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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

Hope to Receive it as a Gift

Game Profile
Vivendi Games
GENRE: First Person Shooter
PLAYERS:   1-8
October 19, 2004
 Written by Chris Reiter  on June 09, 2004

E3 Hands-On Preview: Ted: Say Charlie, why is it they call the enemy "Charlie" anyway?
Charlie: 'Cause like me, I'll shoot you in the face if you don't shut up!

Men of Virtue. Men of Venerability. Men of Valor. What is it about war-themed games that brings a smile to gamers' around the globe? Could it be the presence of the past known history that make these war games possible? It could be, but also war games are just generally fun. Though there have been many game series that have captured the essence of World War II already, one of the most decorated wars there ever was, there have been so few based on another really, really major struggle in history's timeline. This was a rumble royal that unfortunately under the period's circumstances, was known to be a most controversial element of affairs in the world's ever-turning knob. This was Vietnam. Read on as we have some hands-on time with Vivendi Universal's exploit into this revered and reclusive war, in the company's upcoming First Person Shooter that's come to be known as Men of Valor.

A name means nothing on a battlefield. After a week, no one has a name. For Dean Shepard though, he's just warming up. Fresh out of high school, players will find themselves starring as this new U.S. marine recruit to become one of the many courageous soldiers out to face a deadly and determined enemy, through the thicket of jungle warfare. In Men of Valor, it's essentially that you're party to a squadron of men who can and will die along the way. The objective won't be to order anyone around, however. The soldiers on your team will already know what needs to be done in order to succeed. All you've got to worry about is participating in the fight.

What's interesting about this team-based gameplay is that the AI can think on their own, fight on their own, and even aid themselves if they need to. During the jungle operation I was faced with, tall grass was a constant element that could mask whatever laid in wait, be it the enemy or hidden tripwire that was nearly impossible to recognize had it not been pointed out. Part of the enemy's tactic in Men of Valor will be to plant booby traps like such throughout the game. Because of this nasty business, the idea here will be not to rush through each scenario, but rather take one of two options that will be handed out. You can either pay close attention to the rarefied hints in shredded tree stumps and step around these pitfalls, or let your AI teammates do the work and wait for them to disarm the traps. Thinking even in fighting is much safer than suffering.

The even bigger hurt will come from the enemies, who like those who play Men of Valor, will use the claustrophobic foliage available to their advantage. Moving from tree to bush to fixed object in Men of Valor is really the only way it seems to not get knocked up by enemy fire. They'll blend right into the background, and it'll be those who die fast and hard by waiting for them to show their faces in the open. In Men of Valor, the gameplay will be all about relying on how good you and those who are with you take cover while relying on these teammates and on your own skills to indicate where enemies stand, and then where they will fall. For the best way to survive any hardship is to use whatever you can get. Lucky for Men of Valor players, what they can collect is the weapons and health from those fallen.

Although, tracking where deceased enemies lay can get a bit tricky with so much green involved in the particular level I got to play. Vivendi says Men of Valor will be one of the first games to actually layer its levels with grass that stays intact and won't fade away as you swim through it. Another impressive display was how intuitive and tight the game's controls felt. Like Halo, pressing down on the right trigger froze the character, and with the additional press of the fire button let enemies have it. The easiest way to dictate the location of an enemy soldier was by poking the character's body out a smidgen, as players will be able to lean out from behind safety, and mark an enemy's position when the gun's reticule lit up red. In all, there'll be more than 20 weapons featured in Men of Valor, including the M14, SKS, and M60 automatics, along with RPGs and grenades that you can toss into spider holes the enemies will dig themselves into. Even cooler, it'll be possible to utilize artillery in the game from launching a fiery air strike after directing a plane's bomb arrival by using red flares.

Green and mean, you are to be part of an army machine. In this combative title, developer 2015 (makers of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for the PC) will construct Men of Valor's being in tweaking the Unreal engine further along the lines. While from what was seen of Men of Valor in action wasn't at that level of "wow" when first seeing Halo in action for example, Men of Valor is still going to be one very fine looking game. Trekking across 13 single player missions in 65 different maps, the game will ultimately set itself inside detailed rice fields, swamplands, beaches, and into the very heart of Vietnamese villages.

Final Thoughts
Those of us who have had about enough of First Person Shooters based on World War II, you're in luck. This October, Xbox owners will be given the chance to see, hear, and feel the action of a different war, a war that surely deserves as much attention as that other tragic endeavor. Add co-op play offline and up to 16-player Xbox Live Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, and Recover the Documents and Objective multiplayer modes to what you already have learned about the single player campaign, and this fall will be a fulfilling one for First Person Shooter fans not interested in revisiting World War II for the umpteenth time in a row.

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