Surf this, Charlie – Men of War: Vietnam

By Alec Meer on June 4th, 2010 at 1:38 pm.

Turns out there’s not one, not two, not two, not two, but two new Men of War games due later this year. Jim forcibly craned your head towards MoW: Assault Squad last week, but now there’s Men of War: Vietnam too. Which I a) am quite excited about, as ‘Nam is not a territory RTS has often trod in and b) played for a little while a couple of weeks ago.

The most immediately interesting thing is that this is a two-sided game. Pretty much any Vietnam-set game you can care to name is through the eyes of US soldiers, and does very little to make the Viet Cong anything more than a faceless horde. MOWV (miaow) includes a fully VC campaign. MoW has traditionally been pretty good at at even-handedness in the name of military interestingness, and I’m genuinely pumped…

Oh no. I just wrote ‘pumped.’ I’m so sorry. I’m in New York at the moment, you see. I’m going native already.

…I’m genuinely intrigued to see how this elaborate-yet-intimate strategy game realises hiding in foxholes and using the jungle as camouflage. Hopefully, the two sides will be asymmetrical in a way MoW hasn’t truly dabbled in previously.

Alas none of the VC side of the game was on show, but I did get to dabble with a level from the US campaign. Visually it didn’t look notably better than MoW, but the change to tall, dense trees certainly gave it a new look. The trees can be used as semi-cover throughout, which enabled some canny ambushing techniques. The VCs seemed a little better at in than me, darting about with lethal efficiency, but I suspect once I’m accustomed to thinking cover-cover-cover at all times the balance will even out.

There was a spot of cleverly understated politicking, too. My first order in the game was to attack a group of Vietnamese civilians up ahead, who to all intents and purposes were unarmed peasant farmers. Um. Do I have to?

Upon mowing them down, I’m ordered to search the baskets they were carrying. They’re crammed with automatic weaponry. If my guys hadn’t killed these guys then, well, they’d be the tiny corpses littering the dusty road. But I didn’t know that for sure. Have I done the right thing? This kind of moral obfuscation is Vietnam all over. I have no idea if the game will toy with similar comfortableness throughout – it is first and foremost about military tactics, after all – but the setting certainly lends itself to pushing our moral buttons.

Apart from that, it was very a Men of War game. Collecting hats and guns from corpses, getting shot if you roam into the open too often, and generally being just a little bit hard. I liked it, but I need to see more. Given that Vietnam was largely an infantry war too, the game’s going to have to work hard to keep its levels interesting without resorting to vehicles.

But maybe there’ll be helicopters. I do like a helicopter. Oh look, there are:

More news of Men of War: Vietnam soon, I don’t doubt.

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39 Comments »

  1. radomaj says:

    Turns out there’s not one, not two, not two, not two, but two new Men of War games due later this year.

    What is that a reference to?

  2. Flaringo says:

    This could be interesting.

    I hope there’s lots-a tanks. Everybody likes tanks.

  3. Colliic says:

    Excellent. I’m getting visions of people complaining about over powered flame throwers setting the brush of vietnam ablaze though haha.

  4. Isometric says:

    well this is an expected suprised.

  5. Subject 706 says:

    Here I was, liking the mechanics of Men Of War, but being bored to tears with setting. Then I see this. Perhaps there is a God for gaming, after all.

  6. Quark says:

    My favorite game in recent years is turning into my favorite game series.

  7. Subject 706 says:

    Will there be napalm and Agent Orange in this game?

  8. westyfield says:

    “I’m genuinely pumped…

    Oh no. I just wrote ‘pumped.’ I’m so sorry.”

    I am stoked for this game.

    Vietnam sounds fun, I wanted to like Men of War but the WWII setting made me automatically bored by it.

  9. jackflash says:

    Yay!

  10. Ergonpandilus says:

    Great! :D

    Men of War is much much better than Company of Heroes. I recommend it to any RTS lover.

  11. Phinor says:

    Damn, Vietnam RTS game. I’m really conflicted when it comes to Men of War. On the other hand it might just be the best RTS game ever made but then there’s the fact I’m not very good at it, it’s very hard to control the units and keep people alive. It feels unpolished and the voice acting is.. well I seem to lack the vocabulary to describe it. I’m still stuck in the campaign of the original game. Damn stealth missions..

    ..but Vietnam RTS! Between this, Elemental, Civilization 5 and Starcraft 2, rest of the year seems very strategy oriented and I’m fine with that. Oh and I still have Tropico 3 to play, and Anno expansion. And DoW2: Chaos Rising. And I recently started playing GalCiv2 again. Obviously one match of Company of Heroes a day is still in my plan, too. Luckily Settlers 7 has UbiDRM so I don’t have to add that to the list too.

    • Rich says:

      No denying. Men of War is bloody hard. Men of War in Vietnam sounds like it’ll be just as (if not more) unforgiving. Also, simplifying the controls would make me happier, but will probably make all the hardcore fans scream.

      At least getting some American voice actors that can sound like grunts should be fairly easy.
      Finding convincing VC? We’ll see.

  12. Greg Wild says:

    Looks superfly. Can’t wait!

