Our government is united in its determination to take all necessary measures in support of freedom, and in defense of peace in Southeast Asia.
— President Lyndon Johnson, heard in Battlefield: Vietnam's main menu
Let's get 'em, boys!
— A USMC soldier in-game when the audio command "Bail out!" is triggered

Battlefield: Vietnam is a PC-game released in 2004 by DICE and EA Games, and is the second stand-alone game in the Battlefield series (after BF1942 and its 2 expansion packs, the Road to Rome and Secret Weapons of WWII). Gameplay revolves around capturing and controlling the majority of the spawn points located on a map, which will allow the player to re-enter the game if killed. Victory is usually achieved by either controlling all the spawn points (thus denying opposing players the ability to respawn) or by reducing the enemy ticket count to zero (through attrition, as one player death costs the team one ticket). The maps on this game take place in notable areas of conflict in the Vietnam War, including the Marine base at Khe Sanh, Hue City at the height of the Tet Offensive, the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and the Mekong Delta. One impressive addition to the game that separates it from its predecessor is the addition of helicopters, turning a new focus on tactics in aerial combat. The game was received rather well but was compared unfavorably to its predecessor, mostly for its lack of new material. Online servers still exist for the game today and while the gaming community has shrunk drastically, the game is held in high regard by fans of the Battlefield series.

Battle vs. Battlefield: 1942 (by El Alamein)Edit

BF1942: Yellow x 30

BFVietnam: Green x 30

It is a quiet evening in a recluse mountain base. Suddenly a black man in green fatigues, an army helmet, and combat boots appears, seemingly out of thin air. He is carrying a shotgun. Just as quickly more and more men appear behind him in various dress and with different weapons. Six men of the USMC, six men of the South Vietnamese ARVN, and six men of the MACV-SOG have spawned in a game of Battlefield: Vietnam. The MACV-SOG elite troops spread out in a fan movement down the base, taking position behind doors, ready to breach with specialized weapons like scoped M16 rifles and handguns.

On the other side of the base NVA regulars and Viet Cong troops are carefully setting traps, mining paths and setting punji stakes in the tall grass. Those not laying out the traps are watching at the ready with AK-47 rifles and MAT-49 submachine guns. They aim down their sights uneasily as they spot a group of Asian men – not Vietnamese, but surely Asian – approaching their force head-on. The Asian men are Japanese, from WWII’s Imperial Army, and are armed and dressed accordingly. They stop, lifting their rifles too, and a standoff begins.

The ARVN are already exploring the base, with one MACV-SOG soldier of Montagnard descent accompanying them. The other door is opened down the hall, and in flood white men, but they are not the Marines. Uneasily the ARVN slowly back up, but the men (WWII-era US Army soldiers) shout “Hold!” and fire a warning shot with a BAR 1918 automatic rifle.

The men of Battlefield: 1942 are suddenly in the middle of a Battlefield: Vietnam game. Wehrmacht soldiers encounter a few wandering MAACV-SOG troops, but this confrontation is brief. Both sides open fire with automatic weapons. A German soldier is riddled through his torso and stumbles to a knee before he falls facedown, dead. Yellow At the same time, a MACV-SOG soldier takes several rounds in the chest and falls spread-eagled in a pool of his own blood. Green The two groups scatter right as Soviet Red Army troops spawn in the game.

The ARVN has retreated in disarray, being pursued by the British 8th Army and the US Army. One of the fleeing ARVN is shot through the neck and falls right into one of his fellow soldiers, knocking him over. Green The other ARVNs duck behind low cover like low walls or behind trucks and lean out with M14 rifles, firing rapidly. An approaching American takes a round in the nose and drops, blood hanging in the air in a fine mist where his head was. Yellow The tripped South Vietnamese soldier runs down the compound and encounters a Japanese Imperial soldier. They both take out their knives and with a downward slash, the Japanese soldier cuts the ARVN’s cheek. They both trade slashes but the ARVN lunges in close, holding the knife blade-down, and plunges the knife into the Japanese man’s neck. The Japanese man sneezes blood in the ARVN’s face, his knees buckle, and he crumples to the ground dead. Yellow The ARVN wipes the blood on his pant leg and turns back to join the fray, energized.

The Viet Cong take flight as the NVA open fire on the Japanese men staring them down, but only injure one man with a tumbling round to the stomach. He stumbles back and steps on a punji stake, which goes right through his foot. The NVA run deeper into the complex as the Japanese scatter, leaving their injured man to try to pull his foot out himself. He is unable, however, as each movement leads him to cry out in pain.

