filter system, which aims to censor toxic text chat.

Ubisoft has this feature on track for Season 3, though they may release after the main update drops.

Your hopes for Operation Grim Sky

What do you hope to see from Rainbow Six Siege's next season of content? Drop into the comments section below with your top picks.