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8bit Games (Mobile)
|Publisher(s)||Global Star Software|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Mobile phone|
Conflict: Vietnam is a tactical shooter video game developed by Pivotal Games and 8bit Games and published by Global Star Software and SCi Games for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, and Mobile phones. It is the third installment in the Conflict series.
Conflict: Vietnam has the player taking control of a squad of four 101st Airborne Division soldiers on the eve of the Tet Offensive in 1968.
Conflict: Vietnam opens in 1968, just days before the Tet Offensive begins, as 19-year-old Private Harold "Cherry" Kahler is introduced to his squadmates on a Huey gunship while heading to "Ghost Town" a 101st Airborne Division base in South Vietnam. Twenty-eight-year-old Staff Sergeant Frank "Ragman" Wier is the leader, highly familiar with the Vietnam War from two previous tours of duty. Corporals Bruce "Junior" Lesh and Will "Hoss" Schafer comprise the rest of the squad. Hoss is the squad's adrenaline-junkie machine gunner, while Junior, the squad sniper, is counting the final days of his tour. The 1968 Tet Offensive occurs just after Kahler's first combat patrol, and he and the rest of Ragman's squad soon find themselves cut off behind enemy lines after the helicopters deploying them on a night patrol are shot down.
Over the course of the next several days, the squad battles through miles of unknown jungle filled with hostile NVA and VC and escaping a napalm strike they meet up with "The Chief", commander of a Navy PBR. The Chief is alone prior to meeting up with Wier's squad, having dropped some Green Berets off up river where he "saw some strange shit up there". After fighting their way through a VC-fortified area called 'Charlie's Point', the men discover the Chief has been killed and soon meet up with a group of Montagnards. After retrieving a sacred statue and releasing several village prisoners for the leader of the village, the squad uses a radio gained as a reward to call for a helicopter extraction from the 1st Air Cav, being landed in a base under siege. After fighting off a heavy VC and NVA assault, the squad is praised by an overjoyed Major Wallace, who promises all of them commendations for their bravery. A dying VC throws a grenade into the bunker as the Major speaks, however, knocking them out, and the five men are taken prisoner. Major Wallace is killed when the men are forced to play Russian roulette.
After escaping from the VC POW camp, Ragman's squad fights their way through the jungle and meets Sergeant Stone of the Australian SAS and his squad. The two sergeants lead their men through a series of VC tunnels that the SAS were ordered to destroy. They succeed, and Stone and Wier part on good terms. Meeting up with a USMC jeep, the squad joins up with a column of trucks and tanks headed for Hue. After battling through the war-torn city and destroying numerous NVA T-34's with an M48 Patton tank, the squad mounts up in a 101st Airborne Huey. The helicopter is shot down by a RPG while attempting to destroy NVA SAM's and HAWK radars in the area, and the squad fights their way to and assaults The Citadel, taking the fortress and eliminating its garrison, including a handful of tanks and the commanding general.
A closing cinematic, narrated by Kahler, tells what happens to each of his squadmates and himself after their tour. Hoss signs on for another tour, and Kahler eventually learns from a drunk CIA agent that he is fighting in Cambodia, forever going wherever he can find the thrill of combat. Junior finally goes home, but meets an unjust fate after he joins the Black Panther Party and is killed in a shootout with the FBI. Ragman comes home to an empty house and a pile of divorce papers, and moves to live in the Rocky Mountains with his dog, Ho Chi Minh, having found a well-deserved peace. Kahler gets out and moves to New York City, raising a family and becoming a respected doctor, his expertise in dealing with gunshot wounds being all-too-needed in a city being torn apart by violence and unrest.
Maxim gave the game a score of six out of ten, saying, "figuring out how to work the controller is absolutely infuriating, meaning you go into firefights against stealthy Charlie with no knowledge of your environment, opponent, or weapon." The Times similarly gave the PlayStation 2 version three stars out of five and said, "It is the clichéd choice of music played on the camp radio that makes you wonder whether it is worth delving deeper into this game," citing the use of "Paint It Black" in the TV series Tour of Duty and of "Nowhere to Run" in Good Morning, Vietnam. The Sydney Morning Herald, however, gave the same console version two-and-a-half stars out of five, saying, "Squeezing the Desert Storm games into the currently fashionable Vietnam setting was a mistake. Open landscapes are replaced by claustrophobic jungle, eliminating tactical freedom. Players edge along narrow paths, progressing from one firefight to the next."
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