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Developer 2015, best-known for its work on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for the PC, now brings Xbox owners Men of Valor, a First Person Shooter set during the Vietnam War. While Men of Valor does offer an extremely authentic and cinematic presentation, as well as some intense gameplay sequences, it does not really introduce anything new that we haven't already seen in a First Person Shooter, and it's alikeness with the Medal of Honor series, really makes Men of Valor feel like a been-there done-that type of experience.

When it comes to visuals, Men of Valor is really a hit and miss affair. Each level features lush and varied environments, scattered with even the most intricate of details. Men of Valor also exhibits seamless texture work along with some excellent water and reflection effects and, at moments, some pretty slick lighting. Action often surfaces out of nowhere, providing exciting battles that fill the screen with enemies and teammates, incredible explosions of smoke and fire, as well as realistic-looking tracer fire. Unfortunately, the detailed environments coupled with this intense action often results in an unreliable framerate that can really chug along at moments and detract from the overall visual presentation and gamepaly experience. Weapons look great and offer some good re-loading animations. While the game's character models also look fairly good, the same can't be said for their awkward and repeated animations. A little more polish would have really made Men of Valor a treat to look at.

Just like the Medal of Honor series, Men of Valor delivers top-notch sound effects, dramatic voice-overs, and an immersive musical score that really draw players into the game's Vietnam environment. Everything from gunfire to environmental noises sound great in Men of Valor. Explosions can literally cause you to jump out of your seat if you're lucky enough to have a 5.1 Surround Sound set-up. The game delivers some familiar licensed tunes from the 60s as well as a great variety of orchestral tracks that play in the background and change to better suit what's occurring on screen. Cutscenes offer some solid voice acting and comments and curses provided by your teammates while playing the game, really add to the whole battlefield atmosphere.

Fans of the Medal of Honor series will feel right at home with Men of Valor as the game controls much like the Xbox versions of Frontline and Rising Sun do. This fact is somewhat unfortunate because the somewhat twitchy controls experienced in the Medal of Honor games on the Xbox, have been retained in Men of Valor. The single player campaign is action-packed, but unfortunately the levels are quite linear. There are some nice scripted moments, but for the most part, Men of Valor doesn't really exhibit something we have not seen already. I really question the developer's decison to force players to search bodies for items and weapons as well as hold the "B" button each time you have been shot so you can bandage your wounds to stop the bleeding. With that said, Men of Valor's single player campaign does offer a fair amount of challenge and most players will take about 15 hours to fully finish the game.

You can also play cooperatively with a friend on the same Xbox through the game's entire single player campaign. An offine versus mode was thrown in there, but it really isn't anything special. Men of Valor features a wide variety of authentic weapons and items, and you can even call in an airstrike at certain moments throughout the game. Although the game's single player campaign is really intense and action-packed, both your AI teammates and AI opponents are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Often I found my teammates turn their back to a raging battle or walk right in front of me as I shot towards an enemy. Other times, an enemy standing five feet away, looking directly at me, simply will not realize that I'm there. I also found loading times to be rather excessive despite the fact that the developers tried to make the waiting period less exruciating by providing players with images from the Vietnam War as well as famous quotes from soliders and world leaders. I often felt as if I was sitting through a boring history lesson as a level loaded. Men of Valor is fairly easy to pick up and play, but it's single player campaign does not offer enough depth.

After playing through Men of Valor's single player campaign, I figured the game would feature an average, run-of-the-mills online experience. However, setting the game's audio aside, I would say Men of Valor's strongest point is it's online mode. There are a variety of game modes, ranging from typical Deathmatch game modes to Multiplayer Missions that can involve objectives such as retrieving enemy documents, capturing enemy bases, or destroying enemy weapons or vehicles. Men of Valor ran very smoothly online, even when rooms were completely full. Players can choose to be either a US Marine or Communist Soldier, with each side providing a number of different solider types with an excellent variety of weapons. This set up reminded me very much so of an enhanced Return to Castle Wolfenstein--which is a good thing, of course.

Men of Valor's multiplayer level design is far superior to the game's single player levels. Each map is lushly decorated and features a number of sniping positions, areas of cover, and wide open fields for all-out assaults. There is already quite a large online community, so you will not have any problems finding a preferred game type. Men of Valor comes with all the basic Xbox Live features such as Downloadable Content and Statistics, but Xbox Live 3.0 features are nowhere to be found. The long load times also exist when joining and leaving online games, so if you happen to fail to join a match, it is going to take some time for you to find another game and get playing. When you do fail to join an online game, you are booted back to the game's main menu, which is a drag beacuse you are forced to backtrack to the Xbox Live menu and search for games once again. Other than this small quirk, Men of Valor really shines over Xbox Live.

I commend developer 2015's efforts to create an authentic Vietnam War First Person Shooter. Although Men of Valor's single player experience isn't really anything we haven't already seen, it does offer a fair challenge and plenty of action. The game's multiplayer experience is very entertaining and may hold over those who have gotten tired of playing Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow until November 9th arrives.

