#10: NAM (PC)
NAM for the PC was released in 1998, it's an early example of a game which allows the player to play as an American solider, fighting through towards the end of the game in the warzone of the Vietnam War, gunning down as many Vietcong soldiers they encounter in the game. The game uses the Build engine, the software which was well known for running Duke Nukem 3D, to maybe remind us how great a feat this game can be as NAM is known for being a total conversion mod named Platoon for Duke Nukem by the TNTTeam. It was a mod which was later carried over to become a standalone game. To give a bigger explanation to why this may have been a good idea to have been made into a standalone game, as the TNTTeam were known for working on a mod for Doom, named Final Doom, which was picked up by publishers which saw a PC and PlayStation release, so it may have used their skill and knowledge to see what a Vietnam War themed game to show how well it would be as a game on it's own, which it did. I think it's the best example to why Vietnam War theme games uses middle-ware to really capture as much as they could for the game, while making a game. Didn't impress everyone, some which this game still stayed a mod for Duke Nukem 3D however it is the earliest release to make a first person shooter set during the Vietnam war. The TNTTeam later went on to make World War II GI, soon after NAM, which is a world war 2 take in the Build engine, so maybe NAM was a milestone to them to get to the more popular idea of a first person shooter to get a game more worth while to release, despite it's flaws like how hard NAM can get and using the save and load functions to help finish the game. There are many other games on the list which started off as mods, which maybe shows the process of why the Vietnam War was made before reaching a more indie status to be sold on the storefront.
Eve of Destruction - REDUX is an (other) independent game released for the PC via Steam which boosts loads of content related to the Vietnam war. From the name, with the popular term REDUX, it's a re-worked version of what was a Battlefield mod. The game has many features to how much content is in the game however the game mainly takes the Vietnam vibe and runs with it to make the game to what it is. The game was made with the Unity engine, taking all the content made for the Battlefield mod. The studio which made the game is entirely of one person, who spends his own time to make content for the game, which is why the game explains to expect updates from time to time. The names of characters in the game are entirely fictional (not sure why that's worth noting). Not much to that but the game is huge, ambitiously made, maybe more on the budget side because it's created by just one person but the amount of content is an achievement in itself. Wish it could have been better but with the Vietnam war itself being really compact to what had happened despite the decades that it occurred, not much as happened other then everything that has been thrown into it, which is why it's nice to have a game like this to capture it. Being from a decade old mod, the graphics are a bit low-polygon for the time of it's release. Like NAM, it's another mod that turned indie game but the rest of the games on this list aren't developed like that.
Line of Sight: Vietnam released in 2003 and Elite Warriors: Vietnam released in 2005 for the PC, both developed from nFusion. They are both two completely different titles with slightly different mechanics yet the content is so similar despite the two different games from the same company, There's one game Elite Warriors, that deserves a brief mention. Line of Sight: Vietnam was more of the first person shooter with a few tactical elements but relied more on the first person element to complete the game then the third person view. Elite Warriors was a tactical shooter with third person and first person elements but is played more tactically but I've included, because it maybe worth the mention with a few first person shooter elements. The game has more or less the same challenge, just like any other game set in the era, set in a jungle to a river with stacks and huts and offers the challenge different from it's own. The overall experience between both games with the idea that the game is played from a heavily tactical idea, to approach the situation more slowly to get onto the other side of the level, which was a focus at the time of the games release.
You may also notice the name of both games, are titled in such a, like they part of a series called Line of Sight and Elite Warriors and they've attached the Vietnam name next to it, like there was a previous game before it? There's no other Line of Sight or Elite Warriors game out there set in a different era prior to both games release but then should there and will their ever be?
The Hell in Vietnam is another budget first person shooter set in the Vietnam war. The game was made by a company called CI Interactive. CI Interactive are known for making really content filled first person shooters which really have gone their way to use make full use of other engines such as the CryEngine 3 and Chrome engines for their games, which they are often credited for. Many of their games are different such as Enemy Front but they have a few others which are extremely popular such as Sniper: Ghost Warrior and Terrorist Takedown. The Hell in Vietnam, is there game set during the war, I think the clue of what to expect is in the name of the game. The Hell of Vietnam is your straight-forward first person shooter. Decent at best. The game is almost un-noticed and maybe just help fill the market with another Vietnam War game or to maybe to see how a shooting game set in the Vietnam war would be by the company itself, considering they already had their successful games in the same genre. The game could have used a better name, The Hell in Vietnam sounds more of an extreme horror game, not to say that the war was ghastly with the situations that had unfolded but I just wish it could have used a better name to promote their game. The Hell of Vietnam is maybe a decent enough at least and doesn't have much flaws to it, to be seen or played.
