Conflict: Vietnam manages to recreate the chaos of Vietnam almost too well. Itâ€™s an exhausting game, with very little let up. Itâ€™s a squad-based game, letting you take control ofâ€”or issue orders toâ€”any of your buddies. Your team consists of a medic, two heavily armed types, and a sniper. As you sneak your way through the jungles, thereâ€™s a definite feeling of dread, that something really bad is about to happen at any time. At times you reach the level of paranoia reminiscent to navigating the trap-filled jungles of another tactical shooter – Vietcong.
There are a lot of interesting elements in Conflict: Vietnam. Thereâ€™s some role-playing, as between missions, you can â€œspendâ€ experience earned to boost skills with various types of weapons. Outside of speeding up and increasing the amount of healing a medic can do on a wounded soldier, itâ€™s a little hard to see how it impacts most of the actual game, in large part because your â€œskillâ€ at firing a weapon is generally related to the playerâ€™s own skill at wielding the mighty mouse of death.
The interface for issuing orders is clunky enough to make it easier to just do everything yourself, switching between your teammates to accomplish various tasks. The squad AI is slightly wonky, as they tend to cross your fire and get stuck in the environment, but itâ€™s manageable. The battles of Conflict: Vietnam are intense, and the lush jungle terrain really fills you with a sense of dread and foreboding. Once the firing starts, you often canâ€™t tell where itâ€™s coming from. But the save system really sinks the game: youâ€™re allowed two per mission. Itâ€™s hard to say why this artificial limit is imposed on the game.
Conflict: Vietnam is a decent game; itâ€™s just ludicrously hard, and the whole â€œcontrol multiple guysâ€ angle isnâ€™t implemented particularly well. On the other hand, it has terrific atmosphere and surprisingly good production values.
System Requirements: Pentium III 700 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 32 MB Video, WinXP