Conflict: Vietnam

For the last year or so a lot of companies have been trying to make a good Vietnam war based game and almost all of them have fallen short; does Conflict: Vietnam fare any better in the pursuit of recreating the most controversial conflic of modern times?

Conflict: Vietnam assigns players the role of four different soldiers in the year 1968, Ragman, Junior, Hoss and Cherry. These men are perhaps the unluckiest people you will ever encounter in a videogame, as anything that can go wrong, does for these poor saps – which is quite alot considering they are in the middle of a war.

Gameplay

Conflict: Vietnam is a 3rd person squad-based shooter, and as such you get the ability to control four different men at any given time; all you have to do is press the down or up buttons on the D-pad. Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the game is the AI itself, its down right smart… almost to a fault; you’ll find yourself relying heavily on your team and to some extent you’ll even feel like a hindrance more so than a help. How smart are they? Your teammates can see through foliage, can see booby traps long before you can, can mount machine guns, can heal themselves and can even kick away enemy grenades. (That’s right if an enemy throws a grenade at you they can kick them away.) Not only that, they are also more accurate with their preferred weapon than you are. While gamers have been clamoring for better squad AI for who knows how long, there is a point when the game starts playing for you instead of with you.

Their only down fall is they aren’t particularly good at using heavy weaponry such as rocket launchers and grenade launchers – they tend to treat them like normal rifles which can cause them to hit you (they tend to enjoy shooting over your shoulder) with a rocket.

The enemies are also pretty damn smart, as they’ll hide in the foliage and snipe you, take cover and try to blast away at you, throw grenades right in the center of your group (which can devastate you) or even shoot explosive barrels if you are near them. Not only do you have to worry about the Vietcong in the game though you also have to worry about booby traps, a facet of the environments which serve well to ratchet up the tension and slow down the pace at which you progress through. The only ways you will find them is by treading slowly until your teammate announces they see one or by triggering it… and believe me you don’t want to do that. The booby traps are quite varied compared to previous Vietnam based games, they have the spike traps where if you trip the trap a spiked fence will slam into you, they also have landmines and trip wires (all very nasty.).

Now you’re probably wanting to know what exactly you can do aside from controlling your character, and I’m afraid the answer is not a whole damn lot. Throughout the story you will get to ride in various vehicles such as gunboats, helicopters and Jeeps, which are all very fun. Unfortunately, the fact that you are forced to rely on auto aim if you want to be successful in the game and that the controls are frustrating (more on that later) you’ll find yourself doing nothing more than telling your men where to go and bandaging them on the fly. That’s not to say its not fun though, as the player has quite a bit of control over exactly where their comrades go and what they do, but its slightly disappointing when the high point of a game isnt actually controlling your own character, but sitting back and telling other people what to do.

Unfortunately the game is offline only, the only multiplayer you get is an offline co-operative mode where up to 4 people can take over the roles of the soldiers in your group.


Audio

The Audio in this game is outstanding, the ambient sounds are great, and you can even customize your own soundtrack to listen to while playing. The voices are also well done, as the conversations overheard between soliders are believable and entertaining, with the subject ranging from consperacy theories to women; they fight/yell at each other, joke with each other – the game does a great job of giving the impression that these are real people along side you. Some of the lines you’ll here in the game are just classic, such as “Join the Army, see exotic and beautiful places…. And then shoot the #&%@ out of it!” Factor in the original version of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint it Black’ as the theme song, and really you cant go wrong with the audio experience found in this game.

Graphics

The graphics in this game aren’t half bad, they aren’t the best but they aren’t the worst. I didn’t like the little facial animations there were and the over abundant amounts of Flora tends to be more frustrating than anything due to fact the AI can see through it but you can’t. I do like the water effects and the character details though all round.

Controls

This is where the game literally falls flat on its ass, the controls are HORRIBLE, the fact it takes roughly 10 seconds to go from your weapon to your med kit is bad enough, but to add to it you are forced to rely on auto aim because you can’t aim your weapon worth crap otherwise. The first person aspect of the game is realistic to a Huge fault unfortunately, when you go to first person your gun takes up a majority of your screen so that you can’t land a good shot unless you are using a sniper rifle.

Overall
Overall the game isn’t for everyone, fans of the conflict series will of course like this game, for those looking for a realistic vietnam game, this is a good one. For those look for a fast paced action shooter where you can control everything might not be too fond of this game. I give it a 7.9 out of 10.