Militarily motivated action gamers are challenged by the jungle warfare of Vietnam in this value-minded first-person shooter deployed by Groove Publishing. Following Marine Sharpshooter and its sequel, this is the third release in the publisher's "Marine" shooter series.
Graphics & Sound:
How can Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam's graphics be summed up? In two words, I suppose: GOOD and BAD. Throughout the game, there are some very nice textures to help give the feeling that you really are in this hostile territory. But, there are also graphical problems that are inexcusable. For example, there are countless trees and other objects that have textures stretching to the point that they appear as a big smear of colored goo. In other instances, it is possible to hit the 'edge' (invisible wall) of a map and clearly see background trees that are floating in mid-air. And finally, throughout the entire game, there are many instances of objects clipping through each other, especially for the leaves on trees and other foliage going through building walls and other objects.
On the audio front, Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam does a pretty good job of bringing the action close to home. Every gunshot, explosion, and Vietcong death sounds great with every step toward the infiltration of their territory. In fact, even though the voice acting is a bit on the cheesy side (especially the seemingly-forced cursing), it is better than most games on the market. The only problem is that the characters don't move their mouths, which takes a lot away from the cinematic storyline.
Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam is a single-player game, but squad-based with the help of your computer-controlled platoon. The entire game is presented in a story-mode fashion, with in-game cut-scenes that help drive the gameplay. You will also receive information from your commander real-time (sort of, since no enemies approach at these times).
In short, Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam is essentially a game full of many, many mini-missions. These mini-missions are then strung together to make up 10 full levels. As the main grunt in your platoon, you will find yourself in harm's way on more than one occasion. Because of this, getting medical attention and ammunition refills are essential. Oh, wait! It's a good thing you have just the right people in your company! Actually, because getting shot can take a ton of damage, having access to a medic is very necessary.
Throughout the game, you will have to storm enemy territory, take over hills and camps, and shoot people down while manning huge guns that are mounted to choppers, boats, and anywhere that is allowed while on foot. In fact, Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam has a system in place that places a yellow texture on objects that can be interacted with, such as places to mount your 'pig.'
But even with what seems like a very good game on paper, playing the game can get pretty repetitive, and the replay value won't be very high because the game is quite linear in nature. Stack this with enemy A.I. that is, well, stupid (they run back and forth, and don't work as a team at all), and playing Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam just lost some luster.
For real, though... Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam's A.I. is pretty dumb, which makes playing the game not all that hard. Don't get me wrong, you will take your licks. When you get wounded, however, you can high-tail it to the medic and get healed instantly (there is a delay between the allowed healings). And given the fact that you can save at ANY time, playing through the game becomes part trial-and-error, part using your option to save to your advantage.
Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam controls like most recent first-person shooters on the planet, which makes it easy to pick up for veterans and newbies alike. Using the mouse/keyboard combination allows you total control when storming enemy lines. In fact, the game is based on the Unreal engine, so those with experience here can see it instantly. The only really bad thing is that Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam is not multiplayer-based at all. There are some maps that would make for an interesting capture/protect the flag (like the awesome hill level with bunkers).
While parts of the game have their problems (graphical and A.I. issues especially), Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam is actually a decent, cheap game to pick up and play around with. Despite its repetitiveness, it can be addicting in a way that you'll want to 'play just one more time' to clear the next mission.
People who downloaded Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam have also downloaded:
Marine Sharpshooter II: Jungle Warfare, Line of Sight: Vietnam, Men of Valor, Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, CTU: Marine Sharpshooter, Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green, Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter
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