As a war, Vietnam got little respect. As a game, Elite Warriors: Vietnam will also garner little respect as certain aspects of the game are obviously flawed, making it anything but enjoyable.

It's not the Vietnam theme that's in question. I know that there are lots of gamers that don't get excited about this war. It's certainly not as epic as WWII and there's not much glory associated with it but Elite Warriors: Vietnam sheds light on a little known unit of soldiers that were specially trained for squad-based combat behind enemy lines. Called the SOG, they were feared by the Cong who in turn trained teams to counter the SOG units. These elite warriors deserve recognition but this game does little to promote them properly.

At first, you would suspect that EWV is a shooter. It is but that's only half of the story. Plan to spend a lot of time with the interface. You will have some RTS elements to grapple with, but the least of them is strategy. There may be a lot of choices to make in this game but there's not a lot of ways to deal with them when things go bad.

Waypoints are chosen for each mission. Your unit moves up the map not unlike a board game. You're informed of your progress, good and bad, with little to do other than see what other random surprises await you.

Commands are relatively straightforward. You can select each character and arm them with various weapons such as a knife, sniper rifle and semi-automatic. Enemy AI often give themselves away as you can hear them firing in the distance. As long as you don't leave the topographical map you'll find them very easy to defeat. All you have to do is keep firing into their nest from a long distance. They won't even know what hit them as they are unaware of your presence until you cross that scripted trigger.

Missions are rated on time, effectiveness and how much damage you receive. To make your unit more effective, you can take a rest but at the expense of a good time score. You'll also be more vulnerable to attack. You can also choose to go through the mission in half-time or double time but the faster you go the bigger the risk. The risks don't seem to be consistent and all bets are off when you leave the map and the enemy becomes incredibly aggressive. If you call for an emergency extraction you'll automatically end the mission.

With insects buzzing, birds singing and tribal drums beating the soundtrack reminds me more of Africa than Vietnam. The radio chatter helps keep it real and reminds you that you're in a war and not on a safari. The guns sounds are good though they sound a little subdued. The voiceacting is too serious and monotone. Like a bad religious service. Graphically it's pretty decent but there are a lot of areas that you can't interact with thanks to invisible walls that force you to stay on your chosen path.

EWV is not half bad but guess what the other half is? Not good!


Click For Media
System: PC
Dev: nFusion
Pub: Bold Games
Release: March 2005
Review by Stew XX