Rainbow Six Siege’s Black Ice update dropped yesterday, and it was a massive update. Weighing in at close to 4GB, it added a brand new map set on an ice-locked yacht, a new spectator mode, and a pair of new Canadian Special Forces operators - Frost and Buck. It’s all totally free, so everyone who’s got the game has access to this, but the new operators don’t come cheap. Priced at 25,000 Renown each, I’d estimate you’re looking at about 40-50 hours play to unlock both.

That was only the surface level changes as well, because Ubisoft also rolled out a massive list of fixes and tweaks along with the DLC, tackling the majority of the problems they’ve found out about via player feedback. Except for the dreaded invisible Kapkan laser glitch, so keep an eye out for those traps!

The list is absolutely massive and can be viewed in full here, but I’ll pick out some personal highlights. In terms of balancing Operator shouts are now muted for the enemy team, so they won’t hear a loud warning you’ve thrown a smoke canister or put up a wall. Likewise the effective range of flashbangs has been doubled, so in theory they’re going to be ultra useful for clearing out rooms - as I swiftly found out.

Another massive highlight is a change to the Ranked setup. Not only can Attackers choose individual spawn points, so they can surround a location or approach en masse, but Defenders can now no longer choose to defend a place they’ve already successfully defended. What we’ve been seeing up until now is some places are far easier to defend than others, so it’s ended up as constant assaults on the same locations.

Finally the last thing that I’ve been calling out for is in - map and mode names are now displayed during the loading and planning phase. I can’t have been the only one to completely forget what the objective was as soon as I hit the operator select screen, so that’s a win.

I had a quick blast on it last night and the changes are all great. The two new operators are unfortunately exclusive to season pass holders for a week so I didn’t get to use them, but I did see plenty of others take them for a whirl. Buck’s shotgun/rifle combo looks impressive, while Frost’s bear trap can be devastating if left in the right places. It’s an instant bleed out, or death if you’re at 50 health or lower. Neither seems to be over or under-powered (IQ-style) on first impressions, but I’ll need to get hands on for find out for sure.

The Yacht map is awesome as well. Only had time for a few rounds on this, but it seemed like a nifty layout, and for the first time yet it makes Rainbow Six Siege actually look gorgeous. It reminded me of Plane but much wider, with more room to play with and approaches to take.

The 2.0 Black Ice patch is out now for Rainbow Six Siege on all platforms.