The Vietnam-era Marines are approaching the Red Army troops. The DP-28 light machine gun opens fire as two Marines are fumbling with an M60 machine gun and bullets tear through the air. A Marine behind a wall leans out with an M79 grenade launcher and thumps off an explosive round, which sends two Russians crashing to the ground and a third doubled over, clutching at his groin. YellowYellow The injured Russian shakes the blood off his hands and leans over the DP, letting loose a hail of bullets that kills the M79-wielding Marine. Green

A Viet Cong sniper has hiked through the green wilderness surrounding the base and has propped himself up comfortably in a palm tree, holding a Dragunov sniper rifle. He scans the battle raging below, but cannot get a clear shot because of the facility buildings blocking his line-of-sight.

On the other side of the facility, a German Wehrmacht sniper climbs a ladder up a tower and is facing similar problems as the Viet Cong sniper. They are unaware of the other’s presence… for the time being.

An NVA soldier enters a dark hallway, switches on the light, holding his MAT-49 up, and cautiously walks down the building. A British 8th Army soldier enters behind the NVA and raises his Colt handgun, firing at the North Vietnamese man’s head. The .45 ACP round goes straight through the back of the NVA’s head, below the ear, and bursts out his mouth, shattering teeth and sending bloody mushy pulp flying forward to stain the white facility walls gray and red. Green

A Red Army soldier and a US Army Soldier, the American carrying an M1 Bazooka, head down toward the NVA starting base. The Russian misplaces his foot and triggers a box mine. In the shower of steel shrapnel and flames, the Russian flies through the air, his leg severed at the knee. Yellow The explosion alerts a Viet Cong guerrilla who pops up out of the bushes and spray-fires his AK-47. The American kneels and fires the bazooka. The Viet Cong throws his rifle down, eyes bugged in hear, and tries to dive down, but the warhead slams directly into him, killing him on impact and sending body parts flying in the explosion. Green The explosion catches the attention of the VC sniper, who engages the American soldier with a round to the chest. The round speeds down several hundred meters into the American’s kidney, before it shatters out the bottom of his spine. Yellow Brown bodily fluids and white bone fly out onto the dirt and the bazooka man falls facedown.

Up on the other side of the hill, the Wehrmacht sniper sees the Viet Cong sniper’s muzzle flash, and he fires at the Viet Cong but misses. The VC sniper jumps in shock when a bullet cracks into the trunk of his tree, but he quickly scans the other side of the hill in search of his foe. The German reacquires the VC sniper. The VC finds the German and is about to shoot when he sees the German’s muzzle flash. The bullet flies straight over the base and into the Viet Cong sniper’s left eye, but it doesn’t fly out the back of his head. Still, his brains have been liquefied. Green He slumps forward out of the tree and rolls down the hill. The Wehrmacht sniper grabs his rifle and runs to change position.

The Japanese soldier who was shot in the stomach has pulled his foot from the punji stake in excruciating pain. He hobbles over around the corner into the facility but just as quickly, a burst of M60 fire sends him to the floor. Yellow

Two British 8th Army soldiers encounter two MACV-SOG with scoped M16’s. The special forces units move in fast, jutting their guns into the stomach of one British soldier with a Sten, firing semi-automatic repeatedly until the man falls forward into them and collapses to the ground. Yellow The MACV-SOG turn their guns on the other man but they have spent their magazines and only hear a terrifying “click”. The British man fires with his Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifle into one of the MACV-SOG men’s stomach, and the spec ops soldier doubles over in pain. A rifle butt to the back of his skull ends his misery. Green The other MACV soldier has pulled out his knife and charges the British man, who tries to work the bolt on his rifle. His hand slips and he drops the rifle seconds before the combat knife goes deep into his chest. YellowThe MACV soldier shakes the blood off the blade of the knife and turns the corner to find a Japanese man with a Type 100 Flamethrower. The MACV soldier stumbles back and fumbles for his pistol, but the Imperial Army soldier turns with a burst of flame, setting the Montagnard special ops soldier on fire. The MACV soldier screams in agony as the intense heat burns into the core of his body and he crumples to the ground, rocking back and forth until he is cooked to no more. Green The Japanese soldier nods his approval and keeps moving forward.

