First I will say I really like this game a lot. For me it is one of the better games of this whole generation. It sure is similar to Vegas 1 but if you go back and forth there are a number of very noticeable improvements all throughout, including gameplay. The shift in view is weird but I actually love because as a shooter fan it gives me some of the best of both worlds in an interesting way. The game also had a well done single character progression you carry all throughout 3 different modes which is cool and games don't do. The game also gave you great, repeatable co-op with Terrorist Hunt which was a bit silly and gamey in ways but still challenging and very unique.
I really liked this game a lot and wish it actually would have been more influential. The game also yes has a lighter tactical focus than the series had before but this is about as hardcore and tactical as mainstream shooters have gotten since. For example you just really never see squad mechanics these days (Wildlands is the first I can say I've noticed in a while and from what I hear it is extremely basic). I think the mix of tactical and speed it achieves, with a number of unique features, is really fun if it clicks with you. Maybe it didn't for you and/or the crowds that went to CoD (I'm not sure what you prefer) but I really enjoyed it.
If you expected a large leap then I suppose I get the negativity but at the same time I question what is so different in the CoD games coming out year to year there. I agree the game isn't that polished but I always had a lot of fun with these games and if you did and went back to them, like I did, Vegas 2 was a step up that was noticeable.
If they released a Vegas 3 today that played more or less the same as the last one, I'd be very happy to make that purchase.
In a second. I have wanted it really bad for a long while now. I really enjoyed Terrorist Hunt in particular and like I mention in my post this game's mix of TPS and FPS is a bit odd but just really fun to me.
What you would hope for now is just bigger levels and that kind of thing. I would love to see what they would do with that single character progression and mix of modes today. And a game with the ability to direct a squad again would be cool as a guy who was always a fan of games like that (this, Freedom Fighters, Brothers in Arms, etc)