Friday, 1 August 2014

Air Conflicts: Vietnam Ultimate Edition

With this generation’s console war currently in full effect, exclusive titles are like gold dust, and can often be the deciding factor for gamers looking for their next-gen purchase. While both the Xbox One and PS4 have their fair share of impressive titles so far, Sony arguably has the edge. However, this latest PS4's exclusive title doesn't exactly help the cause of bringing in new potential PS4 owners. Basically, as a re-release of a terrible PS3 game, Air Conflicts: Vietnam Ultimate Edition doesn't bring anything new to the table, even if it has pretty good intentions.

Developed by GamesFarm and out now on PS4 is Air Conflicts: Vietnam Ultimate Edition, a PS4 exclusive titles that no one is bragging about. Let’s start with the good though, and that comes in GameFarm's decision to set the game amid the Vietnam War. Lasting 19 years and costing countless lives on both sides, it's still a traumatic memory for all who were involved in the conflict. It's also a great potential setting and time period for a game, though in recent years it has been overlooked in lieu of more modern or futuristic war settings. But for all of its faults (and there are many!) Air Conflicts: Vietnam Ultimate Edition tackles this war in an interesting and unique way, as it tries to give the player a perspective from both an American pilot and that of a North Vietnamese pilot. That's where, and possibly only where, Air Conflicts: Vietnam Ultimate Edition is different compared to its previous PS3 release, Air Conflicts: Vietnam.

Adding a second campaign to the game, Air Conflicts: Vietnam Ultimate Edition features an American and North Vietnamese veteran coming together and reminiscing about the war from their own unique perspectives. It's a wonderfully refreshing idea, and ultimately let’s you play as both pilots, and it's a concept I've never seen done in a game before. However, once past this admirable even handed take on the history of the Vietnam War, the game begins to unravel rather quickly. While there are many reasons as to why it just doesn't come together that well, the most crippling reason is that every single mission throughout the game is a disjointed laundry list of objectives and tasks. Every mission follows the tedious “fly here, bomb this, shoot this, fly here” mantra, which leads to the game just being an absolutely chore to play. Considering the quite impressive narrative structure set in place, the actual gameplay is incredibly substandard.

Admittedly, the ability to control both choppers and planes does add some much needed variety to the game, especially since controlling either of them is such a different experience. Whether you're in a group formation of choppers slow passing by the Vietnamese jungle, or blasting your way through the skies in one of the many different planes at hand, Air Conflicts: Vietnam Ultimate Edition does a good job at trying to keep gameplay varied. Also available to the player is the ability to switch between multiple aircraft instantaneously during any given mission. However while this may seem impressive at first, when not piloting an aircraft it will effectively cease to exist. Cutting away from it will stop all enemies firing upon it, while switching back to it will lead to foes instantly being aware of your presence. Without a sense of real-time combat outside of your own cockpit, it's just another inherent problem the game has going for it.

You know those crappy games that are partially saved by their great graphics? Well, this ain't one of them! The final nail in the coffin is the games visuals. While you'd be right in thinking that a PS4 game would look pretty impressive... you'd be wrong when it comes to Air Conflict: Vietnam Ultimate Edition. Even though it was allegedly upgraded compared to its PS3 counterpart, the game is riddled with bland visuals, muddy textures, cookie cutter levels and truly horrendous particle effects. This all comes together into a very forgettable experience, and one you should probably pass up unless you can get it on the cheap in CeX.

Air Conflicts: Vietnam Ultimate Edition crashes and burns with a 2/5.


Denis Murphy

Air Conflicts: Vietnam Ultimate Edition at CeX

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