Men of War: Vietnam

Excellent! A new Vietnam game. This is EXACTLY what the market was crying out for in 2011. A war scenario which has never been conceived before, and in fact contains so much originality that there’s a chance my brain may melt out of my ears before this review is done. Ergh. I’m sorry, but it is very difficult to get even remotely excited about the concept when the game is enjoyable, but Men of War: Vietnam is not an enjoyable experience at all. It’s littered with dull design choices, some of the most god awful AI I’ve seen and if I were to choose to be gentle about it I would still describe the overall graphical presentation as looking like a cow just puked onto a keyboard.

As some of you stalkers (I love you all) out there may remember, a while back I did a Preview on Men of War: Assault Squad and gave a reasonably positive overview of the game as a whole. I stand by that, because it felt as if the game had been carefully constructed to have a high focus on challenging strategy and thorough advance planning to be required from the player to succeed. Vietnam however, gives the feeling that it was rushed through to completion and leaves the player to spend more time doing trial and error tactics than any logical battle plans. Most of the time what seemed to be the soundest strategy would be automatic death whereas running three of your men in face first to distract the enemy from the sniper three feet away from them was a super quick victory for you, General!

The AI wasn’t broken, by which I mean there was never a point where I’d see one try and climb a rock or hump a nearby Jeep instead of attacking, but it wasn’t even remotely intelligent. The best tactic available to the player is to just keep your sniper alive. Then you’re done. Game over and have a nice weekend. Enemies won’t advance unless your standard soldiers are within range, and as long as your sniper can gain the high ground, which he can about 80% of the time, then the difficulty curve rapidly plummets. Of course the remaining 20% of the time it flies back to the clouds because, again, you and the enemy have the same range on weapons and they never move which leaves you simply trial and erroring each side of their encampment until you find the one particular flank the designer thought you’d find the most tempting and clear them out from there.

Now, if you’ll pardon me to be shallow for a paragraph, but Men of War: Vietnam also looks… just… terrible. There’s no justification for it. I was running this on an upgraded Alienware Aurora with the settings turned up to 11 and I was still convinced I’d been sent a game from a bargain bin four years in the past. It would never be a deal breaker for me, but the pixelation and appalling character models just couldn’t slip past my radar with the gameplay they were teamed with. Even if Vietnam had the potential to be the next Starcraft for gameplay I would still have dropped points off for the solider animation alone.

I would recommend Men of War. I would especially recommend Assault Squad as that was challenging but in all the right ways. Men of War: Vietnam though is a hastily cobbled together set of two campaigns which never satisfied nor thrilled me with any method other than ending.







Leave a Reply