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Vietcong



PC Game of the Month
Developer: Pterodon Team
Publisher: Gathering
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Review Excerpt
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See screenshots of Vietcong (PC)

"Vietcong features a complete single-player campaign, a single-player quick-mission mode that throws you into an enemy-infested area per your specification, and a fully featured multiplayer mode with a built-in server browser for finding open game sessions online. The quick-mission and multiplayer modes let you play as either the Americans or the Vietcong, but in the campaign, you'll assume the role of Sergeant First Class Steve Hawkins, who is transferred to a Special Forces unit based in Nui Pek Camp at the start of the game. Here Hawkins will meet his other squadmates, including Vietnamese point man Le Duy Nhut and loudmouthed machine gunner C.J. Hornster. The events of the campaign are predictable enough in and of themselves, but they may take you by surprise as they come up, and they're the sorts of experiences you'd probably hope to get out of a first-person shooter set during the Vietnam War. Between creeping through the foliage with your squad, hoping to spot any camouflaged VC before they spot you, and lurking all alone through the VC's elaborate tunnel networks, wondering if you'll ever see the light of day again, Vietcong's campaign by and large hits the right notes.

"This is due in no small part to the game's artificial intelligence for both friendly and enemy forces. The AI isn't perfect, and it does occasionally exhibit strange behavior, but when combined with Vietcong's realistic motion-captured animation, the AI makes for some pretty convincing action more often than not. You'll see your squadmates gesturing to each other when the coast is clear, vaulting over or crouching under felled trees that are in their way, bolting for cover when under fire, and more. As squad leader, you're free to lead the charge, and your teammates will follow suit. Alternately, you can ask your point man to lead the way."


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No PC gamer can complain about a lack of World War II-themed first-person shooters, but the same is not true of games based on the Vietnam War. Though the setting has been something of a taboo in the past, developer Pterodon Team has stepped up to the plate and produced a tactical, story-driven FPS that's reminiscent of period films like Full Metal Jacket and Platoon. In addition to the well-plotted single-player campaign, Vietcong features a fully developed multiplayer mode and a sort of "jungle skirmish" mode that lets you set some parameters and then simply dive into combat. Vietcong is the first in a forthcoming wave of 'Nam-based games, and it's not a bad one to start off with.


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