Rainbow Six Siege Ember Rise reaches new heights with Amaru and Goyo

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege soon locks down its Operation Ember Rise expansion, bringing tools of the Latin American underworld to Ubisoft's hit tactical shooter. The third installment of Year 4 updates brings a duo of Mexican and Peruvian specialists, seasoned in anti-cartel raids. With newfound roles among the Rainbow Six lineup, alongside a revamp of a fan-favorite locale, the season injects some much-needed diversity to the multiplayer meta.

We've wrapped up our initial thoughts on Ember Rise after getting hands-on before reveal.

Amaru: Aim high, reach the skies

Rainbow Six Siege Amaru

Rainbow Six Siege Amaru (Image credit: Ubisoft)

Shaking up the objective approach with added verticality, Operation Ember Rise's high-flying attacker keeps rivals on their toes. From Peru's famed trekking trails comes Amaru, a Peruvian National Police oracle turned jungle archaeologist, topped with two decades of cartel altercations. Pulled from the vibrant swathe as the latest enlisted under Rainbow Six, Amaru leverages a new high-tension grappling hook to scale to new heights.

The once-makeshift Garra Hook has been revised by the Rainbow Six's brightest minds, bringing new ways to infiltrate complexes, with a far-reaching impact on existing map flow. This point-and-shoot pulley brings a new level of locomotion to the two-speed, two-armor attacker, reeling her to grapple points in seconds. Carving out unseen routes and velocity, Amaru sets up new opportunities to ambush and escape defenders.

Amaru quickly overcomes ledges and windows of all altitudes, with the latter automatically shattering barricades, hurling into rooms at breakneck speed. The hook also retains functionality once indoors, with the ability to ascend broken hatches and skylights, throwing off even the most quick-witted roamers. Players can grapple objects within a 15-meter distance, while bound to four uses per round.

The weapons of Ember Rise will be polarizing for most, as Ubisoft once again recycles its armory following Phantom Sight. Amaru packs the G8A1 light machine gun from IQ, defined by its high rate of fire and bulky 51-round magazine. Hibana's SuperNova shotgun also sees a revival, although this time draped with a rustic wooden stock skin. Two valuable secondaries also make the cut, between the compact ITA12S pump-action primed for destructive hatch-climbing, and the SMG-11 of SAS fame.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
AbilityGarra Hook
GadgetClaymoreStun Grenade
Price25,000 Renown600 R6 Credits

With increased mobility comes heightened risk, weighing down the Garra Hook with numerous vulnerabilities. Grappling revokes your weapons during travel, followed by a brief recovery period before redrawing your primary. The audible grapple deployment, pop of the breaking barricade, and ensuing travel time all give fair warning to defenders too. Hurling into an objective is simply unviable unless masked by the chaos of the multiplayer sandbox.

Amaru faces clear counters from existing Operators, resulting in a further layer of variables to consider. Kapkan's Entry Denial Device and Frost's Welcome Mat both lock down rappel-friendly windows, dropping a hidden surprise for the zipping adventurer. Castle barricades also prevent Garra Hook use, as represented by an on-screen indicator.

Amaru and the Garra Hook bring new gameplay prospects, shaking up the foundations of Rainbow Six movement. Hatch climbing and distinct breaching capabilities alter the long-untouched flow of maps, with a newfound necessity to reinforce above and below. Presented as accessible to newcomers, this flexible Operator could change the game in Ember Rise, despite seemingly less value for competitive veterans.

Goyo: Throw fuel on the fire

Holding the line in Operation Ember Rise, Goyo conjures a shielded blaze to lock down the objective. Formerly curbing antiquities trafficking and leading intergovernmental crackdowns, this two-armor, two-speed defender soon enrolled under the Rainbow Six roster. Cooking up an incendiary spin on the deployable shield, Goyo stands as a resilient hurdle for pushing attackers.

The Volcan Shield builds upon the deployable shield's foundations, newly reworked with a streamlined design and new lock-on capabilities. Fastening highly flammable canisters on the rear stows a deadly inferno, temporarily blocking routes and deterring foes. Goyo can deploy a trio of these rigged shields per round, ideal for denying entry and utilizing common chokepoints.

Without remote or automated detonation, shooting the connected canister breaks the shield into a burning blaze. The initial explosion deals a heavy blow to those nearby, followed by gradual tick damage inside the ensuing flames. The Volcan Shield hits the scene with much-welcomed consistency too, hooking into Capitão's fire propagation refinements from Phantom Sight.

Mirroring the latest offensive firearms, several signatures from existing Operators assemble Goyo's loadout. The Vector .45 ACP returns as a submachine gun once exclusive to Mira, flanked by the ACOG-bearing TCSG12 shotgun from Kaid. Both robust primaries accompany the P229 pistol, already used as the backup for Hibana and Echo.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
AbilityVolcan Shield
PrimaryVector .45 ACPTCSG12
GadgetImpact GrenadeNitro Cell
Price25,000 Renown600 R6 Credits

Though primitive upon first glance, the Volcan Shield stows deeper complexities across top-level play. The shielded rear-mounted canister proves useful across each map's hotspots, but only when positioned with a clear line of sight to shoot. The Volcan Shield is also among the few gadgets that can drastically jeopardize your team, making smart placement vital.

The gadget faces few hard counters as a result, ruling out Thatcher's EMP, Twitch's drones, and the all-seeing eyes of IQ. Success rides on thinking before pulling the trigger or disposing of the Volcan with a wealth of heavy attacker weaponry.

With almost four hours in the corridors of Ember Rise's Kanal rework, Goyo emerged as the most promising of Ubisoft's latest additions. Beyond entry-level tiers, the Volcan Shield's reliance on positioning, gadget synergies, and timing all culminate in a rewarding setup, also viable in competitive play. Goyo is more than just another trap Operator, instead delivering a multi-layered emobidment of Rainbow Six's best strategy-driven Operators. Whether three shields proves overpowered remains unclear, although seeing odd tweaks on the Technical Test Server (TTS) wouldn't come as surprising.

The ember rises

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Ember Rise hits the TTS for PC on August 19, with three weeks of testing ahead of an expected September launch. Rainbow Six Siege is available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC in the meantime, midway through its Year 4 content.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.