Battlefield Vietnam Profile Preview #1 - The Soldiers of Battlefield Vietnam

EA Games' and Digital Illusions' next game will let you take to the field as one of many different kinds of soldier. Get all the info here.

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Developer Digital Illusions and publisher EA Games took online PC gaming by storm last year with Battlefield 1942. The World War II-themed first-person shooter let you fight out infantry and vehicle battles to capture control points on maps that were modeled after real-world venues. In that game, you could choose to play as either an Allied or an Axis soldier, then choose your character class--scout, medic, engineer, anti-tank, or assault--which automatically assigned you a loadout of weapons and equipment.

Battlefield Vietnam will feature fast-paced infantry and vehicle battles in the jungles of Vietnam.
Battlefield Vietnam will feature fast-paced infantry and vehicle battles in the jungles of Vietnam.

And the follow-up to this popular game will be Battlefield Vietnam, which will also feature team-based gameplay and powerful vehicles, but will take place during the Vietnam War between US forces and Vietnamese troops. In this, our first profile preview for Battlefield Vietnam, we'll take a look at the different infantry kits that you'll be able to choose in the game. The new game will at once be more streamlined, yet will offer more variety in terms of infantry equipment. Like the previous games, your soldier class will be equipped with a melee weapon, a sidearm, a primary weapon, and various other weapons and items like grenades, but Battlefield Vietnam will have only four classes: recon (scout), assault, heavy assault (which includes anti-tank armaments), and engineer. The medic class has been eliminated, though several classes will be able to carry health kits. As before, your choice of equipment will affect your movement speed, so heavy assault troops lugging around M60 heavy machine guns won't be able to hoof it quite as fast as recon troops carrying M21 sniper rifles.

However, depending on which map you're playing, you'll be able to choose from one of four outfits of US soldier--the US Army, the US Marines, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), and US Special Forces--and one of two Vietnamese outfits, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) or the Viet Cong (VC). In addition, you'll also be able to customize your soldier's appearance by choosing one of two different heads and one of two different bodies per kit. More importantly, the game will also let each class choose from one of two alternate weapon loadouts--a choice you make each time you spawn into a game. For example, as an engineer, you may end up choosing between carrying Claymore mines or a mortar; and as a heavy assault trooper, you may end up choosing between an M79 grenade launcher or a LAW rocket launcher. In this preview, we'll take an in-depth look at the four major classes in Battlefield Vietnam--the assault, the recon/scout, the engineer, and the heavy assault--and how they'll play, and in the coming months, we'll turn our attention to the game's vehicles and battlefields as well.

The Assault Class

Assault troops carry assault rifles like the M16, close-range weapons like the Mossberg 500 shotgun, or combination assault weapons like the XM148 assault-rifle-with-grenade-launcher. Assault troops excel in infantry operations, such as moving in and capturing spawn points, or providing covering fire when teammates need to move through hostile territory. First, we'll take a look at each of the US troops' assault options, as well as the Vietnamese army's assault classes. You'll have access to different outfits' assault classes depending on which map you're playing on.

It's going to take a lot more than an M-16 to be an army of one in 'Nam.
It's going to take a lot more than an M-16 to be an army of one in 'Nam.

US Army, Assault Class
Every US Army assault trooper comes equipped with a combat knife and a handful of frag grenades. Army assaults may also carry either the M16 assault with 20-round magazine or a Mossberg Series 500 shotgun for close quarters battles. Assaults that choose the M16 are issued the M1911 pistol with 9-round magazine, while assaults that carry the shotgun will are equipped with the heavier M19 pistol with a 6-round revolver chamber.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M16 Shotgun
Miscellaneous: Frag grenades Frag grenades

The few. The proud. The Mossberg Series 500 shotgun.
The few. The proud. The Mossberg Series 500 shotgun.

US Marines, Assault Class
Marine Corps assault troops all carry combat knives and sidearms, but their weapon loadouts vary between carrying a shotgun as a primary weapon plus a handful of grenades, or carrying the XM148--which is essentially a 20-round Car 15 assault rifle (a slightly more-compact version of the M16) with an attached grenade launcher that carries three grenade rounds.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: XM148 Shotgun
Miscellaneous:   Frag grenades

The Assault Class, Continued

ARVN assault troops can carry the 30-round Car 15 assault rifle.
ARVN assault troops can carry the 30-round Car 15 assault rifle.

The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), Assault Class
ARVN assault troops carry combat knives, sidearms, and grenades, and can choose to carry either a shotgun or a 30-round Car 15 assault rifle.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: Car 15 Shotgun
Miscellaneous: Frag grenades Frag grenades

A Special Forces soldier readies his XM148.
A Special Forces soldier readies his XM148.

US Special Forces, Assault Class
The assault troops of elite US elite military force known as Special Forces all come equipped with health kits, as well as with .357 Magnum sidearms. Special Forces assault troops may carry either a Car 15 with a handful of grenades and throwing knives, or an XM148 along with a standard combat knife.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Throwing Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: .357 Magnum .357 Magnum
Primary weapon: Car 15 XM148
Miscellaneous: Frag grenades  
Additional: Health Kit Health Kit

An NVA soldier unloads a clip from his RPD.
An NVA soldier unloads a clip from his RPD.

