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Battlefield Vietnam
BattleField Vietnam Review.
Game Battlefield Vietnam
Developer Digital Illusions CE
Publisher Electronic Arts
Reviewer Craig Dudley (Mani)
Reviewers System Athlon XP 3000+
Asus nForce2 Motherboard, using onboard Sound (Soundstorm)
Ati Radeon 9700 Pro
1GB Ram

Now, before we start talking about Battlefield Vietnam, I think it's only fair to let you all know I was an extremely big fan of Battlefield 1942. Even with it's early netcode problems it was excellent and perhaps the most innovative war game to be published in many a year. To say I've played rather a lot of it would be a minor understatement.

You can therefore understand my excitement at hearing a second game in the Battlefield series was in production, this time focusing on the Vietnam conflict. Lots of positive previews and a few superb trailer movies later and I was almost wetting myself while waiting for it to arrive.

So, after being so pumped about the game, what did I actually think of it when it arrived?

Battlefield Vietnam exploding jeep Battlefield Vietnam river side view
This jeep is no more. Pleasant river side view.

Well, I wasn't impressed, not even slightly. Poor online performance, massive balance issues, average graphics and annoying sound issues all plagued the retail version of the game, yet another case of releasing a product before it's ready and getting the paying public to beta test it for free. This is happening all to often recently. Developers & Publishers please take note, we the paying public are not impressed.

In an increasingly competetive market, publisher pressure to shift units may be partly to blame, but then again, maybe the beta testers were simply useless. Either way, the lack of a demo has left me feeling cheated, being such a bf1942 fan I was bound to buy it.

Secondly, I just don't understand how so many reviewers appear to think this game was so great on release, frankly it baffles me. Perhaps one or all of the following reasons may explain it;

  1. The reviewing site is sucking up to the developer and or publisher to curry favour or to simply not piss them off. I imagine that exclusive chats and interviews with developers can be quite lucrative for review sites.

  2. The reviewer simply didn't play the game for any length of time, superficially most games can look good. Pressure to get your review up as close to release day can be large, being quick can lead to increased traffic and advertising revenue. But in a lot of cases, this clearly leads to poor reviews.

Perhaps I'm just getting bitter as I get older, but I'm beginning to question the integrity of most online reviews. gameSlave however will suck upto nobody, this is a bullshit free zone.

Battlefield Vietnam destroyed building Battlefield Vietnam damaged phantom
Semi destroyed buildings Damaged F4 Phantom

Still, at least the 1.01 patch hasn't been too long in arriving, and hopefully it does address enough of the flaws to make the game worthy of another try.

Anyway, enough of the consipracy theories, stick with me as I try to explain why I dislike Battelfield Vietnam so much and examine wether the 1.01 patch has improved any of the major flaws.

  Page2: Graphics
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