Air Conflicts: Vietnam

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Air Conflicts: Vietnam review
Ingvi Snædal

Review

Failure to Launch

Dogfight without dogs
My favourite part of the game is dogfighting but when I first got the game I was most interested in the helicopter combat. After trying it, I ended up disappointed in the way you control helicopters as it makes no logical sense at all. The right thumb stick is used to move the helicopter and the left is used to tilt it. It allows you to tilt the helicopter forwards while travelling backwards on the map. Last time I checked, that does not comply with the laws of physics. I understand that realism isn't meant to be a selling point for Air Conflicts so this little oversight doesn’t weigh in too heavily, but I can’t help but wonder if some small tweaks would not have been of great benefit to the game.

The repetitiveness and lack of imagination in level and gameplay design, however, are harder to forgive. The game features multiplayer modes that in theory would cancel out the AI issues and add some much needed variation, but active servers are hard to find. During my time with the game I repeatedly found the server list empty, and only once had two servers to choose from: one with two players and the other with a single plane flying in circles.

Graphics are never a big item on my list of things to check in video games as gameplay and story are what keep me hooked. The graphics do, however, look noticeably rough and remind me rather of a well made Playstation 2 game than a 2013 release. The story holds water relatively well and the correspondences between the protagonist and his family back home not only give an insight into his own views of his (and by extent, the US military's) actions in Vietnam, but also hint towards people's changing perception of the war back home. The story from the correspondences is a lot better than the one that goes on in-game but is still riddled with clichés, over-clarifications that make the letters sound unreal, and sub-par voice acting which is a problem shared in all aspects of the game.

Needs fixing
Each and every time I play an air combat game, I try my hardest to like it as it is a severely under-served genre which I would like to see grow. However, I cannot bring myself to recommend Air Conflicts: Vietnam. It is, simply put, not a good game. In fact, the lack of polish to the game mechanics almost make the 30 euro price tag laughable. If you're still interested in buying the game after reading this, however, at least wait until the developers have released a few updates to address the control issues. It will it infinitely more playable.

3.2

fun score

Pros

A story which reflects fairly the atrocities committed by the US air force in Vietnam.

Cons

A story which reflects fairly the atrocities committed by the US air force in Vietnam.