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PC Reviews: Vietcong


Vietcong Screenshots

The Final Say!


Age of Mythology - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 1 May 2003
Review Score: 8.9/10
Distributed by Take Two Interactive 

There have been dozens of first person shooters that have been based in World War II but no game has even come close to capturing the true horror of the Vietnam war. Vietcong is the first game of its kind to add to the genre of not only the Vietnam war but also an extremely realistic first person shooter. Vietcong is set during the infamous conflict  in Southeast Asia that saw thousands of casualties on the side of the United States army. 

You play the role of Steve Hawkins, a Sergeant First Class that has arrived on a US base in  Nui Pek Vietnam. Although a skilled soldier, you have never faced the jungles of Vietnam or the deadly enemy known as the Vietcong. Your mission is simple, keep your squad alive, follow central command orders and lead your men to victory. Vietcong contains a variety of different gameplay modes that include Campaign Mode (the main emphasise of this review), Quick Fight, Single Mission and a Multiplayer mode that contains Death match, Capture the Flag, Last Man Standing, Assault, Real War and Co-operative play. 

The game is unlike other first person shooters that has you running around with guns blazing and scenes from the latest Hollywood blockbuster but far from it. Rather, you must use every member of your squad (similar to the Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six) to help you succeed on your missions as each member has a different set of skills. Some of the men under your control include an engineer, a Vietnamese pointman, a machine gunner, medic and radioman. A basic mission in Vietcong can include a number of different things such as eliminating enemy squads or scouting missions. You can control your squad members with a variety of commands that include Hold, Attack and Cover me. Once you have mastered the strategies of the game, Vietcong soon becomes like any other first-person shooter where you must run around and kill enemy units. However, it is set in a realistic war environment. 

The control system of Vietcong is fairly stock standard using a combination of keyboard and mouse to control your character through the Vietnamese jungle. Fortunately, the game allows you to re-map your own keys so no one should have any difficulties in mastering the control system. The campaign mode of Vietcong features various in game cinemas between missions to help progress the storyline of this turbulent time in mankind's history. 

Graphically, Vietcong is an extremely good looking game that unfortunately require a very high-end computer to maximise this game to its full potential. 

That is, anyone with a machine that is lower than a 1000MHZ CPU may have a few problems in keeping a constant framerate. Althoughthe game engine requires a fairly high-end computer to do the gamejustice,  you will soon appreciate what developers have created, aperfectly created 3D world that is extremely reminiscent  of moves such asHamburger Hill and Platoon. The backgrounds of Vietcong are perfect and youactually feel like you are walking through a tropical jungle in Vietnam that issometimes unnerving because you don't know who is hiding behind the trees or ifa Vietcong will jump out from one of the rabbit holes. The characters areextremely detailed and feature some brilliant looking textures such as uniformsand weapons and realistic body and facial textures. The game uses a variety ofdifferent lighting effects in the game and some great weather effects such asrain and storms that combined with great gameplay, makefor some of the best first-person shooter gaming since Medal of Honour. Althoughthe test machine for this game was a Pentium III 1000Mhz computer with 386MB ofRAM, the game did occasionally chug when the action heated up. Fortunately thisrarely occurred and the gaming engine was quite stable. 

Vietcong Features

  • Stalk your enemy with an elite special forces of six soldiers each with their own specialties
  • Fight for honour and freedom in over 20 dramatic missions
  • Strike from the shadows with more than 20 deadly weapons
  • Infiltrate dangerous underground lairs containing miles of elaborate tunnels
  • Conquer your fears in the realistic environments of a lethal and vengeful war zone
  • Save your skin with timely radio communication to call in air strikes, request evacs and receive valuable intel
  • Race across Hazardous terrain in jeeps, trucks and riverboats
  • Stay alert of your next step could trigger one of over a dozen terrifying traps
  • Enter a killing zone as either U.S. or VC soldiers against opponents in heart-stomping multiplayer action
  • Full EAX support captures the sounds of fearsome jungle warfare, with ricocheting bullets and deafening explosions

Contents of Vietcong

  • 2 CD's
  • Manual

Themusic score in Vietcong is perfect and comes straight out of the 1960's and 1970's to reallyhelp add to the atmosphere of the game. The game also supports the EAX soundsystem that allows for some great sounding special effects if you have the rightspeaker setup. For instance, you can hear all the background noises of thejungles, ricocheting bullets and gunfights in the distance, quite simplyperfect! The voice acting of Vietcong has also been professionally done and eachvoice suits the characters perfectly. Last but not least are the great soundingweapons in Vietcong that sound straight out of the time period that they aremeant to be.  

Vietcongis a great first-person shooter that really adds to this genre of gaming with anoriginal game that is set during the Vietnam war. The beauty of the game is thatit caters to both novices and professional gamers with a variable difficultysetting. Multiplayer gamers will also benefit from Vietcong as it offers arealistic and extremely entertaining gaming experience that can have gamersplaying for either the Vietcong or the United States Military. With extremelygood graphics (depending on how powerful your computer is), an interestingstoryline and realistic sound effects, Vietcong is the perfect game that willkeep gamersn enthralled worldwide. Check it out! 

-Andrew B

Minimum Requirements (Windows)

- Windows 98, ME, 2000 or Windows XP
- 500Mhz Pentium processor or higher

- 256MB RAM
- 16MB 3D Accelerator
- 1.8GB Free Hard Drive Space
- DirectX Compatible Sound Card

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