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 PLATFORM: PC
A FRIEND IN NEED

his add-on for last year’s Raven Shield is so stereotypical of an expansion that it boggles the mind. New content (maps, weapons, etc.) is all you get here; there’s no technological improvement to be found anywhere. Of course, many would argue that none are needed.

The good news is that nothing is broken from the original – R6 aficionados will find everything they love intact, from planning to execution. However, nothing has really been fixed either. The new campaign falls prey to the same issues that have plagued every R6 game I’ve ever played – namely, much of the time the outcome of a mission is decided by the AI rather than player actions. On some missions, it’s not all that uncommon for one of your squads to get wiped out in the first minute. And with no voicechat or voice command support, you can’t even curse your dying moron allies. To top it off, it’s pretty short – five hours should get you through it. Multiplayer gets a significant boost with Athena Sword, though. With five extra maps, seven additional weapons, and three new modes, the replay value of R6 is higher than ever.

Nothing here is really going to change anyone’s mind about the franchise – if Rainbow Six isn’t your thing, then don’t bother with this. If you still find yourself playing Raven Shield instead of the newer FPSs though, Athena Sword will only make you fall in love with it all over again.  



JOE JUBA   7

Athena Sword makes no contribution to improving the elements that make Rainbow Six titles unique. The mission planning and team setup are still great ideas, but they remain ultimately useless since your AI allies often get gunned down after their first two steps. Sure, you could just tell everyone to stay put while you do the mission yourself, but that sort of defeats the whole "team-based operation" concept. Your meat-shield comrades make the solo campaign frustrating, but there are enough additions to the set of multiplayer options to hold the attention of current R6 fans.

7.25
CONCEPT:
Give the Tom Clancy fanclub some new missions and maps to do their thing with
GRAPHICS:
No better than those of Raven Shield. Textures are pretty basic
SOUND:
The only thing it’s good for is locating terrorists around corners
PLAYABILITY:
Strangely enough, the squad control is worse than the recent Xbox edition of Rainbow Six 3
ENTERTAINMENT:
If you don’t like R6 in the first place, nothing here will change your mind
REPLAY:
Moderately High
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