Hours of Darkness is a DLC pack for Far Cry 5, released in 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Hours of Darkness is a more interesting take on the first person setting but relies on the player to use mostly stealth to complete the story found in the DLC, then running across the map with guns, blazing. The DLC pack allows the player to play as the character Wendell Redler who first appeared in the base game of Far Cry 5, whose backstory is that he's a veteran of the Vietnam war. The DLC pack allow the player to sneak around to attempt to escape from the mountainous jungle of Vietnam as hostiles hunt for him while aiding other characters in trouble, along the way. The character can also handle guns and shoot but the game was designed in such a way to rely on moving around without firing a weapon and avoid being detected by the Vietcong, which is more of a better option. Ubisoft have been well known for making games on top of their base games of Far Cry as DLC or spin-offs, one of the more well known being Blood Dragon which takes the wild 80s futuristic concept aesthetic for its standalone game, so it was a treat to have learnt that Far Cry 5 had Hours of Darkness for their DLC pack. Also an interesting entry for this list as it's a game was developed by Ubisoft Shanghai studio in China (who were allies to the Vietcong during the time) as well as Ubisoft themselves, who are headquartered in France, which maybe explains why it had taken the major publisher with the studio a while to make a game and to have developed in such a way, with the optional stealth gameplay present. The game still sports the same setting and weapons, character and solider designs, just like every other game, the gameplay mechanics change how the game is played. The developers have even labelled this the first Far Cry experience set in a warzone, as the other Far Cry games are set in occupied territory where that isn't an active war.
Battlefield Vietnam was an multiplayer only based first person shooter game developed by the studio DICE Canada and published by EA Games in 2004. It was the 2nd released Battlefield game in the overall series, released after Battlefield 1942, maybe more of a spin-off then in the actual series. Battlefield Vietnam takes many elements from the first game such as control point objective but uses the Vietnam setting with the weapons. helicopters, tanks, along with troops for this release. Many of the maps are historically based on real settings such as the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Battle of Hue and Fall of Saigon, making it another early attempt to giving the game the realism it offers with the setting. The game can be played solo with the help of bots and not just with other players in a multiplayer game. The game had a re-release titled Battlefield Redux, which offered new vehicles, maps and weapons. The game also used asymmetric balanced gameplay between the two main armies, the American Army and the Vietcong army. Both sides are extremely different in terms of the army but tweaked to the point to balance the gameplay to fit the conditions in the real world to how it was during the war. The American Army had more armored vehicles and explosive force while the Vietcong army were more about numbers and defending against vehicles and relied more on their troops and even had the advantage of tunnels to help them, which helped the entire game to make the gameplay more balanced.
Being a multiplayer only type of game and while the multiplayer mode holds strong, the idea of a Battlefield game with single player only element is one of the well requested games from fans as DICE are known to have made many games later, which are set between eras such as Battlefield 1, with the presentation it had. The setting of Vietnam has only been seen as a DLC pack from time to time such as Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam in 2010. I think Battlefield Vietnam was good enough for a 2004 game, even if it were a multiplayer only game. It is maybe worth waiting for a single player only Vietnam game in the future after seeing the later Battlefield titles as Battlefield Vietnam was one of the earliest released game in the series.
Rising Storm 2: Vietnam was developed by Tripwire Interactive and Antimatter Games and released in 2017. Like many of the games, if not just the multiplayer, the player gets to choose to play as a solider from the American Army, South Vietnam and Australian Army on the allied side or select to play as the Vietcong of the North Vietnam army on the opposing side. For the game, like a few games, the players can take control of vehicles, from tanks to helicopters and are more modelled closely to their real life counterparts to date. It's another game which had maps which are based on historic locations and battles but because the areas look closely like each other, they're divided into three different themes, which they've labelled Jungle, Urban and Rural and are used to help with multiple of game modes found within the game, maybe something new to get away from the previous entry. The game also has asymmetric gameplay to set the type of conditions the war had like the previous entry, with the Allies having more armored power against the Vietcong which relied more on troops. The series itself is considered a sequel to the first Rising Storm game set in World War 2 but there's nothing that closely tied in to the first game, other then new features of the series such as helicopters and other air vehicles.
The overall experience found in the game is the developers have tried to include as much of what the Vietnam War had into the game in terms of content as the game was released recently. The game is huge, currently weighing in at over 60 gigabytes, to maybe add to the level of great detail the game has across all forms of content. The game has loads of DLC which cost a bit extra to use and to own, maybe to support the game in this day of age, so it may not be for everyone, with how to access some of the content. The player can unlock new content and items across both factions and unlock content from both sides as the player progresses by levelling their character profile with experience. Rising Storm 2 maybe your modern shooter for modern day hardware and it's just a beef up multiplayer experience compared to the other games that they're offering, for the modern player.
Vietcong is an extremely straight-forward first person shooter game released for the PC in 2003 It was developed by Pterodon and Illusion Softworks and published by Gathering of Developers. The game places the player in the usual jungle and tunnel filled levels, with the player travelling and shooting the Vietcong enemies. The game mixes it up a little bit by allowing the player to avoid traps in the game, as well as having an AI controlled character the player has to also take care off. It's the usual straightforward shooter with nothing more. At times, the player can also call in airstrikes to help in some levels but that's really about it. Vietcong was at least good enough for 2003 as there were't as many 3D first person shooter rendered games out there at the time. It's listed as 2003 as there's another game of the same name released recently on Steam, to try to avoid the confusion with that game, (I'm not sure why, that developer hadn't done their research).
