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Vietcong is one of my all-time favourite FPS games. For anyone who has watched and loved a Vietnam film such as Platoon or Full Metal Jacket, this is a hugely entertaining game that recalls many of the famous set pieces from those films, as well as including its own charming personality, and an extremely impressive online mode.
Vietcong was never a particularly well known game, which is a shame because it's one of the few to tackle a period of history that's absolutely ripe for an intense and suspenseful FPS such as this. The game begins with you stationed in Vietnam, trying to smoke out snipers, and then slowly ramps up, to having you try and crawl through forests infested with traps, building and building to outright ambushes from the dangerous and clever Vietcong. Your teammates also have their own personalities, particular Gnut, a very cool Asian squaddie who is a total badass.
Visually, it was also very impressive for its time, presenting a lush and expansive locale that isn't as linear as most FPS games and allows you to explore your way to the next objective to an extent. While the textures to get a bit samey, the weapon models are always great, and the animation is also very well done.
The game also has a great multiplayer mode that I was addicted to for quite a while, allowing you to make the most of the labyrinthine like areas to get the better of other players and violently do away with them. It would have benefitted from a ranking system, but sadly the online, despite being great, never seemed to catch on.
For a game that's very violent, but also hugely entertaining and more suspenseful than most FPS games, Vietcong is well worth picking up, and now very cheap too!
I bought this game several years ago and have been playing it on and off ever since. Vietcong is perhaps the best Vietnam-based FPS I have ever played, and will ever play. Despite there being a sequal, Vietcong 2, I still feel this game offers much more enjoyment.
Campaign mode is both tense and exhilerating. The game offers 28 missions with more than 30 deadly weapons to become an expert in using. It takes you through dense rainforest and beautiful mountainous regions which can all be played in the multiplayer mode. From the beginning training missions to the high-action fighting mission, I found this game rediculously hard to conquer. But still extremely fun along the way. This isn't a campaign mode you will complete over-night.
Multiplayer is better than campaign mode in this game, in my opinion. When you access the online mode there are still many players online despite this game being nearly 6-years old. The levels you get to play are great fun, even though many have been created by third-party developers using the map-making mod. Lord of the Rings maps have been made, including Helms deep and Osciliath City - which work wonders. You are able to pcik you side and weapon-class before entering a game, and each class offers a fun alternative to the others.
A good FPS despite its age. The graphics are ut-dated but this doesn't matter. There good enough for you to hide in the undergrowth and go about undetected!
As yet only a small number of game designers have been brave enough to venture into the Vietnam genre. At first when thinking about it its hard to see why surely basing a game on such a huge conflict would be an extremely good idea. Unfortunately it seems almost every designer whos attempted it has come out with a distinctly flawed game. So when I bought Vietcong I decided to approach it with some caution.
Expecting a bit of a let down I settled into Nui Pek camp in the central highlands (the setting for the game) as Hawkins; a green beret with a distinct hate for the Viet Cong guerrillas. As I started getting into the game I suddenly realised how good it was exciting and rewarding gameplay, beautiful jungle locations, a vast array of incredibly detailed weaponry and equipment, what more could a gamer ask for?
After looking past a few minor problems, Vietcong offers an incredible experience matching most other first person shooters out there. With the horror of jungle warfare, the realism of fighting such a dedicated enemy, and the variety of mission types, not to mention the online play, Vietcong certainly breaks the mould in the Vietnam genre.
An integral part of any new pc game, the graphics in Vietcong are at the best of times stunning, and at the worst of times dull and uninspiring. Most of the time the graphics in Vietcong are nothing short of amazing they have to be in such a detailed environment as a jungle. Its only when you look slightly closer that you begin to see glitches such as your pointman walking into a bush and seemingly going straight through it.
Whats perhaps most impressive about Vietcongs graphics is the attention to detail the game designers have employed. The weapons available in the game and the realism with which theyre presented was one of the things the designers, Pteredon, boasted about at the time of release. They were right to draw attention to it; the superbly detailed weaponry is really a feat of brilliant artwork.
The environments are, most of the time, brilliantly done. Everything, from the depths of the jungles to the open spaces surrounding bases or fortifications, is usually perfect. The only places youll find fault are in the boring, repetitive tunnel systems unfortunately theres nothing Pteredon could really do about this as its an important part of the game. What particularly impressed me were the missions in which you had to travel down or across rivers. Looking down and watching the water flow past your boots is genuinely spectacular.
