YMMV / Rainbow Six

Literature
  • 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.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • In recognition of the Lord Chanka meme, the official Rainbow Six Twitter account had this to say on the character's birthday, while the actual character is (only) covered head-to-toe in battledress and armor in-game.
      • If you can read Russian, the text on his LMG shield after buffing reads "LORD".
    • A news notification pointing out the removal of the SMG-11's ACOG scope was accompanied with an image of Glaz thumbing up, clearly because he was unhappy with the competition the "pocket sniper" provided.
    • The armor bag in Rook's elite skin has quite a few things written by its cover, including a file titled Operation: Rook Mine and instructions that are written in French that detail what is basically a dummy's guide to using Rook.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The aspect of Siege Operator "IQ" Monika Weiss that used to be discussed the most after usually being considered a not very good choice to play is that she wears tight jeans. The former part was later fixed with a patch, but you can be sure recognition of the latter part did not let up.
  • 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.
    • Bombers in Siege and its Terrorist Hunt mode. If they know you're there, they'll beeline for you and suicide-bomb on your face, instantly killing you regardless of condition and situation. If one shoots their bomb devices they can't suicide, but they're relatively quiet compared to the other enemy types so usually the only way to know they're coming is their suit's breathing sound and potentially their gunfire. Speaking of the suit, did we mention that headshots are the only efficient way to kill them because they're otherwise extraordinarily durable against gunfire?
      • The point of shield operators in multiplayer. Montagne will either extend his shield and basically be invincible from anything that doesn't explode from the frontal angles of his body, or Blitz will be a good bit easier to hit but instead temporarily blinds you on command at closer ranges (which is most of the time considering the maps all take place inside buildings). Your odds of stopping them in a remotely head-on fight are slim to none without tossing a nitro cell at them - and with all the potential methods the attacking team has to come in from different directions, they don't need to kill you either, their team can handle that just fine.
  • 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.
  • Game Breaker:
    • Shield users in Siege used to be able to perform a trick with their shields - by rapidly switching between "gun down, shield up, head covered" mode and "aiming down sights, shield down, head uncovered" mode, they can achieve near-perfect accuracy with their pistols while being near-invulnerable. This is because guns used to have perfect ADS accuracy as soon as the ADS animation starts, and by rapidly switching in and out of ADS, shield users can basically get the ADS animation stuck to the first .1 seconds of it so that their shield isn't lowered that much (in third person it looks they're shaking their shields in front of their face at ridiculously high speeds), protecting their heads and giving them perfect accuracy.
    • Even more broken however, was the FBI SWAT Recruit, who can use shields but still retains the FBI SWAT's 2 speed, making them way faster than all other shield-users in the game, who are at 1 speed. Combine the two and you get an operator that rushes around the map with a shield and a 20-round pistol in hand (where each of the 20 bullets can perform a 1-headshot-kill), practically invulnerable from the front and has perfect accuracy at most ranges. Thankfully, both this and the above have been fixed.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: There are quite a few in Siege:
    • Few things causes players as much agony as watching the killcam of their killer's head rear back as if shot there (which should have killed them) due to a hit detection issue.
      • In a bit of Memetic Mutation, the fan community relentlessly mocked Ubisoft's initial response to this bug, which was to suggest that players were, in fact, not getting head shots in these instances but instead getting "neck shots". To their credit, Ubisoft instituted serious netcode changes to address these changes soon after.
    • Players have noticed that Blitz's shield doesn't seem to protect him very well. This wasn't a problem on the game's release; where out of the shield operators, players definitely preferred Blitz; but whatever emergent bug caused this problem lead more players that like to use shields to possibly prefer Montagne since at least his Extended Shield gadget will reliably protect you from bullets.
    • Because destruction is client-side, it is possible for small-scale destruction to be not synced up between players. This is generally not a problem until things like getting shot through a seemingly unbroken window or an entire Impact Grenade hole disappears on one player's screen happens.
