Marine Heavy Gunner: Vietnam Review

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Graphics: 4.0
Sound : 6.0
Gameplay : 4.0
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 4.6
Review by Scott “TheGoodEvil” Allred

Ahh the budget title, nothing brings glee to my life more than to be greeted with the latest “budget title”, YAY! I, being a budget bin rummaging, $9.99 rack searching, give me a deal kind of guy just can’t wait for the latest in computer gaming to go back in time to dig up 3year old graphics engines and all the linear gameplay they can stuff on a CD! Most of the time budget titles are usually not worth the cash you spend on them, all though sometimes you can find a gem or “a diamond in the rough” so to speak. Sadly, Marine Heavy Gunner isn’t even good enough to be called rough.

Shoot me please!

There is nothing like walking through the jungles of Vietnam with a group of itchy trigger fingered, foul-mouth buddies, especially when the jungles are one narrow path of clearing walled by trees! Ahh, the fun of walking in a straight line and killing all of the horribly rendered Vietcong you can (because you have to in order to finish the level) it reminds me of a game I played a while back, only it was better, hmm what was that game? I remember it was Contra! Remember that old game on the NES? Yeah, well, I’d rather be playing that. Ok maybe I’m digging into Marine Heavy Gunner a little too hard or am I? I’ll let you decide.

When will it all end? Oh yeah that’s when.

The gameplay in Marine Heavy Gunner is well, very linear. You run around the jungle with your “squad” trying to get back to safety after your chopper was shot down. You and your trusty band of conveniently stereotypical grunts have to work your way through a series of winding “path”(I say “path” since there’s only one path) in order to reach the safety of your base. The levels offer 1 objective before you have to place your “pig” (M60) in a designated spot, that’s right you can’t place it where you think it should go but only where the Developers think it should go. I found one objective that had me clearing tunnels that were hidden (if you call them that) on the floors of huts in a tiny village. All I had to do was follow my squad to the proper hut where my leader would open a hatch and let “me” go in to kill whatever was in there, then simply exit to the next hut my squad parked in front of. Well on one occasion I had to restart the whole mission because my leader couldn’t seem to lead himself out of the damn doorway, thus I was stuck in the hut and with no way to escape I was forced to restart the mission. After finally being able to complete the mission it was the same old thing as before, put the gun on the object marked with yellow and kill everything until they are all dead. You can always tell when you finish a mission because you will automatically rise from your gun placement and your leader will give you the order to move out.

The white man’s war.

I found it odd that any game would openly have racist overtones. Even though it is era accurate, having the black guy’s only line be “Das it” may not be good business decision. The only latino character was begging for his life because “everyone’s wanted me gone since I got here” which he said as he was ordered to find and kill a sniper that just killed one of your squad members. Luckily though because he whined enough he wasn’t sent out instead you were, thanks bro! Whoever thought turning real life Vietnam into a budget title video game may not have had the best idea, as they may have alienated any black or latino audience they might have had. True, the times are more to blame than a video game developer, but poor taste is poor taste. Now I must brush my teeth to get that taste out of my mouth.

Can I get an AMEN! Or at least some cover fire?

The AI, in Marine Heavy Gunner, appears to have lost the intelligence part of its name. On more than a few occasions, I was allowed to walk directly up to an enemy AI without so much as a single round fired at me, which is good because a single hit and you barely have any life left. Besides the obvious lack of enemy AI, your squad is about as useful for cover fire as a group of paintballing teens that ran out of paintballs and instead of getting more just wait for the ref to call the match. The only real use for your squad is the black medic, and latino munitions holder, at least they will give you things even though they are treated like crap by everyone else. The leader will tell “you” to do things because if he tells anyone else they’ll cry and make you go anyway. Hurray for democracy in the armed forces eh?

Did you see that?

In many instances, enemies are hard to spot because of the sub-par graphics in the game. The graphics are on par with a 1999-2000 graphics engine but not nearly as good as the worst graphics engine in use by today’s titles. I will say though that, be it design flaw or poor graphics the enemy being harder to spot adds to that myth of the enemies in Vietnam being the rocks and trees, it also adds to the difficulty on some levels, as sometimes it appears there is nothing shooting at you when there actually is.

Are you talking to me? ARE YOU TALKING TO ME!

One of the coolest things about the game is the excessive use of profanity; naughty language is something from the Vietnam era that should be in the game, though maybe with a little improvement in the voice-acting department. The leader sounds like he’s doing a bad imitation of De Niro’s character in the masterpiece Taxi Driver, it’s not the worst I’ve heard so I’ll let it slide. Genuinely the sounds for the weapons are great, the voice acting may be “other than great” but for the most part the rest of the sounds are decent.

I think you forgot something

It is very rare to find a modern FPS that has absolutely no multiplayer compatibility at all but I guess there’s a first for everything. You heard me right this game has no multiplayer, not even a LAN option. If it did it might have made the game worth it’s $20.00 price tag, but sadly I can’t recommend a game to anyone that doesn’t at least have some replayability value.

TheGoodEvil’s verdict!

Marine Heavy Gunner isn’t the best Vietnam shooter I’ve seen and for $20 you are better off saving a little more to get a better game.

The Goods.
Great sound effects for some weapons, lots of profanity, some levels offer a bit of fun.

The Evils.
Linear gameplay, useless squad members, unintelligent AI, racism, poor voice acting, hard to spot enemies sometimes, sub par graphics, NO MULTIPLAYER!!!!!!