Rainbow Six Siege’s latest defender is a Scotland Yard officer named Clash. She’s also a total badass that hulks around a near impenetrable electro-charged shield. After sampling the new operator at the squad shooter’s Paris Major last month, I suggest to game director Leroy Athanassoff that Clash’s safeguard might make her a good pick for cautious newcomers. 

“Good operators are easy to learn and hard to master,” says Athanasoff. “I think Clash is the typical example of that. She can can coordinate with the team. In terms of understanding what she does, and having the ability as a player to safely move into the map—first of all, you can learn the map because you can go into situations without being shot right away because you’re not aware. When you’re not familiar with the map, it’s way safer to scope out enemies [when carrying a shield] and to then alert your teammates. 

“To me, I always have this picture of when tourists swim with sharks inside a cage—you’re still face to face with the sharks, but you’re also protected. For me, Montagne and Clash are like this. Clash is a welcoming operative for new faces who also has a lot of depth.” 

The second of Siege’s new faces is Maverick—a hard breacher, who uses a blow torch to create “murder holes” for horizontal shooting. 

“You say hard breacher, but to us we consider Maverick to be the last breacher, your last colleague,” Athanasoff tells me. “We might pair a hard breacher with Maverick—it’s perhaps your last line of defence, a lost resort to rely on. Actually, when we were prototyping him, we were able to create a player we’d dreamed about from the outset, a player than can really interact with destruction. His moves are not predetermined, he actually has the ability to draw a burn, a shape into the metal. For us, Maverick’s blow torch is the ultimate toy in terms of interaction.”

With Maverick’s horizontal shooting and, going back a little further, Outbreak’s zombies, it seems like Athanasoff and his team are having fun—despite the serious tone of Siege’s Tom Clancy book source material. 

“That’s the thing, when you make an adaptation, when you make something based on something else into a videogame, it doesn’t matter if you’re not exactly by the book, letter by letter,” Athanasoff explains. “I think sometimes that’s the pitfall where people end up—when they’re adapting from a movie or a TV show or book, I think we still have the core of what Siege was about, in terms of tension, combat, super units. You need to think, you need coordination, teamplay, I think we still have that, even today.”