Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield is a pc game developed by Red Storm and published by Ubisoft, for release on March 16, 2003. The game used a modified version of the Unreal 2 engine, and stands to die-hard fans of the series as one of the last true tactical shooters to be released -- before the supposed mainstream popularity sunk into the franchises pores.
The game was later re-released on consoles with slightly different game mechanics, storyline, and features. The subtitle was dropped from the name, and was published for the Xbox, Playstation 2, and Gamecube. This version of the game is arguably what catapulted the Rainbow Six franchise into mainstream popularity, and even spawned an expansion, called Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow.
Raven Shield's story spans a good sixty years, as the prologue centers around World War II and the holocaust, beginning in Croatia. Two people have fled the country with a hefty sum of cash, and escape the Allied forces right in the nick of time. Fast forward to the year 2005, where the Rainbow team takes to task a Neo-Fascist terrorist group.
The terrorist organization has apparently been attacking various South American oil interests and European financial institutions. The story leads you to Argentina, in search for Nikola Gospic (Argentinian billionaire) and Alvero Guitierrez (presidential candidate). Rainbow team discovers that Gospic is one of the surviving members of the Ustashe regime, the group that got away with the Holocaust loot. As Gospic is on his death bed, he plans to use his large wealth to resurrect global Fascism -- with the use of chemical weapons.
John Clark, member of the Rainbow team, interrogates a captive Guitierrez and learns of Gospic's scheme. He plans to kill masses of people in South America, and create an economic crisis as the price of oil plummets. He would then throw around some cash to obtain the oilfields, and use them to finance an international Fascist movement.
You find that Guitierrez's presidential campaign was financed by Gospic, in exchange for political protection.
Gospic is described as a "raven picking the bones of an old war," and that Guitierrez would be his shield. It's just too bad that all had to be put to a stop, as Gospic is now dead, and Guitierrez behind bars, thanks to the Rainbow team.
As with the titles in the franchise before this, Raven Shield for the PC takes place entirely from a first-person perspective. Your gun is shown by default, but can be turned off in the options, just in case your a hardcore Rainbow fan. There is no jumping to be heard of, and the movement speed is what players of today may consider to be slow, but all is done to convey a sense of realism, as your weighted down by all the gear that a special-operative would be carrying.
The single-player game focuses around a strict mission-structure, for a total of 15. Each mission begins with a briefing, at which point you can change your teams load-out, skim through blueprints of the location, and even plan your course of action. After you wrap your head around all that, you'll be dropped into your location, and will receive instructions through radio transmission of your objectives. The game centers heavily around the combined effort of up to three teams of people, in which you will be put into situations that call you to rescue hostages, disarm bombs, retrieve intel, and take down terrorists.
The multi-player game uses the same basic functions of the single-player game, but put into the context of an online environment. All the standard gameplay types of most FPS games are here, with the usual Rainbow twist to them, which people clamor for. Most Rainbow Six game types for the PC version are on a one-life basis, which means that there is no re-spawning system, and at the start of each round teams spawn from either the preset Red or Green position for that map.
Raven Shield received two expansions over the course of its lifecycle, the first of which being Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword. Developed in Ubisoft-Milan, the add-on featured eight new missions (along with a new story arc), five multiplayer missions, seven new weapons and three new multiplayer gametypes. It was released on the 9th of March, 2004 to moderate success. The expansion ultimately wasn't a huge part of the online community, and was eventually filtered out of server listings.
The second and final expansion for Raven Shield appeared June 9th, 2005, and was available exclusively on FilePlanet. Iron Wrath was developed by Ubisoft-Casablanca, and featured seven new missions, two classic missions, eight multiplayer maps, and six weapons.
A series of terrorist attacks American interest and its citizens. As a war looms in the background, it is up to Team Rainbow; a top secret organization of the best field officers the United Nations has in its disposal to eradicate the threat before it is too late.
The console version gameplay differs from the PC version. There is no mission planning stage and the player is responsible to command their own team, not control them. In the game, you control Ding Chavez and lead your team (Eddie Price, Louis Loiselle, and Dieter Weber) to success. Orders can be given through the in-game commands or voice commands through a headset connected to the Xbox controller. Xbox Live
Online gameplay with Xbox Live created a large community that was long lived through the Xbox console life. The game consisted of 8 maps and 5 more with downloadable content. Modes consisted of both team oriented goals and traditional deathmatch.