    • A combination of latency, hit detection and other tiny but broken game mechanics made one-melee-killing shields from the front a small, but very much real possibility.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • A bug in the End of Round Replay in Siege can sometimes cause characters' knees and legs to bend backwards in the wrong direction, taking on a digitigrade stance, leaving viewers with the rather disturbing image of their operators strutting about like heavily armed and armored ostriches. Commonly nicknamed "Raptor legs", a patch that indicated that the bug was fixed was met with some sadness and mourning.
    • The winning team's players are usually supposed to shown all standing together alive as their last operator chosen for the end of the round, but a bug sometimes brings them there while forgetting to bring them back to life if they were killed in the last round, leading to corpses lying around that are adorning the victory screen.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Siege includes a level where the team raids a compound of Right-Wing Militia Fanatic group on Oregon. One month after the game released, an actual militia group took over a federal building in rural Oregon.
    • 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."
  • Memetic Badass: The sheer amount of "Please Buff Tachanka" demands had caused the hypothesized post-buff Tachanka to be seen as some sort of messianic entity by the community. People also tend to pretend that the current Memetic Loser Tachanka is already the strongest Operator in the game. He is commonly referred to as "Lord Chanka" (and hailed with the emoticon {-}7 for resembling his MASKA-1Sch helmet with a saluting left arm). After Red Crow's Mid-Season Reinforcements, Tachanka was finally buffed in the form of a frontal ballistic shield on top of his LMG, finally adding some viability. However, in an interesting bit of irony, Tachanka's pick rate doesn't seem to have risen significantly — it's still fairly rare to see him getting any play. This is in contrast with Fuze and Twitch, who became noticeably more popular after they wee buffed.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Tachanka in Siege. Yes, both. His gadget was very lackluster, and there was a lot of people making pot shots at his lack of usefulness. Some essentially sum up what everyone wanted: "Please Buff Tachanka".
    • When discussing Blitz, people always mock how big his helmet is, which, in a game where headshots instakill and hitbox is lined up with the player model and the helmet is considered a part of the head which is not fully protected by his shield, is a big problem.
    • Blackbeard became one after the Red Crow Mid-Season Reinforcement. His shields were nerfed to the point where each one has only 80 health (only able to defend against 2 or 3 shots before breaking), compared to the 800 health shield he had at his release. The massive drop resulted in many jokes about how Blackbeard is nerfed beyond recovery.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Please Buff Tachanka. For reasons stated above.
    • Claiming Frost is Buck and vice-versa, after a clearly-rage-blinded player posted a video to the rainbow6 subreddit complaining that Frost respawned right after they killed her to kill them in return while on the attacking team (which should be impossible), when what they actually did was failed to realize that they killed a friendly Buck. The video has since been made private by the also clearly-embarrassed player.
    • Many distinctive lines from the Operators. The most popular are probably Thermite's "A really big fuckin' hole comin' right up" as he uses his thermite charges, Smoke calling his gas grenades "bewties", Thatcher's "Fookin' laser sights" line from his video and IQ infamously telling "If it runs on batteries, I'll see it!"
    • Bandit is known as a drug dealer and junkie by rainbow6 subreddit users, thanks to this video.
    • Rook Mine.
  • Narm:
    • Smoke's voice during his combat mode will definitely make you either laugh or cringe.
    • When IQ activates her gadget, sometimes she will say "R.E.D. Scanning. If it runs on batteries, I'll see it." When she activates her gadget in a firefight, sometimes she will say the exact same quote except shouting on the top of her lungs with her German accent. Keep in mind that this is one of the longest quotes in the game, so imagine hearing 7 whole seconds of shouting with an awkward pause in the middle.
    • Echo's speech whenever he activates his Yokai drone has become a joke material on rainbow6 subreddit.
  • 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.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • In Siege, a very hotly debated mechanic is that headshots are always instant One-Hit Kill regardless of the conditions. A headshot from a guy spraying aimlessly on the other side of the map? Dead. A headshot from a guy randomly wallbanging at two layers of thick wooden walls? Dead. A shot that nicked you by the tip of your helmet's earmuffs through a tiny little gap invisible to the naked eye? Dead. Critics of the mechanic said that it made some situations low-risk but high-reward purely through luck (like random spraying at a distance), while others defended the mechanic by citing how it had defined the current gameplay of Siege and that it rewarded people who are better at aiming. The debates had always been hot, and it doesn't look like a conclusion will be reached anytime soon.
