PC games: Vietcong

Fear is your first enemy. You sense the restlessness of the natives and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Analytical cogitation is replaced by animal instinct and you’re reduced to the reactionism of fight or flight. All the while, an appreciation of the incongruity of the situation is indicated by your wry smile — you’ve never felt so alive because you’ve never been so near death.

This FPTS (first-person tactical shooter) is based on jungle warfare in Vietnam. It plays out like a cinematic encounter — the breathtaking awe of the initial helicopter journey and interactive nature of the non-playing characters are accompanied by a superb soundtrack. You only have limited control over your squad and the emphasis is on straight-out action rather than strategic battle. Not a bad thing, because it’s well done and the varied missions keep your interest.

Graphics and sound make Vietcong an immensely atmospheric jungle trip. The lush foliage is so dense that it’s hard to spot enemies — you’ll have to rely on both your hearing and your pointman. This magical illusion is shattered by two issues we have with the main protagonist. First, he sounds more like a teenager than a man who loves the smell of napalm in the morning. Second, he’s the spitting image of Leonard Nimoy in The Search for Spock. We don’t much like his name, either.

Publisher: Take2Games Interactive
Developer: Illusion/Pterodon
URL: www.take2games.com

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Spencer Dalziel

PC World
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