It's an FPS! But not really. Okay, so you will probably spend most of your time in first person mode, and you do shoot at things, it's really more of a simulation.
Set in Vietnam, you play as the point man in a four man SEAL Team. You act a bit like the officer in charge in some ways, too, since you get to go where you want, and make the calls. The OIC will still make a few decisions, though, like if you're getting your arse kicked he'll order an emergency evac. As much as you're in Vietnam, though, it never really feels like it. You'll notice that the terrain isn't very jungley. It's mostly plains with the odd tree here and there, which you can blame on the age of the game, and the sheer impossibility of having densely packed trees in a 3D environment in a game so old.
The game is divided into tours of duty, which each have a number of missions. The missions range from ambushing a VC patrol, to demolitions, kidnapping, etc. The missions are quite samey, though. You will usually ambush some VC, patrol an area or maybe blow something up, and then get your boat or chopper out. There are a few interesting missions, such as the one where you wade through a huge river to snatch a VC officer traveling on some boats, and one where you rescue some idiot GIs that got themselves captured, but for the most part, they are pretty standard. Some of them are based on real missions, and for these you get the historic report. These are interesting to read, and make you wonder why the game couldn't have been quite as interesting as the reports.
After you receive your briefing and kit out your men with whatever weapons and gear you think will be useful, you're taken to a bull session screen, where your SEALs talk some rubbish. Then you insert to your initial position. What makes this different from most games is that rather than running about shooting everything, you have to take it easy. Plan ahead. You will usually slowly walk towards your objective, avoiding traps, listening to te wildlife, watching out for patrols, hitting the deck at the first sign of trouble, trying to avoid patrols, or if you're feeling lucky, crawl to a good position for an ambush, maybe split your team up and try to flank them.
If you're feeling really lucky, you might lay your ambush from real close, hiding in what little bushes exist in the game, and surprise them, hoping to catch them off guard and having them surrender. This will net you more points, which means medals and promotions. If they end up dead, though, you can still search them for documents and weapons. You can't use the weapons, but they are confiscated and earn you some points.
If you see a large group of VC, you might not fancy your chances. Luckily you can call in support in most missions, via boat or chopperto lay down some MG and rocket fire, which makes things much easier. Or it would, were it not for a rather annoying bug that seems to randomly instantly kill your point man when you use fire support, no matter how close or far away you are from the fire.
Because of this, you will usually engage with your men. Long range firefights are to be avoided however, as it seems entirely impossible to hit anything unless you're standing right next to them. For some reason, it's practically impossible to hit anything with your M16 at 50 metres. This might make sense if there was a jungle encompassing you and you could barely see the enemy, but this isn't really the case. So most of the time, you will end up using grenades (or better, the trusty M79 grenade launcher) which are accurate enough to kill about 80% of the time at 50m.
The pace of the game is slow, some would say tedious, and if you're looking for an action game, you'd be right. But those looking for a simulation will find something interesting here. It isn't Vietnam, there is no jungle, and the VC can be distinguished from civilians by the colour of their shirt, but nontheless, it is still worth playing.
- SEAL Team (PC CD - includes manual) (13.8 MB)