    • Related to the client-side destruction bugs mentioned above in Game-Breaking Bug: Smoke's gas grenades, as well as regular smoke grenades, are also rendered client-side, and they are much less consistent between clients compared to the occasional buggings of the destruction. This can lead to teeth-gnashing frustration when you throw a smoke grenade to disguise your path, get shot, then see yourself clear as day on the killcam.
  • Self-Fanservice: In spite of wearing a fully-realistic bulletproof vest, most of her head being covered by her helmet and balaclava aside from her eyes and bangs of hair, IQ's tight jeans have led to fans regarding her as Rainbow Six: Siege's epitome of desirability Ms. Fanservice, with fanart probably heightening it at least a bit. It probably helps that people usually agree the faces of the female operators that are actually shown are kinda off.
  • 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.
    • In Siege, most of the Bomb Disarming Game Types. One notable example is Barlett University in Terrorist Hunt. The actual map normally isn't that bad if it wasn't for the perpetual poison fog that covers it whole. Couple it with obscured vision and the Bombers, it's incredibly frustrating to trek through the entire building only to be blown up by a room of C4.
    • 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.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: There have been times where Rainbow Six Siege's balance has been questionable, especially during the alpha.
    • High Tier
      • In Siege, shields absolutely dominated the game in the beta. They made the user nigh invincible and can only be circumvented with grenades or explosions, and only from the sides or back. As such, the shield users were hated, especially Montagne, who has a full-body shield. The full release fixed this by greatly reducing their hip-fire accuracy whenever they have the shield equipped, going back to normal accuracy if its just the pistol, and further reducing it while the shield is taking fire (making them shooting at the enemy while not aiming down their sights, which renders them far more vulnerable, unlikely to work and make the difficulty of killing them from the front more of a Mutual Disadvantage). They were soon buffed to take explosive damage from the Shield's front but useless when detonated from behind, but the other nerfs stayed in place.
      • Blackbeard was an absolute beast in the right hands. A poor Blackbeard won't realize that their Rifle Shield does not protect from the top like Montagne, but a good Blackbeard can be a God if angled just right in a window. Inevitably, his Shield's Health was nerfed from 800 to 150, and again to 80, but an additional shield is added, along with an additional UI to watch the Shield's Health, and also allowing him to swap at will.
      • In Siege alpha, Pulse was hated by the community because his heartbeat sensor was practically a legal wallhack, and combined with the wall penetration and (the then-present) hit markers meant that it was very painful to play against him. During the beta, Pulse was Nerfed and hit markers were removed, greatly reducing his effectiveness. He had been buffed again, where his Heartbeat Sensor gives more information and updates every half a second, but his range is still less than favorable, not that it hinders him, basically putting him back on the High Tier if in the hands of a good Pulse player. Thankfully, Ubisoft announced that he will be given another nerf. The effective range of his heartbeat monitor being reduced again, and the transition between gadget and weapon is lengthened, where you have to do the full animation of the heartbeat monitor before you can switch back to your weapon, which leaves you open for quite a while and allows the enemy time to move.
      • Thermite, Thatcher, Twitch and Hibana are absolute nightmares to fight when they're all together. Thermite and Hibana can destroy reinforced walls, while Thatcher and Twitch can easily destroy electronic gadgets like Mute's Signal Disruptors and Bandit's Shock Wires.
      • Weapon-wise, Semi-Automatic Shotguns were reviled for their incredibly powerful damage output and range. Thankfully, Ubisoft announced a nerf for them, decreasing their damage and increasing their pellet spread.
      • Twitch's FAMAS assault rifle is pretty much considered the top contender for the best gun in the game, with a very high fire-rate, a standard 30-round magazine and pretty low and controllable recoil.