The game was successful enough to have spawned a sequel titled Vietcong 2 in 2005, again for the PC but it was published by 2K Games Czech division and not the Gathering of Developers.The story is more focused on the Tet Offensive in Hue and has more urban levels then the first game and not the jungle or rural image that the Vietnam war is commonly seen, maybe to offer more of a better experience then the common scenario that many soldiers had endured. There's loads of eye candy to be entertained and moves away from the jungle environment as there's so many buildings to run pass in the entire game. The game also has another chapter for the player to play as a Vietcong solider in the Tet Offensive, later in the game. It's still the linear first person shooter to complete. Still very different at the time of the games release. It's hard to believe this was made by the team that later made the Mafia series but I could see why the development of Vietcong 2 had helped because in Vietcong 2, there's so many nice decorated buildings in the levels and it may have helped get them the know-how and platform to help make the Mafia games. At least the games has a single player campaign mode to complete and could be a challenge for anyone who wants to complete games.
#2: SEAL Team (PC)
SEAL Team is a Vietnam War video game which was released by Electronic Arts for MS-DOS in 1993. Maybe the earliest example of a Vietnam War FPS game and it was worth it at the time as 3D was first being seen around this time, so what better way to quickly use the really technical looking 3D, then to place it in a tactical first person shooter? SEAL Team is rendered in a plain 3-D polygon style (with no textures on those polygons) of landscapes and buildings in the game. The player plays as a solider whose part of the SEAL Team and have a range of maps to drop and raid in. The characters in the game are rendered in bitmap sprites animated in the game to give that feeling that they're in that 3D world but they at least look decent and fit the game when you see them. Players can also throw grenades as well as shoot, maybe common now a day to throw grenades and a must have across all FPS games but this was a big deal at the time, to see players throw projectiles in a 3D rendered world and was a feat in itself.
The effort to make the game at the time, shows as 3D polygon games at the time looked too technical and not fun to look at, so SEAL team appears to prove with the formula worked, to get into the game, to show that there's some interaction between the player and the game, if a game like Doom wasn't someone's style of gameplay. SEAL Team being by EA, it does feel like it's almost been forgotten about and maybe why the Battlefield games hadn't had a single player Vietnam War game for their series, other then the spin-off and DLC with a game like SEAL Team released from EA..
#1: Men of Valor
Men of Valor was developed by the team named 2015, Inc. and was released for the PC and Xbox, while being published by Vivendi Universal Games in 2005. Men of Valor allows the player to play as a solider in the 3rd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Division, who are placed in to aid many battles, historic for the Vietnam War. Along the way, the player can take control of the gun in the Huey helicopter to being on a river steering a riverboat, which were known situations during the Vietnam war. There are a good variety of missions in the game such as rescuing POWs and lost soldiers to being part of raids before withdrawing from the warzone, towards the end of the game, just like in real life. With that, the game features weapons accurate to their real-life counterpart for the players to handle, like any other first person shooting game in the war.
This was the last game from the developers 2015, Inc as they were known to be part of the modding community for Quake 2, who later went to make the SiN expansion game SiN: Wages of Sin, then later a few other lesser known budget first person shooters. After making Medal of Honor: Allied Assault published by EA, until they had created Men of Valor. This was one of their last games between their team, which could explains how well this game could have possibly been sold, which is a shame because the game has great mission variety over the course of the game and the graphics are bold and looks decent for a 3D first person shooter at the time. At least the single player mode is there and would create a more fulfilling experience to what the Vietnam War was like at the time of their release as they're as much to do during the game and not as competitive as a multiplayer game. Maybe your straightforward first person shooter game but the variety helps break the pace of the missions and gives a more unique experience compared to all the other games.
The other games that tried to fill the market with the lack of Vietnam games (mentions) would be Tunnel Rats. Tunnel Rats is a horrible game but it has attracted some interest. Apparently Tunnel Rats is based on a film by Uwe Boll, infamous for making poor movies based on games however Tunnel Rats was said to be one of his best movie works, so a development studio went out to make a game about it and did a poor job of making a game with confusing level design. A rushed developed game in my opinion, which furthers my point that the games I've listed that a lot of heart went into making those games.
Shellshock 2 was the sequel to Shellshock Nam '67. Shellshock Nam' 67 was a third person shooter however the sequel Shellshock 2 was a first person shooter and it could have been a better game but the game was delayed. I believe it was a first person shooter, maybe to be noticed (and sold) more unlike the previous game.
There was Vietnam: Black Ops by Valusoft, another budget FPS, straightforward, mission to mission to complete the game. One of the first games but just linear, then there was the cancelled Call of Duty: Vietnam was in development in 2010 for consoles of that era but was cancelled but there's word that it may return in the near future. (like the next few months?).
... and I'm sure there's many more. With these set of games around, along the masses of games set during World War 2 and the popular warfare games set in modern times to the rare selection of games set during World War 1 or the Gulf War, there are games set in the Vietnam War and I think it's worth crediting the developers of making the best of a ghastly situation to make an interesting, challenging video game to not forget and remind ourselves what had happened in the pass as Vietnam continues their reforms to improve their standards like the rest of the world.
List by 91210user (06/23/2020)
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