Men of Valor

12_1_12015 developed Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and it was one of the earliest World War II shooters released in the wake of the success of Saving Private Ryan. It also established the trend for referencing popular movie sequences, something that carried through the rest of the of the Medal of Honor titles and into Call of Duty, which was created by former 2015 employees who left to form Infinity Ward. The word “cinematic†is obvious when talking about these games, as is the word “scripted,†which was sometimes leveled as a criticism.

Men of Valor has a lot in common with both movie-like games such as Medal of Honor, but also with squad-level games like Vietcong in terms of how you play. This isn’t a game where you’re steering the tip of the gun around the screen, running and gunning with abandon. Unlike many first-person shooters, the model is more like “running than gunning.†You’ll get the best results if you stop to fire, with even better results if you stop, drop, and fire.

The real meat of Men of Valor is in its missions and many skirmishes with the Vietcong. Certainly, when looking at a game like this one, one cannot help but compare it to Call of Duty or Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. One has to be careful when doing so however, as the very nature of the Vietnam conflict doesn’t allow this comparison to be taken too far. So as far as Men of Valor is concerned, the game does a good job of letting the players experience all that the Vietnam War had to offer-from the short and intense guerilla skirmishes in the jungle to a more massive operations involving APCs, choppers and F-4 Phantoms dropping napalm on enemy positions.

Breaking down the gameplay of either Men of Valor or Call of Duty into their most basic elements reveals that both games play pretty much the same – you go on from one mission to the next, engaging the enemy in a sequence of scripted events. Somehow, however, the action in Men of Valor never really manages to be as intense as in Call of Duty. In fact, on most occasions it doesn’t even come close. I have tried to decipher why this is so, as it’s very hard to explain why. One thing is that the AI is not nearly as good as in Call of Duty (especially of the VC soldiers), and one other major difference is the rather bad sound quality when compared to the glorious battle sounds of CoD.

7_1_1While the in game settings look nice, and the 3D engine uses nice effects to create realistic explosions and particle effects, the character animations seem jerky and unnatural. When combined with the rather one-sided and predictable way in which the VC troops move and the muffled sounds of guns, explosions and VC cries, one can get a clearer picture as to why I couldn’t immerse myself quite as much in this game. Another possible reason why this was the case is that many of the missions are unbalanced in terms of their difficulty and the flow of the action.

The singleplayer campaign of Men of Valor isn’t bad by any stretch. It’s a good military shooter with a well written single-player campaign, some catchy tunes from the era and a fully featured multiplayer mode. Those of you who are military shooter buffs should certainly want to play it, but don’t expect the type of nail-biting action that we’ve witnessed in previous shooters from developer 2015.

System Requirements: 80486/33 MHz, 8 MB RAM, Win95

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