      • Nitro Cells are a frequent mention in nerf requests. They can be thrown at a fair distance, can be detonated instantly after deploying (leaving no time to react against it), and kill everything around them, including shields. They are frequently described as being "cheap" and many critics of the gadget say that the gadget had almost completely rendered shield operators unplayable. This was finally countered by rebalancing shields so that they resist explosive damage significantly up front.
    • Low Tier
      • The Spetsnaz weren't as developed compared to other CT Us exactly popular picks in most cases, with one notable exception, but one of the four was notoriously lacking in versatility. Tachanka was and still is notorious amongst the Rainbow Six Siege community for having the least useful gadget in comparison to everyone else. His original Deployable LMG makes anyone who uses it a stationary target against anyone who's aware of their surroundings. This has gotten to the point that he is the most popular choice to buff, with comments that say "Please Buff Tachanka" in most cases. Come Red Crow Seasonal Reinforcement, and Tachanka had finally been buffed from "nigh-unusable" to "situationally effective" by providing him with ballistic shields on the turret to protect the user's head, though he is still situational due to the nature of his gadget.
      • Kapkan places lethal traps on doorways and windows. Extremely and blatantly obvious traps that are easily avoided by not going through doorways and windows the second you are immediately able to. This stopped for a time due to a Game-Breaking Bug emerging that allowed players to take advantage of a glitch that caused the EDD's laser to be invisible, but the bug was fortunately fixed. Kapkan then received a buff where it made the ED Ds difficult to spot, and can be placed almost anywhere on the doors and windows, raising his effectiveness.
      • Montagne was once the least popular choice for a Shield Operator on the Attacking Side due to his Extendable Shield not being incredibly effective after nerfing Shields to be unable to take Nitro Cells anymore. While his Shield is definitely creative, it was lacking in usefulness. He became far more viable once the shield buff against explosives came in. Again. However, this time, frontal damage will be acknowledged, while blasts from the back will kill any Shield Operator as usual.
      • Blitz definitely took over Montagne's place of infamy, as whatever Game-Breaking Bug that occurred to him after some of the game's patches made him liable to be headshot...through his shield's front, and therefore unable to actually use his shield to any degree of reliability.
      • Weapon-wise, the SASG-12, the Russian Semi-Automatic, magazine fed Shotgun, was rather lacklustre in comparison to other semi-autos. Thankfully, a couple of buffs made the shotgun more viable by making the fire rate twice as fast and increasing its mid-range and long-range damage to be on par with other semi-automatics as of this writing.
      • Gadget-wise, Twitch's Shock Drone. While the Operator's loadout is one of the best on the Attacking Side, her gadget was rather situational. It can't jump, does only 10 damage per shot and can be destroyed just as easily as the regular drones. Thankfully, a patch now allows her to use her Shock Drone during the Preparation Phase as well, allowing the Attacking Side to destroy gadgets beforehand, along with several buffs to the gadget. She was also given an additional Shock Drone.
    • Both
      • Glaz is in a pretty weird situation. On one hand, his Marksman Rifle is the only one that can pierce through the bullet proof glass on the Presidential Plane Map and can destroy barricades from a far distance in three shots. On the other hand, while its powerful, to compensate it has a significant delay between shots, making him less viable in direct combat. After getting a claymore mine and improvements to his OTs-03, he's more useful as a Support Attacker on the few maps that can give him a good amount of distance to generally use his range advantage, like much of the Bank map.
      • Caveira, for similar reasons. A good Caveira player can easily get the drop on opponents with her Luison, and if successful, can quickly reveal the locations of the other Attackers. On the other hand, said ability is pretty situational and takes a long time to finish, putting herself in an exposed position, making her susceptible to a counter ambush before she can reveal their locations.
  • Uncanny Valley: The few Operators of Siege with exposed faces tend to look kinda off at times, with the killcams of these operators killing the player practically being a popular category of fan screenshots. Valkyrie is particularly infamous for it.
  • 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.
    • Siege went from only getting three unanimously positive reviews on launch to being one of the largest sleeper hits of 2016, to the point where it and The Division were credited in helping Ubisoft increase their profits during Summer 2016.

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