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Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow Diaries Part One

Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow Diaries Part One

Released in 2004 exclusively on the Xbox, developed by Tom Clancy’s alum Ubisoft Milan, this is going to be interesting to play. It’s only backwards compatible on the Xbox 360, and I don’t have a capture card, so expect the screenshots to look a bit different to past entries.

This is my ongoing exploration of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six series, played in release order, where I will chronicle my playthrough like a text-based Let’s Play. This time I begin Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow.

After all of that hassle with Juan Crespo, RAINBOW took a few months off. It was 16th of June 2008 and Ding had just led his team to victory against some hostage takers in the four minute long opening cutscene. The London underground was filled with terrorists, and we were being sent in to clear it out, and disarm the bomb they had put on a train. And save two hostages, of course.

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"Who's Tom Clancy? Sounds made up"

We deployed in the underground (because this was Britain, not America) and almost immediately found a terrorist who we shot. Sneaking forwards, we went through an invisible cloud of tear gas, making my vision blur and the others behind me start coughing.

There was some shooting that I didn’t participate in, due to being unable to see and ducking for cover, but when everything stopped blurring I led the way towards a seating area, which was New Bridge station, between North Umberland Line and Guiness Park South. Three places that are entirely fictional.

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It's not impossible to look up London underground stations...

We cleared the platform before heading down an escalator and towards a grenade. It turned out to be a gas grenade, as I could actually see the smoke, so I waited a moment for it to dissipate. Sneaking around the corner, I was blasted by a terrorist and regretted it completely. Once he was dead, I edged towards the next wide-open room, only for a rocket to explode in the doorway ahead of me. I was too far away to be hit, thankfully, and carefully moved into a position to find the one who had fired at me.

Slideling into the room, I spotted him and shot him. He died and disappeared before my eyes, being replaced by someone holding a handgun who I also shot. There was a third man across the room who we shot, then I tried to work out how to reach the hostage who I could see through a reinforced window. Giving up, I headed down the corridor and could see a train. As we got closer, a terrorist began screaming, ran down the train and shot at us through the window.

After shooting him, I approached more cautiously, and that paid off as more terrorists popped up in the windows to fire at us. There was another in the window above the train, and once they were all dead we moved onwards down a hallway towards an office with two doors. The squad went in the first door, while I went in the furthest one. As I had suspected, there was a terrorist with a gun aimed at the hostage - who was quickly dealt with. The hostage was handcuffed, and we left the office - this hadn’t been the hostage I had spotted earlier…

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Obviously I'd missed when that guy had been shot in the leg...

Back on the platform, I was clueless about where to go for a minute before realising that a grate had been moved to uncover a hole next to some stairs. The moment I noticed the hole, a terrorist who was in said hole began firing at us. Once he was dead, we went down beneath the platform and came out onto the rails. Shooting one terrorist, we headed over to the other side, then up to the platform opposite where we had just been.

The terrorist there shot me a bunch, taking most of my health, before we shot him and continued up. I ordered my squad to head down the platform - so instead they went back down the stairs, then along to the stairs at the far end, before back up to where I had ordered them. With a sigh, I walked up to join them, getting shot at from the adjoining hall that had necessitated sending them on ahead of me. They dealt with the terrorists, then I sent them up ahead where they killed some more terrorists on an escalator, through a smoke grenade cloud.

We went up the escalator and I shot the guy who was standing, not hiding at the top, before sending the men ahead again. We had reached another seating area, and sending the men ahead again had them come under fire from two terrorists, who they dealt with before I reached them. Carefully checking my corners, and gated areas, I killed another terrorist. The one time I sent them on ahead, they shot a terrorist before coming under fire from people in an open area. I snuck past and into a side room, opening the door and checking everywhere before venturing out.

At the far end, I shot a terrorist through a gate - which my men ignored - before joining them at the top of another escalator. They were in a firefight, shooting down at someone firing back up at them. At least, until I realised the shadow on the wall ahead, and the bullets coming from behind me, meant that the bloody terrorist was standing in a window above us!

I shot him, sighed, then we headed down the escalator. Someone came running towards us, so we shot him, before a grenade went off at the bottom of the escalator. Reaching the bottom, we were near an office which contained two more terrorists, who we killed. Opening the closest door, I found the second hostage and almost shot him. We handcuffed him before moving on.

Well, I say we, it was actually just muggins here. A timer for 1:15 appeared, and the objective “Disarm bomb set in the train” appeared, and my squad wouldn’t budge. Running out of the room, I went back to the train and out onto the tracks. There was a ramp up to the open rear door, so I hurried inside. The bomb was clear to see in the driver’s cabin, and I went for it.

Gunfire erupted around me, and I crouched still moving forwards. I had wasted time already, and I was down to just over 30 seconds. A terrorist started screaming and ran through the open door, but I managed to gun him down and keep moving. I reached the bomb, the seconds ticking away, but I managed to disarm it with 14 seconds left. The mission was a success, and I’ve no idea what happened to the gunmen who were still peppering the train with bullets.

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Good thing I didn't shoot through him?

Mission success in 18:36:50 with 39 terrorists dead. Also, my score was 44455, so it was nice to have a timer back, and interesting to get a score! Another new mechanic it brought in was the ability to save during missions - but only three times so that you can’t spam it.

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Can you beat my score?

