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Magicka: Vietnam Review (PC)

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Instead of simply referencing war movies Arrowhead Game Studios lets you take part in one with their new expansion Magicka: Vietnam.

Filled with the same humour that was prevalent throughout the main game Magicka: Vietnam drops you and up to 3 friends into the heart of the “Goblin-cong” jungle on a mission to rescue friendly POWs. Featuring larger maps with branching paths and optional objectives the new mission offers a different experience to the main story.

The addition of military equipment from the Vietnam-era further differentiates the expansion from the original. Gone are the swarming close range enemies of the main game, replaced with rifle wielding goblins, orcs brandishing assault rifles and machine gunning ogres. While some enemies can’t resist the urge to rush in and skewer you with their bayonets, most will be happy to stand back and shoot. New enemy tactics mean that lots of the old approaches no longer work and new battle plans will have to be formulated. The good news is that players themselves can also wield the new weapons, be it a Mosin-Nagant from a fallen goblin or an M60 from an unfortunate ally killed by “friendly fire”. The guns are used in the same way as the old weapons but have the obvious advantage of being long ranged.

Unfortunately the new guns, in addition to large maps, means that offscreen enemies can and will shoot at you. Losing your last slither of health to an unseen goblin, getting knocked back by an AK-47 burst or simply being splattered across the jungle floor by a lucky RPG shot can become frustrating.

Luckily for the player new features offer some respite from the wall of enemy fire. Players can now use the crouch ability to hide behind cover while lining up a shot from a newly acquired M16 or type in the key combo for a freezing electric death ray. Players can also use magic to call in a powerful napalm strike, an impressive and efficient way of getting rid of large groups of goblin-cong soldiers.

Also featured in the expansion is a new challenge arena. Similar to the arena’s already present players can now fend of wave after wave of goblin-cong attacks as they build up their points total and compete for leaderboard rankings.

While being just as fun and humorous as the original, Magicka: Vietnam avoids the usual problem of expansion pack by offering a noticeably different experience, albeit one with a few, minor frustrations.

8 flaming napalm strikes out of 10


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