A few months after releasing Men of War: Assault Squad, series developer 1C Company decided to flash forward two decades from World War II to the Vietnam War in its third stand-alone expansion Men of War: Vietnam. The game features two campaigns: American and North Vietnam, both of which contain five missions apiece. It also includes a cooperative mode, allowing players to play through the campaigns, which is highly recommended.
As with Assault Squad, Vietnam offers no tutorial and immediately throws you into the deep jungles of Nam with little indication and training as to how to achieve your objectives and complete the mission. In contrast to its predecessor, Vietnam is a lot more unforgiving as far as difficulty is concerned. Though this may not deter veterans to the series, new players beware as this is one war you may want to fight after accustoming yourselves to the original Men of War just to see what this title is all about.
To outright dismiss the quality of the game based on its near impossible difficulty would not be fair, though its difficulty does affect its appeal. Here is what the game does right and well. The most notable aspect of the game is the immense detail of the maps, especially the dense foliage associated with the jungle environment of the Vietnam battlefields. The foliage is a double-edged sword as it makes it particularly difficult to spot enemy soldiers, which could mean disaster in a matter of seconds. On the other hand, you can also conceal your squad in order to avoid detection by enemy scouts and aircraft. We saved frequently, especially after an intense firefight.
As with the other games in the series, the special effects are very well executed. From the explosions of rockets from RPGs and Huey gunships to the distinct sounds of the jungle, Vietnam lives up to the series previous entries. The voice acting leaves much to be desired as the Vietnamese soldiers sound like Hank Hill’s Laotian neighbor Kahn yelling at Bobby Hill for dating his prodigy daughter.
Although a good quality game, Vietnam‘s flaw is its over-the-top difficulty even when set to Easy. If you are really looking to give this game a chance, make sure you have a spare bucket of patience nearby as you will find yourself having to reload the game quite a bit. Though there are five missions in each campaign, each may take hours to finish because of the challenge, and that’s without completing any secondary objectives. When you do complete objectives, you can’t help but pat yourself on the back, breathe a heavy sigh of relief, and keep pushing onward despite the frustration. Men of War: Vietnam affirms the validity of the proverb “Patience is a virtue” and really tests its limits.
Overall, MoWV is really well developed in terms of depth of gameplay and detail. Veterans of the series will definitely appreciate the effort put into this expansion. Replayability may vary depending on how quickly you lose patience. Despite that, the coop is something worth factoring in as it helps in completing the campaigns. However, for casual players of the RTS genre, try the game before you buy.