The characters are also fairly well done, leaving nothing to really complain about. The graphics in Vietcong certainly dont provide anything new or exciting, but theyre definitely up there with the best of them.
Whats good about the sound in Vietcong is that it really does sound like youre in a jungle. You can hear the cries of birds, your body brushing against the leaves of a tree, and the hum of the jungle insects. As well as all the natural sounds you cant help but admire the brilliantly accurate sounds of gunshots ricocheting off of a tree, the screams of your enemy as you empty rounds into him, and the distant sound of artillery homing in on its target.
All combined the sounds in Vietcong really make you feel as if youre in the jungles of Vietnam engaging Viet Cong guerrillas. You get that sense of battle which is incredibly necessary in this type of game. Nothing beats hearing bullets zip over your head as you assault an enemy position, or listening to the cry of your fellow soldiers over the radio as they request support.
With the brilliant sound effects setting a standard for Vietcong, the gameplay doesnt disappoint either. The game can switch very quickly between slow and fast paced action. Suddenly from out of nowhere you can find you and you team being ambushed by a group of enemy, then almost as quickly as it started the fire fight is over and you find yourself setting out on foot once again walking towards your objective.
In Vietcong you have a team to support you this consists of five other men besides yourself. You have a radioman, a machinegunner, a pointman, a medic, and an engineer. All of the characters are typical Vietnam stereotypes; you get the blood thirsty machine gunner, the medic with big glasses and the small and slightly annoying radio operator. Although you have a team who you can command the gameplay is still essentially anything but squad based. You can tell your team to attack, retreat, and cover you but the commands dont get much more complicated than that. Also, quite a large part of the game is played without your team actually being there. There are several reasons for this ranging from being cut off to having to go into tunnels (a job you can only really do on your own).
The variety of gameplay is also to be commended. With about twenty missions theres an incredible diversity. Objectives range from attacking enemy fortifications and going on recon patrol in the jungle, to defending your base from attack, driving a jeep, and operating the side cannon of a Huey helicopter. The numbers of enemies you fight on a mission can sometimes be as little as three snipers (the first mission) or as large as an entire enemy company it depends on the situation youre in.
As you progress through the game the difficulty increases at first youre just fighting Viet Cong locals but within a few missions you find yourself beating back hordes of professional North Vietnamese Army soldiers.
The only real problem with the gameplay is the games tendency to give you one mission where youre right in the thick of it fighting off large numbers of enemy, and another mission where all you seem to do is walk around. Dont get me wrong its obvious that you cant be fighting all the time, and having to walk around and find your enemy is realistic, but sometimes getting killed and then finding yourself having to re trace your steps can be incredibly tiresome especially if youve just covered a large distance.
The game is an incredibly realistic one employing such elements as extreme recoil, and finding yourself in trouble if you mismanage your ammunition. This can lead to the game being very rewarding but also very annoying at times.
Then theres the online multiplayer something which generally comes as standard with this type of pc game. The multiplayer is diverse, offering many different types of games including capture the flag, assault team game and deathmatch among others. The multiplayer is very well done and provides endless fun for the die hard Vietcong gamers.
Due to the online play Vietcong effectively has almost an unlimited lifespan. But putting that aside the actual single player is also quite long. With twenty missions to get your teeth into itll take you several days to complete.
Then as usual theres the inevitable replay factor. After youve completed the game theres the option to replay the levels as single missions. You might think this would be somewhat repetitive and indeed in some of the missions thats true. However, most of the missions have a huge replay factor which allows you to relive those classic Vietcong moments time and time again.
As I said at the start of the review; Vietcong is one of the few games to be daring enough to tackle the Vietnam genre making it a fairly original game. Of course its not your average first person shooter namely because you cant really play it like youd play Halo or Unreal Tournament. You cant go in all guns blazing because youd simply be killed straight away.
This is the type of game where you have to stay in cover and thats one of the first lessons you learn. You have to be cautious and have your wits about you as an enemy could be lurking behind every bush, every tree and every rock you see. Close range combat is not to be advised. Instead the game adopts a more rainbow six style approach; obviously not quite as hard but as the instruction manual says one bullet from two hundred metres away could kill you.
This is a great game with a few flaws. Its been highly underrated this year and Id recommend it to anyone. Its the kind of game that youll either love or hate but even if you end up hating it youll find yourself addicted. There seems to be a certain charm about this game, whether its the idea of a successful Vietnam setting or just that its a very good game is hard to tell.
