Men of Valor

April 12, 2005

[floatleft][/floatleft]It is 1965 and the steamy jungles of Vietnam are rife with unrest. You are Dean Shepard, a young African-American Marine stationed in Southeast Asia. It is the beginning of America’s involvement in the conflict between North and South Vietnam, and neither you nor your squad mates know what to expect. Soon, your world will be on fire, and the buddies you played football with will be playing a game of life and death.

At least that is what 2015 want you to think about [i]Men of Valor[/i]. In reality, the game falls far short of the glorified descriptions. From the linear, confined “jungle” maps to the frustratingly dumb A.I., there is much lacking in the gameplay department.

I find it hard to understand how a game based in the jungles of Vietnam can have such confined maps. You will often find yourself running in swallow streams with unclimbable banks. These caused me to suffer horrible flashbacks to the original Crash Bandicoot. Even in the dense jungle areas, the walls encasing the map were blatantly obvious and you can’t even take cover around them. For a game that prides itself in realistically portraying the struggle in Vietnam, this is an unforgivable design flaw. I understand there are limits to the aged [i]Quake III[/i] engine, but that is all the more reason to find another engine for a Vietnam-based shooter.

[floatright][/floatright]The A.I. in the game is not intelligent by any means. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by games such as [i]Call of Duty[/i], but I was very disappointed by the combat performance of my squad mates. The friendly A.I. is just not capable of determining the nearest threat. When they have chosen a target, they will continue to shoot at it until it is dead. It is not uncommon for another enemy to run right past a squad mate while your “buddy” is busy trying to shoot a fleeing enemy in the distance. And because your friends are horrible shots, you will often have to kill their targets yourself. In situations like this, I prefer to have no squad mates at all. Games like [i]Halo[/i] and [i]Call of Duty[/i] allow you to trust that your buddy will have your back while you are handling your business. This gives you more time to take your shots. [i]Men of Valor[/i], however, does not succeed in allowing you to trust your squad mates. In fact, I found myself getting killed many times simply because I put too much faith in my teammates and expected them to give me some kindA

Score: 2/5

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