A WWII-era American with a Browning Auto-5 shotgun enters the tight spaces of the hallway where the NVA was shot in the head. He winces at the sight of the brains splattered on the wall and never notices the Vietnam-era USMC soldier sneaking behind him with the Mossberg 500 shotgun. One powerful blast sends the WWII soldier flying into the wall, an enormous hole in his stomach where his guts should be. Yellow The bodily matter stains the walls, the floor, all over the room, and the Marine gags as he leaves the room. He walks right into plain view of the Wehrmacht sniper, who puts a round in his neck. Green

The ARVN move together in a group down the facility, approaching the NVA and VC spawn point. A Soviet with a rifle-mounted grenade is watching them from inside a small doorway. As the ARVN stop to regroup, he fires the grenade and the resulting blast sends two ARVN flying backward into the bushes, dead. GreenGreen The Soviet ducks back in the doorway and the ARVN look around in confusion, still disoriented from the loud bang. The man who had earlier stabbed a Japanese soldier rallies his men and leads a spirited charge down the hall, running past the Soviet soldier but encountering a surprised Wehrmacht with an STG-44. Automatic weapons fire cuts down the German and the ARVN cheer in victory. Yellow

Two more NVA stumble upon the ARVN, and the North Vietnamese move up into the surrounding wilderness while the ARVN continue to patrol the base. The Wehrmacht sniper shoots off a round from a concealed position but misses. The NVA look around wildly and draw their Tokarev TT-33 pistols. The Wehrmacht silently puts the rifle down and raises his Walther P38 pistol. With a slip of the finger and a pull of the trigger, one of the NVA is sprawled on the jungle floor, dead. Green The other NVA has not seen where the attack came from, and as he shoots randomly into a bush, a second bullet kills him too. Green The Wehrmacht sniper picks up the rifle and starts to work the bolt when a round hits a jungle leaf behind him. Unlike the Viet Cong who he had just killed, the German dives to the ground and holds his breath, hoping that his attacker has lost sight of him.

The ARVN continue patrolling the base, but their sniper with a scoped M16 stays behind, certain he saw someone up on the hill. He walks backwards slowly, into a low-roofed building, keeping his eye on where he spotted the sniper. The Soviet soldier with the grenade launcher is hiding there, but he cannot attack the ARVN with an explosive weapon at such a close distance. He lifts the rifle butt over his head but the ARVN turns and shoots into the Russian’s neck. Yellow Shaken, the ARVN stumbles out of the building, right back into the line of fire of the Wehrmacht sniper, who fires a shot and cripples the South Vietnamese commando with a shot to the knee. The ARVN, fighting through the pain, looks up his scope and sees the German commando aiming down at him, working the bolt on his rifle. One shot ends the Wehrmacht sniper’s reign of terror. Yellow The ARVN tries to crawl into the building where he found the Russian, but the rifle is too heavy and his arms are too weak. He slumps to the ground and passes out from blood loss, slowly bleeding to death. Green

A British 8th Army soldier is waiting with a charge of TNT and a detonator, and two USMC soldiers walk past. The British soldier pushes the detonator and the massive explosion kills the two Vietnam-era Marines and an NVA soldier walking with them. GreenGreenGreen The British soldier jumps out with his Sten and sprays down a stunned ARVN soldier who wasn’t killed in the blast. Green Just as quickly a burst of fire from an M16 sends the British soldier stumbling back into the building where he came from, riddled with bullets. Yellow

Suddenly the game’s server crashes as DICE and EA Games developers try to fix the error. The map goes blank but the soldiers are still in the game. Utter chaos ensues as explosions and bullets from nowhere rock the battlefield. The fighting goes into a momentary lull as the soldiers look around themselves in shock, but each team’s tickets surge into the triple and then quadruple digits. A Japanese soldier fires his Type 5 rifle in the void but he cannot find any targets. Rocket fire, grenades, and automatic fire from machine guns and assault rifles suddenly explodes into the blackness.

Just as quickly the game starts again. One lone USMC soldier with an M16 rifle is on the map The Ia Drang Valley and over the hill he sees an NVA soldier. More and more USMC soldiers spawn behind him and helicopters and jeeps roar to life. Meanwile, out in the void of blackness, the soldiers of 1942 are still firing their weapons in a confused eternity, unable to escape until DICE or EA figure out that the servers on their earliest game are empty.


Expert's OpinionEdit

Battlefield: Vietnam emerged victorious, mainly because of their mildly superior weapons and fusion of elite training with guerrilla warfare, which really helped them in such a large-scale battle. While the soldiers of Battlefield: 1942 could boast superior training and (for the most part) greater willpower to keep the fighting going, they were outmatched and outwitted by a foe who knew their tactics and weapons (since Vietnam-era soldiers would have studied WWII) but could boast larger firepower themselves. Semi-automatic weapons beat bolt-action weapons and multiple-use grenade launchers and rocket fire kept collateral damage on the side of Battlefield: Vietnam. It was a close battle, but BFV is the winner.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.