On Wednesday, Ubisoft officially released the new Rainbow Six: Siege season, “Operation Burnt Horizon,” starting its fourth year strong by going down under: to Australia.
Operation Burnt Horizon will be leading this year by offering a new map, “Outback”, along with buffs and nerfs to previous operators (like Ash, Lion, and Glaz just to name a few), tweaks, and bug fixes. Ubisoft has decided that they want to go back to the roots and basics of Siege, so they based the new operator’s gadgets on drones and sound propagation. They have also done a role swap with the gadgets, with defenders now able to use drones, while attackers can deploy barbed wire. But the most important thing coming to Operation Burnt Horizon are the two new operators: Gridlock and Mozzie, who are coming from the Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) mobility platoon. But some in the R6 community are claiming that the new operators are overpowered.
Gridlock, the new attacker, really caught my eye when they revealed her. Her gadget, the Trax Stinger can cover the map with up to 57 stingers–spikes that work like barbed wire, slowing down and making noise when defenders step on them, and doing a massive 10 damage. Having the ability to gain so much map control in 12 seconds with her primary gadget, being able to bring smoke grenades, and having a really versatile pocket shotgun to make holes in the wall for peeking the defenders or walking through sounds pretty overpowered. However, if players really dig deeper into Gridlock and her abilities, they’ll find she is fairly balanced operator, well-suited to watching the flank.
Her primary weapons choices are the F90 assault rifle and the M249 LMG–but that isn’t really a choice. You have to go with the M249. It is an above-average LMG, the same as Capitão’s LMG but the magazine is on the side of the gun, making reloading faster. On the downside, the M249 has only 60 rounds instead of 100. Gridlock’s secondary weapon choices are the SPD 9mm pistol and the Super Shorty shotgun, the latter being one of the best weapons in her kit. It is an amazing tool for soft destruction like making peek holes or opening up unreinforced hatches. But since it can only hold three rounds, it’s not the greatest for combat. Gridlock’s F90 is not recommended. It is one of the worst attacker weapons right now, with its damage per second rating (DPS) being the second-worst in the game, after Finka’s Spear .308 assault rifle. Gridlock also has a choice of either smoke grenades or breaching charges as secondary gadget, there is no reason to pick the breach charges when you have a mini shotgun to destroy those breakable walls. Smoke grenades are one of the best secondary gadgets in the game, they have so much versatility and allow attackers to execute pushes easier.
Gridlock’s biggest factor that makes her really strong are the Trax Stingers. A throwable gadget that covers a large area and makes defenders that are off site really think and slow them down, making it harder for them to regain control of site. The spikes can be destroyed fairly easily but that will also alert any defenders nearby, giving away the defenders’ position. Not only does it make a noise when destroyed or stepped on, but it also deals 10 damage to defenders. The damage is ridiculously high and we’ll likely see that reduced down to somewhere around 5 in later updates. These throwable canisters, unlike grenades, don’t get destroyed by Jäger’s ADS.
Overall, Gridlock is a powerful operator, but she isn’t completely overpowered. The flaw that keeps her from reaching the realm of so-good-they’re-“broken” characters, like old Lion and Ela, is that she is only a one speed, three armor. Attackers who are only one speed are usually operators with shields (the one exception being Fuze.) What makes these operators worth picking are the shields and utility they bring. Gridlock, however, is not able to carry a shield. She is very slow and loud without the benefits of a shield, which makes it easier for defenders to hear. Now in the long run, this isn’t a huge deal because her playstyle isn’t likely to involve rushing the objective and being very aggressive; she is going to be played more like a flank watcher for her team.
Mozzie, the new defender, is two armour, two speed, making him moderate in both regards. But having seen early access gameplay from streamers, YouTubers and on the test servers, Mozzie seems game changing.
Mozzie’s primary gadget is the Pest Launcher, a mini crossbow-like weapon that shoots out little four-legged spider-looking robots. These robots are able to hack an attacker’s drone and allow Mozzie to take full control of it. He has three of these little pests and he is able to shoot a drone directly, or plant them onto walls, drone holes, and near door frames to have them ambush any unaware drones. The gadget puts him in the list of top tier info gathering operators. The drones that he hacks are outlined in white for him and his teammates, but attackers have to look closely at the drones to see if the light on the drone is blue or red to determine if it’s been hacked or not. What is great about Mozzie is that there is no way to get the drone back. Attackers can only receive the camera feed from the drones if Dokkaebi hacks a defender’s phone to gain access to them. IQ is also able to see the stolen drones with her RED Mk lll ‘Spectre’ (a scanner that lets her see defender gadgets through walls). Mozzie can hack Twitch’s Shock Drones, which can shoot an electric shock that can destroy other operators gadgets. Hacking these shock drones allows him to prevent attackers blowing open reinforced walls by shooting Thermite’s exothermic charges (a breach charge that can destroy reinforced walls), and Hibana’s X-KAIROS pellets (another hard breaching tool).
His secondary weapon choices are the same as Gridlock but he has two new primary weapon options, the P10 RONI submachine gun and the Commando 9 assault rifle. Mozzie has a choice of either barbed wire or a nitro cell as a secondary gadget. Both of his primary guns are good choices and the secondary shotgun is still great for making holes between bomb sites. He can also equip himself with a nitro cell or impact grenades. The nitro cell goes really well with his ability and can lead to a free kill. Impacts are also good but he already has a shotgun to provide that soft destruction.
Mozzie is a very strong operator and a fantastic addition to the list of intel operators. I’m guessing players will use him either as an anchor like Echo and Maestro or as a roamer or lurker like Valkyrie. What keeps him away from being overpowered is his gadget. If you look at past overpowered operators, you can see that they take no skill to play. Lion was someone who could just press one button and help his team win the round, and Ela had a gun with 50 rounds and no recoil, making it a laser. However, Mozzie’s usefulness depends on the skill of the player. The player has to be able to catch the drones and know what spots to put them in, to call out where the enemies are. If they can’t do those two things, all they can really do is rely on their aim and add no utility to the team.
“Operation: Burnt Horizon” is making Rainbow Six: Siege more fresh and enjoyable. Gridlock and Mozzie are both very powerful and have the potential to change the game, in a good game-changing way, not a ‘no-skill-press-one-button-win-the-game’ way. But not everyone agrees. Well-respected R6 content creator Get_Flanked has said that “Gridlock’s one speed three armor will really hinder her and make her low tier,” while streamer and Pro League caster Kixstar has said, “Mozzie will be a huge game changer.” The season is still new and players are experimenting with them. We can expect that Ubisoft will implement buffs or nerfs as players discover more about Gridlock’s and Mozzie’s capabilities.