  13. Marco W. says:

    Serious in NAM? woot.

  14. LordCraigus says:

    Wow there’s a nice surprise. It’s safe to say I’m already pretty pumped too and that mission you played sounds interesting.

    Is it known who’s developing this? I would’ve thought that Best Way/DMS would have their hands full with Assault Squad so is it coming from the same developer as Red Tide (1C Company I think)? Assuming it’s the latter I gotta say that, as enjoyable as Red Tide was, I just hope they do this one better and give us a bit more freedom in the missions than Red Tide offered.

    • Divebomb says:

      yeah, it’s a 1C internal team doing this, but doesn’t look like it’s the same 1C team that did red tide. seems like a port studio is doing this. assault squad is mostly only dms though, with bestway support on the tech side probably. I think bestway are working on a completely new game, on the latest version of the engine. this game is the fourth title in the spinoff series to outfront, these all have wildly different scenarios and places.. only one of them, the first one, has had an international release.

  15. Jimbo says:

    In the comments to the Assault Squad article I suggested they should make a MoW game in a different war. It isn’t quite Sharpe of War, but I’m glad somebody was listening and I must commend their dev team for their efficiency.

    Oh, and Vietcong 2 had a VC campaign – so that’s already a very favourable ratio compared to WW2 games with German campaigns.

  16. Andrew Dunn says:

    This looks/sounds great. More Men of War can only be good.

  17. Fumarole says:

    Smells like victory.

  18. Shadrach says:

    I’m pumped too, really pumped. About this.

  19. AdrianWerner says:

    So Alec was at Prague event too? :) Damn…. it’s weird to read RPS every day and then when I am event with writers from the blog I can’t recognize them :D

  20. Derf says:

    Even a jaded bastard like me can already sense the glory in this game.

  21. The Innocent says:

    Stoked. I am.

    MoW is my favorite tactics game of all time, and this is incredibly welcome news. The setting is brilliant.

  22. leeder_krenon says:

    MOTHERFUCKING MEN OF MOTHERFUCKING WAR

  23. leeder_krenon says:

    as an aside, did any of you lovers of warring men try 9th Company, which appears to be the men of war engine, set in the russian / afghanistan conflict? it’s on steam.

    • Shadrach says:

      @leeder_krenon Crikey it is – gone completely unnoticed in my book, although I’d love a Afghan war game – could anyone say if this is any good???

    • JB says:

      @ leeder_krenon – I’ve seen 9th Company on Steam, didn’t realise that it was using the MoW engine. That’s interesting. May be worth a closer look then.

    • leeder_krenon says:

      apologies, i am not entirely sure it’s the men of war engine, but it is a very similar game. i’ve only got through the tutorial. some very similar concepts, but i think it may be more “inspired by”. it does appear worth a look however.

  24. Vinraith says:

    Will there be campaign co-op ala the first Men of War, or is this a solo affair like Red Tide?

    Either way the setting is too unique to pass it up, Men of War in Vietnam is just a brilliant idea.

  25. Barman1942 says:

    I can finally yell “Charlie in the wire!” over voip now, and have it be legit usage.

  26. sinister agent says:

    Oooh, I’m glad it was men of war to do this first (that I know of). I’ve wanted to play a vietnam war game where you could actually be the vietnamese for ages. Nothing to do with the politics (well okay, maybe a tiiiny bit) – I just think it would be a more interesting game, and less prone to Generic Wargame Disease.

    And of course, Men of War is acebest. I do hope they tidy up some of the control issues, though. The voice acting I can take or leave – it’s dreadful, obviously, but that doesn’t really matter.

  27. Real Horrorshow says:

    The first Men of War was cool, I’m looking forward to this. More developers who know what they’re doing need to take a stab at Vietnam. That brief spurt of ‘Nam games was more than a decade ago now, it’s not like it’s been done to death either (technically, modern combat in deserts is waaaaay more played out than ‘Nam in games).

    My dream is still that Crytek or someone using CryEngine makes the first good ‘Nam FPS campaign. If they made it extremely dark (a’la Apocalypse Now) it could be truly great.

    While I don’t agree with Ebert, it is telling about the maturity of the games industry and the average patron that the tone of almost every game is “WAR KICKS ASS! CARPET BOMB FTW MOTHERFUCKERRRRRRR!” while pretty much every war movie worth a damn has had a definite anti-war message (with sympathy for the soldier, though).

    The first game that makes me feel like war is horrible, bloody, disgusting, inhumane and barbaric will be a real accomplishment. And the easiest way to get that done would be a ‘Nam game…unless someone had the balls to make the first WW2 game with Jews a part of the picture…

  28. RedFred says:

    This. Is. Awesome.

    There aren’t enough games set during the Vietnam conflict and it’s Men Of War!

    Melts…

  29. TooJ says:

    Well, World in Conflict made you play both sides of the conflict, complete with a Russian general deploring war.

  30. Chris Sturt says:

    Totally Awesome. Every vietnam war era game that comes out i try. Still waiting for an awesome FPShooter. BUT THIS YES YES YES !!! vietnam stretegy game totally awesome. I just love the jungleness of it all

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