Ubisoft has begun sharing tiny details about Rainbow Six Siege's next season, starting with a name: North Star (opens in new tab). Information is scarce so far, but we know from February's Year 6 reveal that the next operator will hail from the Nakoda Nation, an indigenous people located in western Canada. The North Star key art shared by Ubi features a heli based on a real air and sea rescue helicopter used by the Canadian Forces (the AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant (opens in new tab), for you copter-heads).
As much as I'd love to take control of a whole-ass helicopter in Siege, that seems pretty unlikely. Themes of search and rescue gel with what leaks and rumors are suggesting about Siege's next operator, who is supposedly codenamed "Thunderbird" (cool). We've heard for a while that a new type of healing operator could be coming to the game and a recent look at an upcoming gadget shared by R6leaks (opens in new tab) on Twitter might be the culprit.
pic.twitter.com/pe6pRL92MeMay 15, 2021
Thunderbird, presumably a defender, may deploy these "Kona Stations" that will somehow heal nearby players. We can assume that much from the operator icon that depicts little medical crosses above the device. R6leaks also shared a brief low-res clip (opens in new tab) of the device in action, but it doesn't reveal much about how it'll actually work. Based on its appearance and Siege's recent track record with gadgets, it seems very possible the Kona will heal those that stand near it, friend or foe.
In any case, a new healing gadget is a huge deal. Since launch, Doc's finicky stim pistol has been the only way to heal on defense. On Attack, Finka's nano boosts give a temporary health surge to all teammates at once, but attackers still lack a proper medic.
The same reliable leakers are also suggesting that Thunderbird will have access to the Spear .308 assault rifle as a defender, which would be noteworthy. Assault rifles are usually reserved for attackers only for balancing reasons, and the few exceptions usually come with some sort of tradeoff to range or optics. It's possible Thunderbird's version of the Spear could come with similar tradeoffs (but we should still take this with a grain of salt, as we haven't actually seen it in the leaked images).
Per Ubisoft's usual schedule for pre-season reveals, we should expect to hear a lot more about North Star over the next week.