Battlefield: Vietnam Redux - PC - Review

Battlefield: Vietnam Redux might as well be Battlefield: Vietnam Redo.

That might be a bit harsh, but any BFV fan that may have been looking forward to this release as a gaming fix until BF 2 is released will surely be disappointed. Some gamers, including myself thought that this might be more of an expansion pack or a re-release of the game with some cool bonus features not already found as a patch. To my dismay I was wrong. Just about anything worthwhile can already be found as a download to update the original version of the game.

The WWII mod, in its own right, is fun to play using the BFV layout, but any BFV fan would have most certainly downloaded this as an update to the game. In addition, it also has what should have been a current version of the game, V 1.2. (Sigh) Mistake number two. At the time of review I had to download a new patch so I could play online, V1.21. If that is not bad enough, I had to figure out that BFV is no different than Redux; there is absolutely no information on updates on the EA Web site.

Case in point ... I could not play online, said I needed current version. Go to EA to find update, all I could find were updates to BFV. No where does it say BFV and BFV Redux are one and the same. So I surf from one end of the Internet to the other in search of some update that cannot be found. Only until I read a few message boards do I find that I am only to update BFV Redux by downloading the BFV update. Low and behold, if I didn’t have the WWII mod with my new game, I could have downloaded that too. So my point is this, anything found on the discs you can pretty much find as a download if you have the original version of the game - so save your pennies. If there is something I’m missing it's just plain not worth the $29.99 MSRP. NOW if you were considering getting BFV and don’t already have it, well that’s a whole different ballgame. Only then can I recommend this title.

So here is my take on BFV. The Battlefield franchise leaves 1942 behind and jumps 20 some years into the future waging war with more firepower, plus modernized weaponry and vehicles. Battlefield Vietnam levels feature the country's thick, jungle landscapes, which can have a great effect on line-of-sight, cover, and tactics, as well as on the game's overall look. The scenarios let you choose how you want to fight either from the land, air, or sea. The drivable vehicles include jet fighters, helicopters, tanks, trucks, and jeeps, and passengers can fire weapons while on board. A cross-section of popular music from the era, including singles by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, and the Kingsmen, can be played in-game on the car and truck radios, and will be heard by other players as these vehicles pass them, If playing in a multiplayer game, users can also import and listen to customized .mp3 soundtracks (though only on their own computers).

Personally I like these types of games with some sort of campaign style of play where you feel like you are progressing through the game meeting some end-all objective. Instead here we just have scenarios, or missions if you will, that still have you just fighting for command points and holding off the enemy. The upside is the environments are immersive and the new vehicles are quite fun. Definitely different from BF 1942, yet still pretty much the same type of gameplay.

Playing online is still the best thing this game or franchise has to offer. There is so much diversity and tactics one team can use, it would be hard to duplicate any game. Unfortunately with BFV and BFV Redux the Internet servers still have problems with crashing games or lag with 64 players. Most smaller games can play hassle-free and are a blast to play.

The music was awesome. I loved hearing the tunes from the era and it added realism to the game. The sound effects and voices were decently done. Visually the game is appealing but not exactly eye-popping. I like the fact that maybe the developers may have gone for better graphics to add more drivable vehicles or gun emplacements. That, my friends, is worthy of letting a few pixels go. Playing the game is a blast no matter how you choose to play it.

Unfortunately, though BFV is fun, it’s just not what this review was supposed to be about. This is supposed to be about BFV Redux, which if you even try and find it on EA’s Web site you will be out of luck. How sad is that? It seems that EA is not posting anything about the game because they know that this was all about marketing. They just packaged the updates (well most of them), and added the WWII mod and a few maps and threw it in a new box and dropped the price a bit. I’m starting to second guess my loyalty to EA. It would be one thing to post what this game is all about and say 'here ya go, if you don’t already have BFV, now is the time to get it. We put all the patches and mods together for ya!' I should not have to find out from retail outlets or from other people’s forums about who bought the game and how they were disappointed because they already had the stuff from the free downloads. Just would have been an honest and admirable statement, and would have kept gamers in their corner. I’ll get off my soapbox now and quietly wait for Battlefield 2. 

Review Scoring Details for Battlefield Vietnam Redux

Gameplay: 8.0
Easy to get started and the default keys are laid out nicely. No hiccups so the game ran smoothly.

Graphics: 8.0
Visually the game was good. You don’t exactly need a power horse to run it so it played awesome. The effects were decent and immersed this reviewer in the game.

Sound: 9.0
The musical score was awesome. Tracks right from the era that you have heard in any Vietnam movie. The sound effects and voice-overs are quite good too.

Difficulty: Medium
You can toggle the settings to make the game as easy or hard as you like. You can even further tweak some attributes to fine-tune the challenge as well.

Concept: 5.0
This is still BFV with the latest patches and the WWII mods. It’s a shame that it’s basically the same game in a new box with a lower MSRP than the original. The upside is that if you do not have the original BFV this is a good time to buy. That or wait for the long anticipated BF 2

Multiplayer: 7.0
Once you find the right version multiplayer can be quite fun. With so many variations and updates this can be difficult. As of time of review there was no help from the web site. You would think that all the correct patches would be on this one, yet still not. GRRRRR

Overall: 6.5
BFV in a new box; yes, it has a few minor changes but for the most part, for anyone who owns the original BFV there is really no point in shelling out the bucks for this one. This is not, by any means, an expansion as most thought it would be. If you don’t have BFV than by all means pick up BFV Redux, otherwise just save your cash. (Editor's note: The overall score here reflects the repackaging of the original title. Battlefield: Vietnam's original title received a score of 9.0 from GameZone.com and that review can be found at http://pc.gamezone.com/gzreviews/r22556.htm)

Above Average

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