Battlefield Vietnam

by Don "Donster" Miller

Article Type: Review
Article Date: May 02, 2004

Product Info

Product Name: Battlefield Vietnam
Category: First-Person Shooter
Developer: Digital Illusions CE (DICE)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Released
Sys. Spec: Not Released
Files & Links: Click Here

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On March 15th EA began shipping its eagerly anticipated First-Person Shooter "Battlefield Vietnam." I wondered, as did many, how much improvement would be accomplished over the original "Battlefield 1942."

The first thing I noticed, when I picked up the game's original DVD size package, was that it was heavy. So, I thought, "did they finally provide a full, rich game manual?" Once I opened it, I was suprised to see a double jewel case, and inspecting its contents revealed three installation CDs! Oh, and the manual? Twelve pages, just the basic facts, install directions and some advertisments. Ho-hum.

Single Play
After you complete your installation, it's time to begin playing. Selecting "Single Play," then "Instant Battle," takes you to the following screen.

Instant Battle interface

Here, you have the choice of which mission (Level), Team, Difficulty, Custom Settings and Performance (Number of Bots/Enemy).

When finishing your setting choices, select "Start" and the mission load begins. You then will see the loading screen

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with historical info and the hit protest song "War" by Edwin Star. After the mission completes loading, you are taken to the next screen...

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...with info about the mission you are about to partake. Click on "Ready" and the next screen is the Mission start, where you select your Troop Kit.

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Your kits are the soldier type you want to play as, and this also determines what weapons you will carry. You can also select your soldier's face and body type. When ready, select your spawn point on the on screen spawn map and let the battle begin!

Begin by choosing "Multiplay" on the screen.

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You will have the option of selecting "Internet." "Local"(Connected to a LAN), "Create Game" or "Rent Server." If you are wanting to play online, not wanting to host the game, select "Internet" (you must have an active Internet connection of course). You will then see this screen.

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Click on "Refresh" to bring up a new list of servers to choose from. You can filter the servers by various options listed on screen. Find a server you wish to play on and select "Join." Now you get to play against true adversaries! If you want to get together and throw a LAN party, select the "Local" option,

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or to host a game on the Internet, select "Create Game"

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and make the appropriate settings.

Gameplay and Opinions
First of all, I will tell you that BFV is a big improvement over the original Battlefield 1942. But then it should be, right? DICE has rewritten 60 percent of the original game's code, and the results show it. There has been more work done on the graphics, but if you have ever played the original game, you will know that the maps themselves were pretty sparse and barren.

Fighting in the desert of North Africa, the snow of the Soviet Union, and even the Pacific Islands didn't require a lot when it came to rendering foilage. Vietnam, however, is much, much different—jungle, and lots of it! So a completely re-designed graphic engine was used. If your PC has the hardware (but you don't need a megabuck video card), BFV looks great. The highly detailed terrain is lush. The water effects are more realistic and the vehicles better detailed.

That be jungle. Thick jungle!

Battlefield Vietnam's sounds are great. I especially enjoy all the original rock and roll songs from the Vietnam era. Of course, I'm a bit partial to them as I grew up during those times. (Yeah, I'm old! So back off!) You can play these tunes in the different vehicles, or you can even add your own MP3s to the game's playlist! I thought that was a very nice touch! Weapons sound better, too.

In Battlefield 1942, you almost always knew which direction enemy fire was coming from. You could see your enemies pretty easily. Not the case in BFV. The underbrush and jungle are thick, concealing your adversaries. This really adds to the game. Snipers and the hidden enemy will frustrate you. Taking a machinegun burst in the belly while concealed in the bush can really mess up your day!

One of the best things about BFV is the helicopters. The chopper was a very important part of the Vietnam War and you can use the helos in the game for transport or just pure firepower. However, joystick controls for the helicopters and jets are the same, when they should be able to be set seperately for each. Using the keyboard and mouse seems to work better for the choppers. Maybe EA will address this in the first patch?

Helo fires rockets

Singleplayer suffers from AI that are about as bright as a small appliance bulb, most of the time running around like a bunch of twits out of a Monty Python skit. Extremely long load times for missions is really irritating. Maybe they set it up this way so you can listen to the tune play, but after the first few times, you can get sick of it.

Another helo

While playing Battlefield Vietnam in singleplayer can be fun, this game really shines in multiplayer. Put a couple of skilled team players together and this game is hard to beat against other online shooters. A very good variety of maps has been created. You can find yourself in a battle in rice paddies, grasslands, jungle and even bombed out buildings. Lots of various locations for your last resting place! You also will deal with tanks, mines, booby traps (Bouncing Bettys & Pungi Sticks), jets, napalm and guided missiles.

One thing that you must realize about this game is that it is not a true war simulation. It is not anything close to Call of Duty, Medal of Honor or Operation Flashpoint, to name a few. If that is what you are looking for, BFV is not for you. Realism was not a factor in this game's creation. It was made for just having a blast (pun intended)! Oh, and EA and DICE probably wanted to make a few bucks, too! Heh heh heh!

  • Multiplay
  • Soundtrack
  • Graphics

  • Singleplay
  • Poor AI
  • Heavily-sided toward U.S. Forces




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