As promised, Ubisoft pulled back the curtain on Rainbow Six Siege's next big update, Operation Para Bellum, during the Siege Pro League Finals this past weekend. The update rolls out for PS4, Xbox One, and PC this June and will kick off the second season of Year 3 with two new Operators, an additional map, and a variety of other changes in what Ubisoft calls "one of the largest content updates yet" for the tactical shooter.
Headlining Operation Para Bellum are two new Italian Operators, Alibi and Maestro. While both were unveiled in the weeks leading up to the Pro League Finals, Ubisoft provided a much closer look at the new Defenders during the tournament. Alibi is able to distract opponents by deploying holographic decoys of herself. Maestro, meanwhile, can lay down a bulletproof turret that can see through smoke and fire laser-powered rounds.
Arriving alongside the two Operators is a new map called Villa, a luxurious mansion set in the Italian countryside. The Villa is owned by the Vinciguerra, a "dangerous crime family" notorious for smuggling. "Players will arrive at Villa during a key moment: Vinciguerra is burning documents and transporting their holdings before the big raid. But they've got wind of Operation Para Bellum and fled, leaving everything in disarray with vital information ready for the taking," Ubisoft says.
In addition to the new content, Operation Para Bellum will make a number of gameplay and balance tweaks. Among them, existing Operators will receive some speed adjustments, while Echo, in particular, will get a second Yokai drone along with a buff. The Clubhouse map is likewise being buffed, and Ubisoft is introducing a new Pick & Ban system, which has players trying to counter their opponent's choices by banning certain Operators from play.
Before the Operation Para Bellum update arrives in the live game, PC players will have a chance to try on the Rainbow Six Siege test server beginning May 22. However, Ubisoft notes that "a consistent gameplay experience is not guaranteed on the Test Server." We recently got a chance to go hands-on with the new Operators; you can watch us play several matches of Siege with Alibi and Maestro on Villa. You can also hear our thoughts on Operation Para Bellum and the new content it brings to Rainbow Six Siege.