Men of Valor Vietnam

 

Men of Valor Vietnam

ESRB: Mature - M
Platform: Xbox
Category: n/a
 
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Developer 2015, best-known for its work on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for the PC, now brings Xbox owners Men of Valor, a First Person Shooter set during the Vietnam War. While Men of Valor does offer an extremely authentic and cinematic presentation, as well as some intense gameplay sequences, it does not really introduce anything new that we haven't already seen in a First Person Shooter, and it's alikeness with the Medal of Honor series, really makes Men of Valor feel like a been-there done-that type of experience. When it comes to visuals, Men of Valor is really a hit and miss affair. Each level features lush and varied environments, scattered with even the most intricate of details. Men of Valor also exhibits seamless texture work along with some excellent water and reflection effects and, at moments, some pretty slick lighting. Action often surfaces out of nowhere, providing exciting battles that fill the screen with enemies and teammates, incredible explosions of smoke and fire, as well as realistic-looking tracer fire. Unfortunately, the detailed environments coupled with this intense action often results in an unreliable framerate that can really chug along at moments and detract from the overall visual presentation and gamepaly experience. Weapons look great and offer some good re-loading animations. While the game's character models also look fairly good, the same can't be said for their awkward and repeated animations. A little more polish would have really made Men of Valor a treat to look at. Just like the Medal of Honor series, Men of Valor delivers top-notch sound effects, dramatic voice-overs, and an immersive musical score that really draw players into the game's Vietnam environment. Everything from gunfire to environmental noises sound great in Men of Valor. Explosions can literally cause you to jump out of your seat if you're lucky enough to have a 5.1 Surround Sound set-up. The game delivers some familiar licensed tunes from the 60s as well as a great variety of orchestral tracks that play in the background and change to better suit what's occurring on screen. Cutscenes offer some solid voice acting and comments and curses provided by your teammates while playing the game, really add to the whole battlefield atmosphere. Fans of the Medal of Honor series will feel right at home with Men of Valor as the game controls much like the Xbox versions of Frontline and Rising Sun do. This fact is somewhat unfortunate because the somewhat twitchy controls experienced in the Medal of Honor games on the Xbox, have been retained in Men of Valor. The single player campaign is action-packed, but unfortunately the levels are quite linear. There are some nice scripted moments, but for the most part, Men of Valor doesn't really exhibit something we have not seen already. I really question the developer's decison to force players to search bodies for items and weapons as well as hold the "B" button each time you have been shot so you can bandage your wounds to stop the bleeding. With that said, Men of Valor's single player campaign does offer a fair amount of challenge and most players will take about 15 hours to fully finish the game. You can also play cooperatively with a friend on the same Xbox through the game's entire single player campaign. An offine versus mode was thrown in there, but it really isn't anything special. Men of Valor features a wide variety of authentic weapons and items, and you can even call in an airstrike at certain moments throughout the game. Although the game's single player campaign is really intense and action-packed, both your AI teammates and AI opponents are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Often I found my teammates turn their back to a raging battle or walk right in front of me as I shot towards an enemy. Other times, an enemy standing five feet away, looking directly at me, simply will not realize that I'm there. I also found loading times to be rather excessive despite the fact that the developers tried to make the waiting period less exruciating by providing players with images from the Vietnam War as well as famous quotes from soliders and world leaders. I often felt as if I was sitting through a boring history lesson as a level loaded. Men of Valor is fairly easy to pick up and play, but it's single player campaign does not offer enough depth. After playing through Men of Valor's single player campaign, I figured the game would feature an average, run-of-the-mills online experience. However, setting the game's audio aside, I would say Men of Valor's strongest point is it's online mode. There are a variety of game modes, ranging from typical Deathmatch game modes to Multiplayer Missions that can involve objectives such as retrieving enemy documents, capturing enemy bases, or destroying enemy weapons or vehicles. Men of Valor ran very smoothly online, even when rooms were completely full. Players can choose to be either a US Marine or Communist Soldier, with each side providing a number of different solider types with an excellent variety of weapons. This set up reminded me very much so of an enhanced Return to Castle Wolfenstein--which is a good thing, of course. Men of Valor's multiplayer level design is far superior to the game's single player levels. Each map is lushly decorated and features a number of sniping positions, areas of cover, and wide open fields for all-out assaults. There is already quite a large online community, so you will not have any problems finding a preferred game type. Men of Valor comes with all the basic Xbox Live features such as Downloadable Content and Statistics, but Xbox Live 3.0 features are nowhere to be found. The long load times also exist when joining and leaving online games, so if you happen to fail to join a match, it is going to take some time for you to find another game and get playing. When you do fail to join an online game, you are booted back to the game's main menu, which is a drag beacuse you are forced to backtrack to the Xbox Live menu and search for games once again. Other than this small quirk, Men of Valor really shines over Xbox Live. I commend developer 2015's efforts to create an authentic Vietnam War First Person Shooter. Although Men of Valor's single player experience isn't really anything we haven't already seen, it does offer a fair challenge and plenty of action. The game's multiplayer experience is very entertaining and may hold over those who have gotten tired of playing Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow until November 9th arrives.






 
 

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