by Andrew Hallam
reviewed on PC
I Love The Smell Of Burning Robes In The Morning...
Oh Magicka, you cute yet oddly violent and often explosive third person wizard-em-up that brought many people joy with your constant onslaught of hilarity and wizardry. How could Paradox Interactive, the publishers of Magicka, Mount and Blade and more grand strategy titles than you could shake Stalin's bushy mustache at possibly add to such a perfect mixture of action and humor? Well, against all odds, they've done just that. In a strange twist that nobody saw coming, Paradox Interactive has released Magicka: Vietnam, an official DLC package that sees our robed friends taking on those dirty communist goblins in Vietnam. What goblins and ogres are doing there fighting for the Vietcong is anyone's guess but it sure makes for one hell of a game.
The Only Good Goblin Is A Dead Goblin
While the content is a little on the small side, comprising of a mere two missions (a survival map and objective-based mission), the package is well worth the rather small price attached to it. The survival mission, for all intents and purposes, is your bog standard survival map that we've all come to know and love from the original game, with the new Viet-Goblin forces added into the mix. The challenge map, however, is what's really exciting.
Your squad of wizards flies into the jungle in a helicopter, Platoon style. Vlad, your guide from the original game, makes an appearance complete with GI flak jacket and aviator shades to give you the low-down on your mission. Fight your way through the Goblin infested jungle, destroying radio towers, huts and ammo dumps along the way before finally freeing some GI prisoners, some of whom will be quite familiar to action film buffs out there, then finally escape the area via helicopter.
The mission will take you between 10 to 20 minutes to complete depending on how many players you have with you and how dedicated you are to finding all the little hidden surprises that are dotted around the map. While it is not particularly challenging for a veteran of the original Magicka, you'll have some extra tricks up your wizard sleeves to help you along the way. Take the new character skin, for example, available in both the Vietnam missions and original adventure mode alike. Instead of a crummy sword and staff, this badass wizard comes equipped with an M16, a flak jacket and an American flag. The flag-staff in particular gives you the ability to lob 'Liberty Grenades' a short distance, turning most squishy enemies into Swiss cheese. You also gain the ability to crouch behind cover in the Vietnam missions, giving you a bit more survivability in the face of the new enemies you meet along the way.
Wizards Don't Surf...
The Viet-Goblin forces are a lot tougher than their fantasy brethren. In true Vietnam War fashion your average Viet-Goblin is outfitted with an AK47. Just like in the original game the enemies come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from the larger RPG and machine gun wielding Trolls to the giant armored Ogres that wield anti-aircraft cannons with ease, with the ability to take down an unshielded wizard in one blow. Of course you can even the odds a bit by picking up their weapons and using them yourself but as ever, your true power lies in your use of Magicks.
While you have all the normal Magicks at your disposal, such as tornado and blizzard, you'll have an extra special one to use whenever you play the Vietnam DLC missions. One of my personal favourite Magicks to use, the Napalm Strike, is the all-American way to take care of the pesky Viet-Goblin forces. Chuck a smoke grenade and a jet will fly in and lay down a wall of napalm to cook those little SOBs. Just make sure you don't catch your buddies in the blast wave. Or do, if you're the evil sadistic type. Regardless, it's a whole lot of fun whoever you decide to cook with that unique blend of gasoline and fire.
Fight Fire With Fireballs!
Magicka is a rare gem in a world filled with boring FPS games that use the same recycled storyline and formula and the Vietnam DLC is there to extend the fun no end. Whether you'll be playing it solo or better yet, with a group of budding magic slingers, Magicka: Vietnam will please anyone who is a fan of the original game. For such a low price, it is hard not to give such praise to this pint sized DLC that keeps the spirit of the original alive with its luscious humor, numerous pop-culture references and unique gameplay style that many have fallen in love with since it's release. If you still have the itch for fireball slinging fun, go out and get Magicka: Vietnam. You will not be disappointed.
Same old Magicka, plus guns, napalm and jungles galore
More missions set in Vietnam wouldn\'t go amiss