Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 78% (based on 35 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 34 ratings with 4 reviews)
Sure, I'm looking at it through rose-colored glasses. Yet, I remember being completely taken with this game at the time. It came out roughly at the same time as the original Mafia, and, except for 1999 (the absolute best year ever in computer gaming), marked my most favorite gaming time, with warm and fuzzy memories that have hardly faded.
I love(d) Vietcong. The reviewer here who says it is unrealistic, simplistic, etc. must not have been playing the same game. I think that, even by today's standards, most people would find this a compelling, absorbing experience that does really give you the feeling of being there "in the sh*t." The single-player game is compelling and difficult--sometimes to the point of tearing your hair out--but this is the type of game that you will continue to reload ad nauseam until you get it right and get past the tough part. I recall doing just that back in the day (just as with Mafia), whereas I'm a fickle player who, with most games, will give up after a few tries and play something else because I don't care enough to continue. With Vietcong I did.
I also liked the AI companions, who, as someone said, weren't always perfectly reliable. Yet, they were for the most part, making them rather more realistic in the end than most AI-controlled NPC's. You could count on them by and large, but sometimes they screwed up or weren't exactly where you wanted them to be, just like in real life. From a realism standpoint, I liked that. More than a few of the guys who never came back from 'Nam testify to its accuracy, unintended or not.
As others have noted, the weapons feel and sound extremely authentic. I am a former Marine, so I can vouch for a couple of them myself, and I have to believe the others are equally well modeled. This may sound like an unimportant detail, but it really goes to the heart of the Vietcong game experience...the game seeks to be immersive above all things and the weapons modeling gets you a good deal of the way there. The levels are diverse and interesting, and always support the story rather than the other way around. If you're crawling through tunnels, it's because you (feel you) actually happened upon them, and not because the story was written around a tunnel level--even if it actually was.
So the single player game is well worth your while. Vietcong's single-player mode is one of the few I played all the way through, from beginning to end, despite frustrations and setbacks, and I did it in a relatively short period of time--highly unusual for me. But even better than the single-player is the multiplayer game. Vietcong boasts one of the most difficult, yet most satisfying and most fun, multiplayer modes around. It's truly tragic that the game is so ignored and is, for the most part, unavailable these days, because I remember having so much fun sneaking through the jungle and surprising the enemy--or being surprised myself--and that sneak then turning into a full-on run-and-gun (or, more accurately, spray-and-pray) panic, just as it must have been in real life. Of course, here, the chance of actually dying is absent, but it's remarkable how well that feeling is approximated in the game. Multiplayer Vietcong was, and I'll bet good money, remains, one of the best multiplayer computer gaming experiences of all time. Can you tell I loved it? I hope so, because I did :)
As far as bad points, the only things I can think of are that it is, at times, punishingly difficult (although, depending upon your 'druthers, that might be counted a plus--in the end, it was with me), and that, by today's standards, the graphics must be second-rate. Even at the time, there were some rough edges graphically--mostly with the human modeling and not the environments, which I remember as relatively beautiful and convincing. However, just as with System Shock 2 or Thief, the graphics can't detract from the greatness of the overall game, and you'll find yourself ignoring those kinds of shortcomings if you find it interesting and immersive at all.
The Bottom Line
Vietcong is one of the best "realistic" shooters ever, while still remaining straightforward enough to please many plain-vanilla (i.e Duke Nukem or DOOM) shooter fans. That is to say, it's realistic without descending into micromanagement detail hell the way some games (Rainbow Six, SWAT 3, maybe) do. It's also one of the best, if not the best, war-themed shooters around. It's a darned shame Vietcong's popularity died out so soon after its initial release, because it's a game that is not only fun, but will stick in your memory long after the closing credits.
Windows · by Jim Newland (56) · 2018
This game has a good, taxing singleplayer campaign, which is absorbing, and tough on the harder difficulties (I defy anyone to complete it on vietnam mode!) The graphics and atmosphere are stunning, and the weapons are by far the most realistic ever in a game: Pterodon actually fired the weapons, modelled them and recorded the sound from the real thing, they even had a ballistics expert to perfect the weapons behaviour. Apart from this, it is the best multiplayer FPS I have ever played. It simply demolishes games like CS or DOD and was the FIRST Vietnam war FPS to come out. The 60's musical score is perfect too!
The singleplayer campaign was less exciting than the multiplayer, but still challenging and rewarding. Maybe too easy when played on "easy" level (to be expected really)
The Bottom Line
The singleplayer is a fight for survival in varied hostile environs, from muddy swamps, to paddy fields, to the famous VC tunnels. You and a team of SF soldiers have to make your way through missions which vary from routine patrols, to horrendous close up battles in the jungle. The action swaps from fast paced firefights, to stealthy patrols. The multiplayer is a very well supported, and well devised game. There are lots of game types, and plenty of stunnning maps. Pterodon have been good about patches/maps and the new fist alpha update, and I think it is a game that will run and run - go get a copy!
Windows · by Charlie Kinloch (5) · 2004
Graphics are good and the weapons are quite realistic looking. Doesn't take long to get used to the controls. Quite an immersive story line.
Too rigid in its story line. Controls are sometimes awkward to use. Sometimes the soldiers in your squad disobey orders from you. The scripted breaks for radio transmission disrupt the flow of the game. Hard to judge the throw of your grenades. If you are engaged in a fire fight and bring in arty support your soldiers tend to get killed because they wont stay put and advance on the enemy. It is very hard to climb over logs etc, you need to be in just the right position. There is only a VERY poor firing range with which to acclimatise yourself to new weapons.
The Bottom Line
Not a patch on Medal of Honour, but a refreshing change from WW2 all the same
Windows · by sbikerbud (9) · 2003
I guess the music was ok. It wasn't that good, but the idea of using 60's style music is nice.
The graphics are awful (Half-life did this years ago). You can take 100 bullets before you die, so there aint much realism to talk about. The missions are ridiculous and boring.
The Bottom Line
This is not the vietnam game you're looking for. In fact, there is no vietnam game to this date that is worth playing. This one is way too low budget to even get close to decent.
Windows · by Grov (657) · 2003
Contributors to this Entry
Critic reviews added by Wizo, nyccrg, Zerobrain, Patrick Bregger, Alsy, Xoleras, Emmanuel de Chezelles, Cavalary, Jeanne, GTramp, vedder, Zeikman, Cantillon, Tim Janssen, Virgil, Caliner, lights out party, fireball, Alaedrain, vicrabb, CalaisianMindthief, jaXen.