From Tom Clancy to Michael Bay
I honestly don't know why they keep the Rainbow Six name around, considering that Rogue Spear (the first game in the series I played, and liked) actually emphasized things like realistic teamwork and tactics. I assumed that there would be some semblance of those things in R6V2, but after the first level, you almost never find them again. Sure, you have the option to use things like thermal vision, smoke grenades, and attaching silencers to your weapons, but they don't really provide you with a tactical advantage when the AI can still hear your silenced gunshots from a kilometer away and snipe you through the smoke anyways.
Admittedly, I didn't play the first Vegas game, so I wasn't aware of all the story tie-ins. However, what I did see just felt like a plot ripped out of generic action movie: An army of terrorists has somehow managed to plant a couple of weapons of mass destruction around a surprisingly empty Las Vegas, without any resistance whatsoever.
The famous "Rainbow" special forces team from Tom Clancy lore quickly responds by sending a team of 3 people (or 4, if you're playing co-op) to deal with all of them. As the singularly-named Bishop, it's up to you to overcome schizophrenic AI, a so-so cover system, and getting shot many, many times to save the day.
Now, I've played the latest Brothers In Arms title, and despite my misgivings ("oh God, it's another WWII shooter,"), the game actually made me care about the characters featured in the story. R6V2 could've replaced its main voice cast with a bunch of hobos, offered them $20 and a ham sandwich to do the voices, and the lines would probably sound more emotional then the awful script the game makes you follow.
Anyways, the game has the now-familiar "hide-behind-cover-and-shoot" system found in games like Gears of War, Dark Sector, and other third person shooters. You run into a group of enemies, hide behind cover, and occasionally pop out from that cover when you think you have a clear shot at the target. When not hiding, you switch to a first-person view.
In some cases, you can order your teammates (both of them) to "stack up" next to a door and toss a flashbang or frag grenade through it, but the uses of that are limited when you're not playing in an enclosed setting. You can also prioritize targets for your teammates to shoot, but it's up to them whether or not they feel like shooting the targets.
You have a large selection of realistic weaponry, including several sniper rifles, machineguns, SMGs, rifles, shotguns and pistols. However, thanks to realistic damage, you can beat most of the game with one scoped rifle if you so desire.
Another interesting feature the game offers are ropes and grappling hooks that terrorists seem to have carelessly left lying around Las Vegas. In theory, it would be cool to fast rope down to a lower ledge, get the drop on your enemy and turn his head into swiss cheese. In practice, unless you've killed all enemies nearby, the person going down the rope just ends up exposing themselves to gunfire and dying four out of five tries, making you wonder why they even bothered to put it in.
Okay, so the single player isn't that great, but it's got to have some really cool multiplayer, right? Well, there's one thing good about it: the rewards you unlock in multiplayer can be transferred over to the single-player modes, and vice-versa. However, you shoot waves of enemy soldiers in the story mode, and you shoot waves of enemy soldiers in the co-op "Terrorist Hunt" mode. The only differences are that all four players are (usually) human controlled, and they don't bother with a thin storyline in Terrorist Hunt.
Oh, there's a few versus modes as well, but its nothing you haven't seen before: deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the control points, blah blah blah. However, anyone trying to use tactics gets killed by the people running around with guns and shooting anything that moves.
Look, I managed to get this game for free after winning a raffle. I remember all the challenges I went through years ago just to master playing Rogue Spear correctly. Apparently, as the years went by, the tone of the Rainbow Six series went from Tom Clancy to Michael Bay, focusing less on quality and more on the quantity of enemies.
This isn't a bad game, it's just very unoriginal, and the few original gimmicks they did implement are either broken (fast-roping) or useless (sound suppressors). If you really want to play a good, semi-realistic shooter, then go play Call of Duty 4. At least they had a good story and fresh new twists on multiplayer combat.