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Rainbow Six Siege Shadow Legacy release date: when is Sam Fisher joining R6?

Operation Shadow Legacy is official, and it’s coming with a Splinter Cell crossover

Sam Fisher in Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shadow Legacy

It’s official, the next season of Siege goodness is Rainbow Six Siege Shadow Legacy, and Y5S3 will feature none other than Sam Fisher – of Splinter Cell fame – operating under the name Zero. The Rainbow Six Siege Shadow Legacy release date has dropped quite unexpectedly, so we know plenty about the legendary new operator, and all of the other changes waiting for us in the new season.

Following the official reveal of Operation Shadow Legacy at the Six August 2020 Major, we now know that Sam Fisher is a two armour, two speed operator who effectively plays the role of Valkyrie, but on attack. His gadget fires up to four cameras that can bore into any penetrable surface, and offer vision on either side. The cameras also have a single laser shot that can be used to shoot out defender gadgets. If you don’t fire them at a penetrable surface then they’ll stick to a surface and offer a 180 degree cone of vision.

Shadow Legacy also adds a host of improvements and new content to the game, such as an overhaul to the Rainbow Six Siege sights, a rework of the Chalet map, contextual pings, a shared reinforcement pool, a new hard breach gadget, map bans, and a Thatcher rework.

Rainbow Six Siege Shadow Legacy release date

Ubisoft has strayed from its usual release cycle and instead the Rainbow Six Siege Shadow Legacy release date is September 10, 2020. That’s right, it’s live right now.

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This comes out of the blue as new seasons typically drop on a Monday or Tuesday. We had previously assumed that with a four week test server run the new operation would launch on 14 September, but who doesn’t love a surprise?

Rainbow Six Siege Sam Fisher

An older, grizzled, and very beardy Sam Fisher is what we’ll be getting when Operation Shadow Legacy arrives. Sporting a winter jacket and with the trademark night vision goggles nowhere to be seen, it’s definitely a very different Sam than the one Splinter Cell fans will immediately recognise.

His in-game name is be Zero, and his gadget fires four cameras that can drill into walls and peek through with a camera. The camera also has a shock dart, kind of like Mastero’s Evil Eye.

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Zero’s loadout features the brand-new SC3000K assault rifle, which packs some seriously impressive damage per second stats, and the MP7 SMG with a 1.5x optic. His secondary is the 5.7 USG pistol with a default suppressor and a Splinter Cell-inspired idle sway animation. Zero appears to carry frag grenades or claymores, too. It’s a very impressive loadout for a two-armour, two-speed operator, but we have no doubt that the test server will prompt some readjustments this loadout if it feels too powerful.

The reveal trailer also came with a blog post with lore about Zero, written by Finka. Here are some key excerpts:

“He seems to have kept in good shape despite being off active duty, though he also seemed a little more frazzled than usual when he arrived. I wonder what has Zero using Rainbow as his home base, he wouldn’t be here without his own motivations and we should take advantage of his experience. His military expertise will be a good balance to your psychological insight. As he’s coming in as the first member of the Rainbow Operational Staff (ROS), I’m curious and cautious of the changes he’ll bring to our organisation. I’m sure his instruction will be a necessary, and painful, experience. I imagine there’s something he’s not telling me regarding his sudden appearance, but that’s not surprising. Zero operates on a need to know basis, I’m sure he’ll tell me when he thinks I need to know.

More help: Here are the best Rainbow Six Siege operators

“I am pleased I was able to examine the functionality of his surveillance equipment. It’s not often Zero allows others to play with his toys, and it was a learning experience. There is a flexibility of movement and behaviour that can be used on the offensive as well as preparation for the defensive that is well suited to his inclination to take advantage of any situation.”

Additional Shadow Legacy changes

So, what else is new for Operation Shadow Legacy?

For starters, there has been a complete overhaul of the optics, with three new magnifications and reworked 1x optics. Almost all defenders have lost long-range scopes, which should save a huge number of players from being killed shortly after spawn. There is also the option to tweak different mouse sensitivities for each scope and accessibility options for changing optic colours.

The bomb has been reworked so it’s one solid object and you can’t find tiny angles in the frame’s mesh. All roof hatches are now reinforced by default. Defenders now share a pool of ten reinforcements, rather than every player having two reinforcements each – no more AFK players dooming your site hold.

Thatcher has been reworked so his EMP grenades no longer wipe out most electronics in their radius. Instead, EMP grenades will temporarily disable gadgets like Mute’s jamming devices and Bandit’s batteries – this has some effects on ‘Bandit-tricking’ as you need to pick up the disabled battery before placing a new one. However, you can circumvent this by just shooting your battery.

There’s a new hard breach charge that creates a hole large enough to vault through or crawl through if places near the bottom of a wall. It takes a long time to detonate so it’s very easy to counter, but it finally frees teams of having to run a dedicate hard breach op.

And yep, there’s a the Chalet map rework. We won’t go into details about the rework because it’s a little too complicated for this format, but we will say it’s a lot safer from window peeks, there are more than two viable sights, and the number of rotations has been improved significantly. It’s just better overall and should make a superb addition to ranked when the Shadow Legacy release date rolls around.

As for the Shadow Legacy seasonal event, it looks like we’ll be gearing up for a ‘Sugar Fright’ Halloween event, potentially involving a team deathmatch-style setup. This is according to a recent Reddit leak, so as ever, take this with a pinch of sodium chloride.