Our next mission, Operation: Hotel, was taking us to Cannes, and apparently topless beaches, on the 2nd of July 2008. Well, actually a hotel, but since John Clark mentioned the beaches in his briefing, I had hopes. The hotel in question was hosting a scientific conference on deep-sea exploration, and had been taken over by terrorists. Closed circuit cameras showed that the man in charge was watching one of the two hostages, but might make an escape from the roof if it came to it. We were going from the underground parking structure, up through the main foyer, heading for the roof if required.

After swapping my weapon to an M16A2 we deployed. I led the way slowly, very carefully, through the parking lot towards the doors. The moment I opened it, a terrorist shot me several times before we killed him. The hallway led around to a storeroom with two terrorists, but as I’d ordered my men to open the door I didn’t have to raise my gun. Further along, we reached a laundry room where my men killed someone, as I sent them ahead, before I followed and casually shot two more terrorists who were on their guard, but unable to see me through an empty shelving unit.

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Yo, over here!

This floor clear, we headed up some stairs to the next one. We passed by a door which was slightly open, blocked by something, and went around to another one. I sent the squad in and they killed the two terrorists inside. It was a kitchen, which meant that we were coming up to the dining room. I carefully opened the door, finding a wall in front of me, so opened it fully and entered.

Something exploded, setting fire to a nearby fire extinguisher. Unable to see anyone on the balcony outside the windows, I moved to the corner of the wall to sneak a look around. Spotting someone, I shot them and continued looking, getting shot for my trouble before I could kill the next guy. Deciding I’d received enough damage, I sent the squad ahead, and they got into a firefight. A grenade exploded, killing Eddie Price.

Having taken the opportunity to save before I had come upstairs, I reloaded. We cleared the kitchen again, then came back into the dining room. A molotov cocktail is what had exploded before, I spotted it coming through the window this time, but still was none the wiser on who had thrown it. However, it had the added bonus of startling one of the terrorists, who ran towards us and we gunned him down. After shooting the guy by sneaking a look around the wall again, I realised that guy was the one who had shot me before.

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Grenade seen here post-explosion

Moving into the dining room, the squad shot someone outside, before I noticed the grenade land ahead of us. I pulled back, and it exploded harmlessly, before we moved forward to kill the thrower, as well as someone else on the balcony. We had completed our first objective - reach the foyer. There were two entrances, so I sent the squad to flashbang one door, whilst taking the other door myself. Once the flashbang went off, I opened the door and we took out the small handful of terrorists inside - one upstairs, three around the foyer. Admittedly, I did get flashbanged by one of the terrorists, though.

After picking the lock on the only door that I could access, we went through and were treated to a surrendering man. I had the men handcuff him, then went up the nearby stairs. At the top, I realised that I had forgotten to tell the squad to follow me, so waited a moment for them to come upstairs. Opening the door, I checked nobody was there before moving towards one of the suites.

A helicopter flew up to the windows and laid down gunfire, completely surprising me. Wanting to check who they were firing at - me or the terrorists - I went to the corner where terrorists started firing at me. The helicopter was doing a very bad job…

With the terrorists dead, we followed the hallway and found the hostage. A terrorist grabbed him, requiring me to headshot the git while he shot me. Opening a door further along, the terrorist inside shot me before I shot him, but he died like the rest. Leading the squad further past a barricade, I shot a terrorist before he could throw a molotov at us, causing it to explode at his feet. Two more ran around the corner, my squad shooting them, before I peeked around a corner and was shot by at least one of the two men that I found.

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The hostage was a sneeze away from having no brains

We went up some more stairs, and through the door at the top, it opened up into a killing corridor. There was a single terrorist in the initial part, but I knew enough to approach the corner very carefully. And as I did, a grenade went off and half a dozen men started shooting at me. Yes me, I was the only one with my head out.

I managed to kill them all without taking any damage, much to my surprise. Of course, the next room had two doors, and most likely the hostage. With the men flashbanging the right-hand door, I opened the left one just in time to get blinded and deafened by the flashbang I had just ordered.

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I swear these people are watching Everyone Loves Hypnotoad or something

When my sight returned, I was very glad that the one shot I fired obviously missed, as I had aimed at the hostage. One terrorist shot Louis several times before the RAINBOW managed to kill him, but once the hostage was safe a door opened all by itself. There wasn’t a terrorist who opened it, so I went through - for some reason my squad remained behind.

Checking around the corner to the right, I was very glad that I did as I was shot at by a couple of terrorists. Luckily, their gun couldn’t penetrate the couch they were firing through, so I shot them both. Unfortunately, they were joined by a third, and the tear gas they had thrown made things challenging to aim at him. Once he was dead, I picked the lock on the only door I could get to, and went up a bunch of stairs. Another git had thrown another tear gas grenade, making it a bit of a challenge to shoot him, and making me wish I’d brought a gas mask.

As I opened the door to the roof, there were gunshots and an explosion. Coming around a corner, I found the wreckage of a helicopter and a few men. Shooting around the wreckage, I killed two before the third shot me. I quickly killed him, then the target made himself known by shooting me as well. Luckily, I had enough health to kill him.

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If I'd missed, I'd have been so upset

Mission success in 21:39:26, with a score of 42787 and 56 dead terrorists. This had certainly been an interesting couple of missions, but if even the scientists didn’t know why they had been targeted, it was only going to get more interesting…

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Rainbow Six Diaries
Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan


Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.

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