Conclusion: The framerate became choppy immediately after I was in control of the game. While this was on the highest of settings few games are hardly ever choppy on my test system and the graphics engine in Vietcong has no reason to spawn choppiness. After lowering my settings uneasily, the framerate issue was solved although the graphics were still sub-par. Character anatomy is simply, for lack of a better word, goofy.
Excerpt: To give you some idea of where I was coming from, I came into Vietcong with some pretty good expectations. I wasn’t looking forward to it in a ‘mammoth expectations that the game can’t possibly achieve’ way, but thought that Illusion Softworks, the folks who brought me the much-enjoyed Mafia, could bring a little fresh air into the FPS pigeonhole. Yet another letdown in the Rorshach gaming world. There are things a game can do that instantly make it unlikable.
Excerpt: Vietcong was made by a small developer in the Czech Republic by the name of Pterodon in conjunction with Illusion Softworks, the guys behind the Hidden and Dangerous series and the other surprise hit, Mafia. Released six months ago, Mafia received widespread acclaim for its highly authentic and atmospheric presentation and now Vietcong makes a similar kind of effort. It is just like Vietnam, or at least the way they portray it in the movies.
Excerpt: First person shooters tend to be set in one of three environments: sci-fi future, World War II, and modern day counter-terrorism operations. This is not too surprising, as these settings are familiar to gamers and provide developers with easy to manage environs in which to develop game levels. On the other hand, game developers have shied away from the Vietnam conflict because of the difficulties posed by its dense jungle environments and guerilla tactics.
Excerpt: There's something unsettling about a first-person shooter (FPS) set during the Vietnam Conflict. I'm not really sure what it is. The obvious reason would be that it was not exactly a glorious war for many concerned, and though America was unbeaten on the battlefield we lost the country nonetheless; or, maybe it's just that there's not as much historical distance between today's gaming world and the Vietnam Conflict.
Excerpt: "Welcome to Vietnam, son…get that arm down! We don’t salute out here! I don't want to get my head shot off, know what I’m saying? Anyhow, go get your stuff stowed away and come back here, then let's talk about our first mission…"
Conclusion: Gameplay involves fairly straight-forward FPS style combat mixed with the occasional puzzle-like elements (find the booby traps and disarm them without blowing everyone to bits) and the fairly cool ability to call in air strikes (which I was incredibly bad at, alas). Everything is smooth and intuitive with nary a moment of confusion about where to go or what to do next.
Summary: Up until a couple of years ago, the humid jungles of Vietnam were all but uncharted territory for gaming. But all of a sudden Vietnam games are all the rage. Developed by Czech Republic-based Pterodon Team, Vietcong is neither the first such game to be released, nor will it be the last, considering that at least one other Vietnam shooter is currently in development.