Ever since the end of the original Operation Health in June 2017, Rainbow Six Siege fans have been begging for a new seasonal update that fixes some of the game’s biggest issues. From toxicity to desync, every Siege player has their bugbear – and while North Star isn’t quite Operation Health 2.0, it’s the closest we’ve come yet.
While it’s not the same as the original operation (North Star actually brings new content to the game), this is something of an admission from Ubisoft that Siege’s competitive integrity has been lacking. As someone who dropped off from playing Rainbow Six Siege ranked games a year ago due to the cumulative frustrations of being shot through an impossibly tiny hole in a wall from three rooms away, or having different sightlines to my enemy because of a visual bug, hearing that is really refreshing.
The armour to health change coming in North Star is probably one of my favourite tweaks to date – giving players full transparency of how much health they actually have, allowing them to make a call on whether they need to play safe or not, rather than guess and pay the price.
The same goes for the barrel attachment changes. No more relying on word of mouth to work out which attachment is best and what it actually does. Now, Ubisoft has given players the tools to build the gun that suits them and the way they play.
Of course, those two changes are insignificant in the context of Operation Health. Yes, they’ll make life much easier for newcomers, but for more experienced players they don’t matter all that much.
What does matter, though, are the changes to bullet hole peeks and corpses. In the past, you could scout out a room with a drone, confirm there was no one lurking in the shadows, and enter confidently only to die to an anchor peeking through a single 9mm bullet hole. The bullet hole peeking system is a joke for a game that prides itself on realism, yet it’s been allowed to exist for years. Now though, with the North Star changes, this is no longer possible, making competitive play fairer for all – something Ubisoft is clearly striving for in this update. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, with multiple teams employing this tactic in front of hundreds of thousands of Twitch viewers during the Six Invitational.
Even the corpse changes, which will replace a dead body with an operator icon a couple of seconds after their death, promotes fair play. Yes, it’s not as realistic as having a body slump to the floor and stay there, but now both teams get an equal shot at gathering intel. Drones will no longer be blocked by corpse textures and gadgets will no longer be hidden by them either.
Siege is at its best when teams toe the line between strategy and recklessness and that magic dies when members of your team are felled by frustrating exploits. With these changes, Ubisoft is clearly stating it cares about the future of Rainbow Six Siege and its competitive integrity, and I’m here for it.