For those of you who haven’t noticed, 2004 seem to be the year where Vietnam takes the spotlight for war titles on the next generation consoles. With quite a few new Vietnam titles being released in the past few months, none of which have really given us a great Vietnam experience. Now Global Star has decided to take their own crack at it in Conflict: Vietnam for the Xbox. So is this the game to take the titles as being the best Vietnam War game? Read our review to find out!
Similar to most other Vietnam war games, you start the game as a grunt, or in other words you’re the rookie of the group. You join up with three others to create a squad that will tour around this war-torn country. You start with a very quick run through of the games controls and you are off and running to fight the bad guys. The game allows you to switch at anytime through the four characters of your squad. So while you are controlling one character the other three are on their own, although you can command them to do a few basic maneuvers/commands.
So if you haven’t realized already, Conflict: Vietnam is a third person perspective squad based shooter. The game does a nice job of making it easy to command your team to do as you please. Although there is a slight learning curve in the system, it does work with some sense of accuracy. The only downside to this is that it’s not all that useful. The controls of the game make it just as easy to switch through characters rather then giving commands.
The game also provides a first person view mode, which is supposed to give you a "better" shot at taking out the enemy. The only downside to this is that it doesn’t work. You are just as well off trying to take them out via the third person perspective rather then the first.
But of course many of you can probably guess what’s coming next as it is a common problem with almost all squad based shooters. The game hosts some very poor computer AI. Your teammates will try to shoot at people who are already trying to shoot them first. But don’t expect them to do much else. For example when a grenade is thrown doesn’t expect them to go dive for cover, rather expect you to try and quickly change soldiers to get out of the way. The computer AI in more ways than one is pretty poor and works against the game quite a bit.
This is something that really has separated the good squad based shooters from the bad. Not many developers have had much luck getting the computer AI to have enough intelligence to make it seem like the game works right. For the most part I found that my teammates seemed to be blind.
Another major problem that the game faces is the save system, which is just very poorly constructed if you ask me. You get the automatic save at the beginning of the mission and then you are given "two" saves for the rest of the mission. This game is way too hard to only have two save spots, and therefore many people are going to be instantly turned off by that. The game has many opportunities for a quick death, that two saves just isn’t enough.
To top it all off the game does not provide very much multiplayer support, which makes me wonder where is the Xbox Live support. One of the best parts of a squad-based shooter is the online support, as the games usually are made more for online gaming. You are only given support for four player split screen which does work quite well, but I would have loved to have seen the ability to play it online.
Overall Conflict: Vietnam does have some problems, but the game does offer some at least decent moments. With that being said you can’t put behind the many problems the game does encounter, that really plague the Vietnam experience.
It’s something about Vietnam that has really been hard for developers to make a good-looking Vietnam game. Maybe they are just so used to creating World War 2 style war games that they just need time to learn the ways of Vietnam. So does Conflict: Vietnam do a great job portraying Vietnam?
Conflict: Vietnam seems to be right about where everyone else is in the visuals department. Conflict Vietnam is a game that does somethings right and somethings not so right. On the right side they have some beautiful textures in the game that amounts to some very nice detail and environments. The environments of the game were quite good but everything else suffered. The soldier models were as bland as they could be, with little to no type of expressions.
Overall though Conflict: Vietnam doesn’t do all that bad in the visuals department as the environments are some of the best I have seen in a Vietnam game. It’s too bad the rest of the visuals couldn’t hold up their end of the deal.
There are two things that hold Conflict: Vietnam back from being a fun game to play. First the save system, which on paper may sound like a good idea, but for this game it just doesn’t work. The difficulty of Conflict: Vietnam is way up there, and the save system should have gone accordingly. The second problem that holds it back is the poor computer AI, which makes it more of a hassle to have the other three guys along rather then helpful. With that being said the game still has some real fun moments that make you wonder why the whole game couldn’t be as fun.
We are still seeing a lot of developers having problems making a successful shooter in Vietnam. The ideas behind Conflict: Vietnam are there, the execution of the game just is not. Unless you are really in need of a Vietnam war, game this one can probably work just fine as a rental.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.