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Vietcong Reviewed

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Now that I've played Vietcong through approximately five missions, I can definately recommend this game. Therefore, consider this a mini-review.


Graphics: The environment of the game and the weapon models are the primary focus in the graphics department. The flora is diverse and provides varied and ample cover for an FPS environment. It looks much like Operation Flashpoint on Miracle Grow. THe weapon animations and models are superb, especially when using the weapon's iron sights and when reloading. Character models are a little light, but do the job. Little touches like mouth animations and vaulting over logs and trees are interesting at first, but get a little old after a while. Vehicle models are decent, again much like OpFlash with better textures. FPS is excellent and overall the varied colors and excellent recreation of actual plantlife make camoflouge actually work. You'll spend a lot of time moving slow and checking for anything out of the ordinary. I run at maximum graphics levels, 1280 x 1024, no FSAA, 4x AA and I never get below 25fps even during massive firefights.


Audio: The environmental effects are very immersive. Insects chirp, monkeys howl and canyon's even echo. Fire your .45 in a tunnel and it'll definately set off the subwoofer. Weapon audio is excellent. The sounds of footsteps accurately reflect the surface you're on.The only bad mark is the generic character taunts and responses. The scripted audio is good, but the remarks your teammates make during battle can be extremely annoying.


Gameplay: First off, the campaign system is immersive, fun and fast paced. The missions are scripted, and play in much the same way as Call of Duty or Medal of Honor, with grand themes seemingly straight from all the movies and books you've ever read on Vietnam. Crawl through tunnels searching for VC with a flashlight and a Colt 1911. Travel down brown rivers manning a mounted M-60. Track VC platoon's, rescue a Montagnard village and make it back to your LZ. Protect your firebase fram a NVA attack, then try and find where the enemy infiltrated from. That's only a bit of the first four missions. And, listen carefully: Missions are long. I'm talking well over an hour to finish one. But, unlike COD and MOH, you won't be mindlessly mowing down hundreds of VC. Many times it is necassary to stalk through the undergrowth just to eliminate a mere squad. Getting killed is easy to achieve and you really have to rely on your squad. The AI is average. Enemies don't seem to work together, but they do use cover to their advantage. Teammates will support and follow you, and will during a firefight seek cover, spread out and engage targets in other areas. The weapon count in the game is larger than most FPS's. Varieties of handguns, rifles, shotguns and automatics are at your disposal. Even when you begin to find NVA soldiers with AK-47's you'll often rather keep your Thompson or SKS. All the weapons behave like they should and you can't expect to kill with a handgun from 300 yards or empty an entire AK clip accurately without going prone. Finally, for those players who really want to experience how it was, they can choose from a "Vietnam" playmode for the single player campaign. No saves, no lives. You die at any time and its game over, start from the beginning. You'll definately be more cautious peeking over that log now.


Multiplayer: The game boasts multiple types of gameplay, and a maximum of 64 players. I haven't played it much yet, instead mainly keeping to the singleplayer. But, soon I'll be getting some other friends in the company hooked up and we'll see how it goes. I've play a couple duels with a buddy a couple rooms over, and it was fun even 1 vs 1.


Pros: Over 20 gigantic and very immersive missions. Over 30 individual weapons. Fast running and varied graphics that really look like they came from Platoon or the Deerhunter. Excellent audio effects. Lots of multiplayer potential. Even an expansion soon to be released with even more maps and weapons.


Cons: Bad character models. Constrictive map design with annoying "vegetation walls". Predictable AI.


Worth picking up, especially when you can find it for near $20 now.


System Specs:

3.0 ghz P4, 800mhz FSB

Radeon 9800 256 RAM

1 gb PC-3200 RAM

SB Audigy 2

Windows XP

DX9 and Cat 3.10's

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