The base game and expansion pack were based on a heavily modified Unreal 2.0 engine and the resulting retail release required multiple patching to be brought closer to a playable state. The Athena Sword expansion pack however was widely panned upon release for its horrible map optimization, which made otherwise stout gaming machines at that time crawl even at the lowest graphics settings.
Part of the problem may have come from the fact that the base game Raven Shield was developed by Ubisoft’s Montreal studio whereas Athena Sword was developed by the Milan shop. Further driving a nail into the coffin of this phase of the Rainbow Six franchise was the development of a second expansion pack named Iron Wrath, by the Casablanca division.
That effort was so poorly hatched that the company abandoned it altogether after releasing the unfinished product (after a two year development cycle) for free to FilePlanet subscribers.
Thus Athena Sword goes down in gaming history as the last retail release for the Rainbow Six series of game utilizing the Unreal 2.0 engine.
To its credit, the game (Raven Shield and the Athena Sword expansion pack) can still be played online today as the in game server browsers still function and are populated with players, ten years later.
Not a bad looking game by today’s standards.