YMMV / Rainbow Six

  • Accidental Aesop: Rainbow Six was intended as a screed against ecoterrorism and animal rights extremists. However, Clancy had to put the ecoterrorists in charge of a huge megacorporation to make them credible villains. The novel can instead be taken as a tract against unchecked corporate power.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Dmitriy Arkadeyevich Popov.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Popov, for setting things up so that if the terrorists he sponsors get defeated, he keeps the money he would have paid them. Also, at the end, he backstabs his Horizon backers and spills the beans on them to Rainbow, earning himself a full pardon. Then he uses his money to buy up the ranch of one of the deceased Horizon executives since he knows that the land there is rich in gold, as its previous owner was concerned about the environmental impact of mining operations and wouldn't pounce on the opportunity.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Multiple chapters are spent building up the ecoterrorist's American headquarters, and highlighting all the things that would make it a very tough nut to crack. It's played up as the Kilimanjaro of forced entry scenarios, a hostage taker's wet dream. And then the ecoterrorists abandon the facility and flee to a smaller outpost in the jungle. Which they then leave, in order to engage in a jungle shootout with a team made up of the deadliest special forces operators in the world, which even the protagonists recognize as a painfully lopsided scenario.

Video Games
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Bastian Vanderwaal in Lockdown and Irena Morales in Vegas. Vegas 2 ends with a one-on-one quickdraw between you and Big Bad Gabriel Nowak, which might have worked, except he gives a long Motive Rant before either of you draw your pistols, and once you do he continues to rant on while you have your pistol aimed right at his head. Miguel Cabrero can be something of a Kaizo Trap though; he dropped his gun earlier, but he has another one in his holster, will pull it out once you've finished talking to him, and unlike Nowak he wastes very little time in actually pulling the trigger.
    • Right before Nowak gets his head blown off, he sicced an attack helicopter on you. So yeah, the unfair quickdraw was more or less payback. To make it even more ridiculous, prior to going to face Nowak, Bishop orders the rest of his\her team to hold position. So, Bishop basically wanted a one-on-one confrontation, and got an assault helicopter for his trouble.
    • John Brightling in Shadow Vanguard. You kill all his mooks, blow up his door, and then a cutscene shows you killing his last two bodyguards before he is captured and gives a potential sequel hook.
  • Adaptation Displacement: Seemingly very few on the internet know that there was an original Rainbow Six novel.
  • Broken Base:
    • Between those who like the older, more tactical games (up until Raven Shield) and those who prefer to more action oriented direction that the series has taken since Lockdownnote .
    • On the other hand, a lot of critics have actually preferred the more action-oriented Vegas games, arguing that the first three were too slow paced and unforgiving.
  • Catharsis Factor: As mentioned on the main page the series had a budding mod community. Well in the wake of the September 11 attacks mods started popping up where you hunt down Bin Laden, or the Taliban in general. As one gaming magazine hinted.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Lockdown is remembered as being the nadir of the franchise. It's only redeeming quality is the badass rendition of the Rainbow Six theme
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Pretty much every enemy you encounter with their auto-aiming capabilities and their Instant Death Radius (particularly in Vegas).
    • In the first three games, Elite difficulty makes all enemies into this (they most frequently get insta-death shots, have incredible accuracy and range, automatically aim without directly facing you, etc.) In Rogue Spear and beyond, if a crouched enemy sees you, they WILL immediately headshot you.
  • Disappointing Last Level:
    • Happens with the last few missions of the original game. Mystic Tiger, the finale, is where it really rears its ugly head, undergoing an Unexpected Gameplay Change to a sniper-filled linear gauntlet. And Yellow Knife and Deep Magic, two unexpected stealth levels in a row.
    • Any stealth level in the original games. To wit: it's Metal Gear on European Extreme. In first person, which just makes it harder.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The original game had one of its terrorist organizations—a right-wing anti-immigrant group no less—motivated by their opposition to "the integration of the United Kingdom into the European Union."
  • Older Than They Think:
    • While Rainbow Six was the first to do it in 3D first person, the British DOS game Deadline featured similar planning-based tactical real-time anti-terrorist gameplay a few years earlier, only from an XCOM-like isometric third-person perspective.
    • The fundamental concept originated with Ariolasoft's forgotten They Stole a Million, a heist game from 1986 in which the player carried out a series of robberies, first selecting team members and then planning their movements with the aid of stolen blueprints before acting them out in real time. With the exception of gunplay, the concept and many of the details were identical.
    • And, of course, the Police Quest: SWAT series.
  • That One Level:
    • The refinery level in Vegas 2 which you don't have your teammates to back you up.
    • The final level in the first game. It's really long, and there are a lot of blind corners with enemies hiding around them.
    • The sixteenth level of Rogue Spear: Even with the invisibility cheat code on, screw up even slightly and the terrorists will get into their cars and escape.
  • Villain Decay: Gabriel Nowak, the Big Bad of the Rainbow Six: Vegas series, goes through this rapidly in the second game; as soon as he's revealed to be the mastermind behind the entire terrorist plot, his previously mysterious master plan and motives are rapidly revealed to be nothing more than a hissy fit thrown because he was the team screw-up.
  • Vindicated by History: Sort of happened with the PC version of Rainbow Six 3. While the game was very well received upon release, the X-Box version (released about seven months later) was much more popular and influential, with its online play being especially praised. However, thanks to the PC game's Version 2.0 mod and the shutdown of the original X-Box Live servers (meaning online play is now impossible with the X-Box version), many people retrospectively agree the PC version of 3 is the better game - as well as possibly the best tactical shooter ever made.