Magicka: Vietnam PC
Published by Paradox Interactive
Developed by Arrowhead Game Studios
Magicka: Vietnam is the second piece of downloadable content for innovative and surprisingly addictive Magicka. Vietnam costs £3.49 and for that you’re getting two challenge maps, a GI Wizard robe, a new Magick – Napalm Strike, a Vietnam themed game world complete with Vietnam themed weapons and your typical Magicka enemies dressed up in Vietcong garb. The value for money aspect isn’t as impressive here as it was with the original Magicka and it’s worth mentioning that this DLC will only appeal if you’re intending to play with friends.
With up to three companions, this Vietnam themed content gives you the chance of playing both a Rescue and a Survival mission in the Vietnamese themed environments. The Rescue mission charges you with making your way deep into enemy territory to fight the Vietcong and complete an assortment of objectives (such as rescuing prisoners, destroying radio towers, stealing military plans and destroying ammo stores) in an effort to earn as large a score as possible. The Survival mission on the other hand simply requires you to make a last stand against the Vietcong forces that will attack you in waves from all directions, for as long as you can. Whilst the look of the enemies and environment is different, the basic gameplay mostly remains the same. That said, there is one major difference here. Enemies will all be firing at you from range and whilst your wizard can also pick up and use the AK47’s and RPG’s that the defeated enemies drop, it does make the game a much more difficult proposition than Magicka.
You’ll run into hordes of enemies that are happy to keep their distance and attempt to pick you off. To begin with I found the best tactic was to use a weapon such as an AK47, take out as many enemies as I could and then retreat to heal. The usefulness of this tactic only goes so far however. It only takes one hit from an RPG (rocket launcher), which can come from an unseen enemy, to kill your wizard and then it’s right back to the start of the challenge to begin again. As a single-player experience it’s too frustrating for my taste. There are some AI controlled GI’s who will assist you at times but their contribution doesn’t do a lot to make it a more forgiving experience and you’ll spend the bulk of your time with them simply acting as a healer to make sure that they last as long as possible. With up to three others at your side it’s less frustrating and more enjoyable providing you all work together and if you are looking to play the two levels in a multiplayer situation, Vietnam is well worth the asking price.
Aside from the Vietnam theme of the two maps, enemies and weapons, Vietnam doesn’t really do anything to alter the general presentational quality of the game. It’s great to see locations filled with bamboo trees and paddy fields however and the two challenge maps definitely succeed in giving a Vietnam flavour to the Magicka experience. It should also come as no surprise to find that nothing has changed in regards to the game’s deaf gamer friendliness with the Vietnam content which is pleasing as Magicka was mostly a good experience for deaf gamers.
Priced at just a few pounds it’s safe to say that Magicka: Vietnam represents good value for money – if you enjoyed Magicka as a multiplayer experience. As a single-player experience it’s decent but certainly far from being an essential purchase. At times the Vietnam challenges can be frustrating for the single-player and you really need to play the game with others to fully enjoy what this DLC has to offer.