|Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword|
December 21, 2004 | Scott Hanks
Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword extends the story of the original with a new 8 mission campaign. In addition there are new weapons, multiplayer maps and game types. It is actually more interesting than it sounds, though admittedly not much.
War on StupidityIn 2007, remnants of the terrorist group that you busted up in Raven Shield resurface and send you on another international romp to make the world safe for democracy. This time the action centers around the Mediterranean, allowing for some pretty interesting maps ranging from an art museum in Milan to a Greek marketplace.
The missions are mostly run-of-the mill hostage rescues, with a couple of missions requiring you to disarm one or more bombs before time runs out. The artificial intelligence is still as moronic as ever (to be fair, some appear merely to have impaired hearing which can be easily mistaken for stupidity in combat situations), though someone has finally taught the terrorists how to throw grenades to complement their erratic marksmanship. Unfortunately for them, they don’t know how to throw grenades properly. The result is that more often than not they end up flashing, fragging or gassing themselves instead of the defenders of justice who are trying to kill them. While this can be quite comical, I don’t imagine that this was the intention. All things considered the new behavior still manages to shake things up and forces you to diversify your tactics, so I feel it was worth it.
You Can Never Have Too Many GunsA more or less irrelevant addition is the fattening of your arsenal by seven new firearms (for a grand total of 64). While I didn’t dislike any of the new weapons, none of them really stole the spotlight either. The most interesting one is probably the new 93R 9mm pistol, which can fire in three round bursts. Add a silencer or extended clip on it and let the good times roll.
Location Location LocationArguably the best part of the expansion is the new maps. Besides six maps from the campaign (two missions reuse maps), there are eight new multiplayer maps (for some reason the press releases--including the original from Ubisoft--say five including a Jungle map that doesn’t exist. Aspyr confirmed that the press release is in error) plus three “classic” maps from previous Rainbow Six games including Embassy from the original RS and Subway and Siberian Base (my all-time favorite) from Rogue Spear. Most of the maps are superbly designed with a wide variety of enclosed and open spaces to encourage a variety of tactics. From a construction site and a lumber yard to a suburb and a university, there are plenty of theaters in which to conduct private wars. Two thumbs up for the new maps.