Conflict: Vietnam is the third entry in the Conflict series, which began with Conflict: Desert Storm. Developer Pivotal Games is taking the series a few decades back to the Vietnam War and is placing you in the role of a new recruit who finds himself cut off behind enemy lines during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Your goal is to make it through 100 miles of booby-trapped and enemy-infested terrain, along with your squad, to get to the capital city of Hue. Today we'll offer a look at the new skill system that's being implemented into the latest iteration of Conflict to add a new element to its gameplay. The skill advancement system in Conflict: Vietnam lets you choose one of nine different skill sets for the members of your squad to specialize in. These features add a level of customization that makes it possible to build up all manner of squad configurations, such as a stealth-kill team consisting entirely of snipers or a squad of heavy-weapon experts.
You'll increase the different skills available to you with points that you earn for completing primary and bonus objectives, such as taking down enemy soldiers and vehicles, maintaining fire accuracy, and successfully executing stealth kills. Points are deducted for killing civilians and friendly soldiers. These points are split among the four squadmates and are then spent to raise their skills in such skill categories as Pistol, Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Machine Gun, Grenade, Shotgun, Medic, Rocket Launcher, and Booby Traps. The higher the skill, the more points it costs to raise. Below is an overview of the nine skills and what affect raising them has on gameplay.
Though never used as a primary weapon, it's always handy to have at least moderate sidearm skill when ammo for your main weapon is running low. Increasing a character's skill in pistol gives him a steadier hand at quick targeting and provides for a more accurate aim, eventually allowing him to hit targets that would otherwise be too far away to even attempt taking a shot at.
The most commonly used--and arguably the best--weapon to have on the field is the assault rifle, whose skill covers arms such as the AK-47 and the M16A1. The higher a character's assault rifle skill, the better his accuracy while employing one. Having this skill maxed-out makes the burst option that's available with most assault rifles quite deadly.
Corporal Bruce Lesh begins as your squad's main sniper, but any member can become equally proficient by accumulating and using enough skill points. The tactical advantage of being able to take down enemies from a distance is undeniable, and an effective sniper is an intimidating opponent. Increasing sniper rifle skill steadies your character's hand when going into sniper mode, thus improving his accuracy and allowing him to take shots in a quicker fashion.
This skill covers heavier, fully automatic armaments, such as the M60 LMG and the M3A1 "Grease Gun." Though they can spill out an oppressive volley of bullets, their high fire rate comes at the cost of massive recoil and inaccuracy for those lacking the ability to keep them under control. Raising machine gun skill will increase a character's ability to stay on target while unloading an entire clip or belt.
Useful for flushing out hidden enemies and getting into places where bullets can't, it's wise to have every member of your squad at least somewhat skilled at using grenades. A higher grenade skill gives better throwing distance, and it causes grenades to bounce less after being thrown, which offers more accuracy.
Perhaps the most underrated weapon on the battlefield, due to its short range and slow reload time, the main advantage of the shotgun is that its spreading shot rarely misses. At close range, one shell is all it takes to down an enemy. An increased shotgun skill lessens the weapon's downfalls by both increasing its range and improving the character's reload rate.
Private Harold Kahler is officially your squad's medic, but every member of your team should have at least passing knowledge in this field--if you hope to make it out of the jungle alive. The medic skill decreases the time it takes to heal another character, and it increases the amount of health received after aid has been applied.
A skill quite necessary for destroying tanks--but one that's also useful for dispatching gun emplacements and machine gun nests--rocket launchers can quickly defuse a difficult situation. Considering that a misplaced shot can be as deadly for your squad as it can be for the enemy, the increased accuracy that comes from an improved rocket launcher skill is vitally important.
The Viet Cong were notorious for both the ingenuity and deadliness of their traps. Though increasing this skill won't improve your ability to spot VC booby traps, it does make a character faster and more proficient at disarming them. Since failure to disarm a trap can result in tripping it instead, at least one character in your squad should be highly proficient in this skill.