As usual with any Tom Clancy product, an expansion pack for the recent tactical shooter Rainbow Six: Raven Shield is currently under development. Rainbow Six: Athena Sword is being developed by Ubi Soft's Milan studios for release later this year. HomeLAN got a chance to chat with team member Nicola Aitoro to find out more about their plans for Athera Sword.
HomeLAN - First, was Ubi Soft pleased with the reactions that Raven Shield received from long time Rainbow Six players and the gaming press?
Nicola Aitoro - Yes, we were pleased and believe most of the Rainbow Six players were happy with Raven Shield. Almost all of the posts on forums were positive and it averaged an 85% score with press. It rarely had anything said negatively about it.
HomeLAN - When the time came to develop the first expansion pack what were the development team's main goals?
Nicola Aitoro - The main goal was to provide enhanced content to the game. In fact, since the beginning we had in mind to create a new big campaign, with levels set in an environment quite different to the previous ones (for this reason we chose the Mediterranean area) and with compelling multiplayer levels. Also, we wanted to add some multiplayer modes, to give more options to the player. As a result, each of the Athena Sword levels, is playable in 13 different modes ... which is quite an achievement
HomeLAN - What can you tell us about the storyline for Athena Sword?
Nicola Aitoro - Basically, it follows the one of Raven Shield. The bad guy is the same (good old Gutierrez), who is managing his bad affairs from the jail. All the story is based on some chemical weapons, which Gutierrez wants to use. In the end, there will be only one missing ... and that's mission Athena Sword
HomeLAN - What new locations will Team Rainbow find themselves in and how long will the single player campaign be?
Nicola Aitoro - The campaign will feature 8 new single player levels. Some of them will be located in Italy (Milan and Palermo), 2 of them in Monaco (Monte Carlo), then Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Athens
HomeLAN - What new weapons will be added to the Athena Sword expansion pack?
Nicola Aitoro - Assault - G3KA4; Assault - OTs-14 Groza; Light Machine Gun GM240G; Pistol 93R; Sniper SL8-2; Sub Spectre M4; Shotgun M4 Super 90
HomeLAN - Will there be any new multiplayer modes added to the expansion and what new maps will be added?
Nicola Aitoro - There will be 4 new multiplayer modes and 1 new single player custom mission mode. Multiplayer modes are: 1 - Adversarial Terrorist Hunt; 2- Adversarial Scattered Hunt; 3- Capture the Enemy; 4 - Kamikaze. Single player mode is called Countdown and the player will be able to play single player missions with a time limit
HomeLAN - What other new and improved game play features will be a part of Athena Sword?
Nicola Aitoro - We have added Civilians and NPC Italian policemen. They will give more "life" to the levels, so they will not be only filled with Terrorists and Hostages. Also, we've added a new mission objective, which you will find in 2 levels, which is the timed bomb... if you can defuse it in time or escape safely in the given time, the mission is a success, otherwise .... Also there will be 3 classical missions, taken from Rainbow Six, Rogue Spear and Urban Ops, with enhanced graphics done with the Unreal engine
HomeLAN - Will there be any new graphical improvements made for the expansion pack?
Nicola Aitoro - We are using bigger textures, taken from real architectures. In example, for the first level, which is set in a real castle in Milan, we took hi-res pictures and textures from the real building, and the result is amazing
HomeLAN - What is the current status of the game's progress and when will it be released?
Nicola Aitoro - The game is in the final debug stage and will be released in early September
HomeLAN - A couple of online retail sites are already showing entries for a second untitled Rainbow Six expansion coming later this year. Can you comment on this product at this stage?
Nicola Aitoro - No comments
HomeLAN - Have plans already been made for a fourth full scale Rainbow Six project from Ubi Soft?
Nicola Aitoro - No comments
HomeLAN - Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Athena Sword and the Rainbow Six franchise as a whole?
Nicola Aitoro - Athena Sword will be a big mission pack, with 19 new levels and 5 new game modes. Working on Rainbow Six games is exciting since there is always something new you can add without losing coherence with the original spirit of the franchise. But levels often grow so complex, it is a nightmare . What is sure is that the more we work on such games, the better the final experience for gamers is, then we strongly hope we will continue working on this amazing franchise.