It should come as no surprise that the first two operators of Rainbow Six Siege’s fourth year promise to bring serious utility to the table. After all, Year 3 was packed with meta-shifting operators like Lion, Maestro, Clash, and Nomad – every season broke with Siege tradition, whether that was the addition of global abilities, the first defender to get a shield, or nomad gifting the attackers their first trapper operator. Burnt Horizon’s Mozzie and Gridlock continue the game’s power creep, but also bring some much needed levity to this highly competitive shooter.
That fun comes mostly from Mozzie, the new Australian defender from the SASR CTU. His gadget is the Pest Launcher, a crossbow that fires Pests that latch onto attacker drones, hacking them and adding them to the defender’s arsenal. Mozzie can gain control over a maximum of three drones, often before the action phase has even begun. This allows you to immediately counter-surveil the attacking side and set up a welcoming party to meet them whenever they try to enter your building. Alternatively, you can use your army of drones to harass and distract attackers: pinging their locations so they know they’ve been spotted, baiting them into traps, or just shaving a few precious seconds off the clock to deny a defuser plant.
With a creative player at the helm and a well-coordinated squad, Mozzie is a boon to roaming defenders and at the very least reduces the number of drones at the attacking team’s disposal. Better still, Mozzie’s Pests can wrest control of Twitch’s Shock Drones, leading to absurd scenarios like denying a hard breach by using a captured Shock Drone to destroy one of Thermite’s Exothermic Charges.
As his name suggests, Mozzie specialises in annoying attackers, and that’s a lot of fun. In one defensive round I was able to stall out two attackers on a staircase for over a minute by repeatedly pinging their locations, so they knew they were being watched. Meanwhile, one of my teammates was able to rotate downstairs and eliminate both attackers while they were busy looking for one of their own drones.
The two-speed defender boasts a formidable selection of kit, too. For his primary weapon, Mozzie can choose between the Commando 9, a carbine assault rifle akin to the devastatingly powerful 416-C of Jäger, or the fast-firing P10 Roni machine pistol, which melts enemies up close provided you can control the recoil. Both Mozzie and Gridlock also carry a Super Shorty shotgun as their secondary weapon, which boasts some serious fragging potential in close quarters as well as allowing you to create rotation holes to quickly get back to site.
Better still, Mozzie is the first new defender since Mira with the ability to choose the Nitro Cell as a secondary gadget, rounding out his kit with one of the most lethal items in the game.
Unlike Mozzie, attacker Gridlock brings a very simple, but incredibly powerful piece of area denial equipment to the attacking meta. Her Trax Stingers are capable of covering a corridor, staircase, or even room in damaging floor spikes that make roaming tricky and post-plant scenarios nearly impossible for defenders to win.
The Aussie attacker carries three of these Trax Stingers, which start as one small mesh trap, but continues to spit out additional traps if left unchecked, eventually clogging up an area. Walking through them isn’t really an option as each smaller trap deals a significant portion of damage, plus walking through these will slow defenders down and make enough noise to give their position away. So, while you only need a single bullet to destroy each smaller trap, it will come at the hefty price of revealing your position to the enemy.
As with Nomad’s Airjab gadget, Gridlock excels at securing areas and cutting off flanking routes, which makes her the ideal operator for roam-heavy maps like Bank, Consulate, and Villa. Get the defuser down and follow it up with a maze of Trax Stingers and defenders will have to give their position away either walking through the traps or shooting them, making it all too easy for attackers to close out the round in a clutch situation.
There is a hefty downside to this utility though, as Gridlock is one of very few one-speed operators on the attacking team. Montagne and Fuze are the only other attackers with the one-speed tag and are significantly hampered by their inability to quickly rotate between different entry points, so if Gridlock runs in to an unwinnable situation she’s pretty much stuck there.
As for weaponry, Gridlock has the choice of either the F90 assault rifle or the M249 LMG, which differs from Capitão’s thanks to a new magazine and vastly improved scope optic. From initial impressions the LMG is the primary to pick, mostly thanks to the new scope optic, which offers far superior peripheral vision without sacrificing magnification.
Playing as Gridlock it was particularly rewarding to save all three Trax Stingers for a post-plant scenario just to really turn the screw on the enemy team. Even with all five defenders standing and defuser down, retaking the site with roughly 20 traps to navigate consistently froze out any attempt.
The new Outback map is arguably the best addition however, with so much of its layout and design harking back to the game’s earliest maps like Oregon and Clubhouse. The three main areas of this besieged Aussie petrol station are all colour coded, making it easy to wrap your head around the layout after just a couple of rounds.
The fact that Outback is a two-storey map could lead to some significant issues when pros get their hands on it as defenders will have very little space to roam around off site. There is a staggering amount of soft cover around the top floor as well, which will give players a lot of options when it comes to creating rotations and kill holes.
Overall, Rainbow Six Siege Burnt Horizon continues Ubisoft’s trend of breaking the established ruleset of the game and diluting some of the asymmetry between attack and defense. In this regard Mozzie is certainly the standout of the new operators, but excelling with him will only be possible if you’ve got a good team backing you up. Playing with Mozzie is just plain fun, especially when working with a friend to mess with attackers as much as possible.