Rainbow Six Siege's Operation Deep Freeze brings icy Operator Tubarao & new map for Y8S4
Ubisoft's tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege has reached the end of its eighth year of content, with Y8S4 revealed as Operation Deep Freeze.
The season, which caps off a year that saw Ubisoft partner with BLAST for its pro circuit, will debut new Portuguese Operator Tubarao, as well as a brand new map, Lair - and plenty more.
Ubisoft reveals Operation Deep Freeze for Rainbow Six Siege
Rainbow Six Siege's Operation Deep Freeze closes out the game's Year 8 roadmap with Tubarao, a new Defender Operator who has the first gadget that can affect electrical and mechanical Attacker gadgets.
This new 2-health, 2-speed Operator is intended as a dual-purpose anchor or roamer that's adept at slowing down attacking pushes. For more, be sure to check out our full guide to Tubarao, including his loadout and counters.
After plenty of map reworks, Operation Deep Freeze will debut a new map, Lair, which offers multiple levels of a military facility built into a cave, giving off strong "Bond villain hideaway" vibes.
The new location is divided into labs, briefing rooms, basements and living quarters, all punctuated with Siege's signature destruction mechanics.
As is usually the case with seasonal updates to the long-running shooter, players can expect additional updates, too, including a redistribution of frag grenades across Operators to make them more viable in competitive play, although frag grenades can no longer be "cooked".
Rainbow Six Siege's commendation and reputation systems will also be tied together, and help provide hints to improve your reputation with such pearls of wisdom as "stop killing teammates".
In a move that may be deemed controversial, Ubisoft Montreal is removing the Situation and Training Grounds missions that are available in single-player, instead pivoting to its previously announced Versus AI playlist that will help players learn the game or warm up before jumping into competitive matches, with two difficulty settings.
The Versus AI playlist will initially arrive with the Bomb game mode on the Clubhouse map, and there are new drills to help learn map layouts on other maps and common enemy locations.
What's next for Rainbow Six Siege?
With eight years of regular updates, I spoke to the game's Creative Director Alex Karpazis ahead of February's Siege Invitational to discuss the Siege's future - and a sequel isn't on the cards, with Ubisoft planning on supporting the current game until 2035.
"Our team loves that kind of challenge," he explained at the time.
"You see it with cross-play and cross-progression that launched last season, that was a massive undertaking. Cross-play and cross-progression didn't even exist in our minds when it was 2015 and we launched."
For more on Rainbow Six Siege's Operation Deep Freeze, check out all we know about the new skin-trading marketplace.