Price: £22.99 (Amazon, September 07)
Viet Cong AKs Ver M16s Viet Cong is the one of the best games on jungle warfare. The game is based on the Vietnamese jungle warfare where the Vietcong's and the Americans fight for there lives in a teem battle. With the Americans getting there ass kicked by the Vietnamese with far from accurate AK47s and rubbish p shooters. This game is a very cleverly made with lots of original ideas. I would say that it is well worth buying. the multy player options for 2 players are rubbish but if you have 3-8 player you are a way the levels are good the Ai in coop mode are really smart. In general I would give it a 8/10.
Vietcong is not for the faint of heart. I purchased the Vietcong: Purple Haze pack, including the Fist Alpha expansion, and it is one of the few games that has actually shocked me. This game deserves its 18 rating, not particularly for its gore, but for the explicit language. Imagine Quentin Tarintino directs a film about Vietnam and ensures all the cast swear regularly. Expect this from the outset. The game centres on Steve Hawkins, who has been transferred to the Nui Pek Special Forces basecamp, a few miles from the cambodian border. It is here where the immersive nature of the gameplay begins. Steve has his bunker, but this is as close to a rest as you can expect, as from here on in you are in Vietnam until the end of the game. Your bunker allows you to view documents about weapons, intel, maps and your diary, which is updated as the game continues. You can also access the firing range where you can test all the weapons the game has to offer. It is from here you will go to briefing for your missions. Essentially the gameplay in Vietcong is very similar from level to level. There is the occasional departure from first-person shooter, such as manning a helicopter gun, but much more of a first-person shooter you can't get. However the game is also tactical, as you take control of a team varying between 3 and 5 members. You get to know your team members and their personalities, and they each have roles to play such as medic, munitions, radionman, demolition and, interestingly, pointman. I enjoyed this feature. For too many games you are the first into the action, and hence often the first to die, but Vietcong introduces a member of the LLDB or CIDG (locals trained by US forces) to lead the team, based on their knowledge of the area. Each of the team members can be called over using one button - a nice feature, as they are often required at various times. This team management requires a certain amount of planning, rather than the
turn-up-and-shoot nature of games like the Soldier of Fortune or Medal of Honor series. The graphics in Vietcong are pretty stunning. The environments of Vietnam are well rendered and very detailed. However, sometimes the forest can seem constricting, and invisible walls are very obvious at certain points. For the most part, the level design is fair, but there are some viscous tunnel fairly early on in the game which infuriated me and, it seems, everyone else who has reviewed the game that I've read. Despite the games 18 rating, you will not see too much blood, although the corpses are pretty messed up. The environmental affects, like rain, cloud and forest cover help to create a mood, particularly seeing as there can be long periods of relative inactivity. Moving on to sound, with the correct setup this creates excellent effects, both of weapons and sounds and the voice acting is good as well. The score to the game is superb, as all the songs have been taken from the Vietnam war period (Iggy Pop, Deep Purple, The Stooges...) and excellently used within the game. The controls are straightforward enough, comparable to any other PC shooter. For the most part, walking pace is the norm, but at times you will be required to duck, crawl and run to get away from the VC. Commanding your team members is easy, and something you will pick up early on. In addition, you can use maps to call in air support should you feel the situation warrants. The game also uses a down-the-barrel aiming system (seen in Call of Duty, Far Cry), where right-clicking causes Steve to look down the barrel of whatever gun he's holding for a more accurate aim. He also slows down whilst doing this if he's running to make sure of the shot. It's always nice when a game does things that you either haven't seen before or haven't seen for a long time. The team command aspect is definetely a different take on other team-based games (Rainbow 6 ser
ies, Socom series). For me it's the immersive nature of the game, the fact that you're always in Vietnam, often missions can be long and slow, much as missions were in Vietnam. For me, this added to the suspense and made the action more real. Vietcong also pulls no punches; you hear phrases that aren't PC, they're not even non-PC, they're on a level below that. But this made it more realistic for me, as so many games treat war as this glorious event full of heroes and enemies. Vietcong is a one-sided tail of cowards, trigger-happy soldiers, orders and lack of resources. It may not be pretty, but I have to guess that this is more realistic than the bland, sanitised experiences of war that video games often bring us. If you like first-person shooters, buy this game and you will not regret it. If you're deciding between this and Battlefield Vietnam, then make your choice based on your likelihood of playing multiplayer; if you play MP a lot then get Battlefield. If you want an immersive, realistic, enjoyable shooter then get Vietcong.