North Vietnamese Army (NVA), Assault Class
NVA assault troops carry a handful of frag grenades, the Tokarev TT33 8-round handgun, and a machete for close combat. NVA assaults may carry either the 30-round AK47, the 30-round assault rifle that has a longer firing range than the M16, but is less accurate, or the RPD, a 100-round, 7.62mm heavy machine gun that resembles the US M60 model, but is slightly more accurate at the cost of a lower rate of fire.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Machete Machete
Sidearm: TT33 TT33
Primary weapon: AK47 RPD
Miscellaneous: Frag grenades Frag grenades

A VC soldier and his AK47 at the ready.
A VC soldier and his AK47 at the ready.

Viet Cong (VC), Assault Class
Viet Cong assault troops carry TT33s as sidearms, a handful of grenades, and plantation knives if they run out of ammo. VC assaults may either carry the 30-round AKMS assault rifle (essentially an AK47 with a folding stock that affords less steady aim) or the Type 53, a 47-round, machine-fed Soviet light machine gun.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Plantation knife Plantation knife
Sidearm: TT33 TT33
Primary weapon: AKMS Type 53
Miscellaneous: Frag grenades Frag grenades

The Recon/Scout Class

The US forces have reconnaissance troops, while the Vietnamese army has scouts. Different names for somewhat different roles. Recon and scout troops will be the snipers of Battlefield Vietnam, though US recon soldiers will act more as spotters, while Vietnamese scouts will instead be able to lay traps for their enemies. Exactly which class of recon or scout is available will depend on which map you're playing on.

A US army sniper fires his M21 sniper rifle from behind cover.
A US army sniper fires his M21 sniper rifle from behind cover.

US Army, Recon Class
Army Recon troops come equipped with combat knives, sidearms, and smoke grenades, which release colored smoke that can act as a smokescreen for cover, or to mark a location. Amry recon troops may carry either the 10-round, semi-automatic M21 sniper rifle, or the M16 sniper rifle--a standard-issue M16 set to semi-auto fire mode and equipped with a scope. Army Recon troops also carry binoculars, which, like in Battlefield 1942, paint targets for air strikes, though in Battlefield Vietnam, they can also call out targets on your teammates' mini-map display, so that all your teammates will know where they're needed.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M21 sniper M16 sniper
Miscellaneous: Smoke grenades Smoke grenades
Additional: Binoculars Binoculars

This USMC recon troop's chopper may be down, but he and his M40 sniper rifle aren't out. Yet.
This USMC recon troop's chopper may be down, but he and his M40 sniper rifle aren't out. Yet.

US Marines, Recon Class
Recon troops from the Marines are carry weapon loadouts that resemble those of army recon, but Marines may opt to use either the M16 sniper as a primary weapon, or the 4-round, bolt-action M40 sniper rifle. Like Army recon troops, they can also use combat knives, sidearms, smoke grenades, and binoculars.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M40 sniper M16 sniper
Miscellaneous: Smoke grenades Smoke grenades
Additional: Binoculars Binoculars

ARVN recon units can carry the M21 sniper rifle.
ARVN recon units can carry the M21 sniper rifle.

The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), Recon Class
Like other US recon troops, ARVN recon units carry combat knives, handguns, smoke grenades, and binoculars. And like Army recon, they can carry the M16 sniper rifle, or carry an M21 sniper rifle.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M21 sniper M16 sniper
Miscellaneous: Smoke grenades Smoke grenades
Additional: Binoculars Binoculars

A Special Forces soldier's best friend--an M16 set on semi-auto.
A Special Forces soldier's best friend--an M16 set on semi-auto.

US Special Forces, Recon Class
Like other US recon kits, Special Forces recon units carry smoke grenades, binoculars, and knives. Special Forces recon troops carry Magnums at their sides and either an M40 or an M16 sniper rifle, in addition to a health kit.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Throwing Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: .357 Magnum .357 Magnum
Primary weapon: M40 sniper M16 sniper
Miscellaneous: Smoke grenades Smoke grenades
Additional: Binoculars Binoculars
Additional: Health Kit Health Kit

An NVA soldier lies in wait with an SVD semi-automatic sniper rifle.
An NVA soldier lies in wait with an SVD semi-automatic sniper rifle.

North Vietnamese Army (NVA), Scout Class
NVA scouts are equipped with both a machete and a TT33 handgun. They can also choose between the semi-automatic, 10-round SVD Dragunov sniper rifle or the 7.62mm Type 56 semi-automatic rifle. NVA scouts that choose the SVD are equipped with caltrops (a small, metal barb that damages enemies that walk over them) and binoculars for spotting. NVA scouts that choose the Type 56 are equipped with the bouncing betty mine (a mine that leaps up to an enemy's torso level, then explodes) and the time bomb, a static charge that explodes after several seconds. NVA scouts can press and hold the fire button to set a longer fuse (and provide enough time to escape from the blast radius themselves).

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Machete Machete
Sidearm: TT33 TT33
Primary weapon: SVD sniper Type 56
Miscellaneous: Caltrops Bouncing betty
Additional: Binoculars Time bomb

Viet Cong (VC), Scout Class
Viet Cong scouts carry plantation knives and flare guns, which act as excellent markers and may also be used as a decoy to lure enemy troops away from your main force. VC scouts may carry the bolt-action M91/30, a somewhat outdated rifle even for the time that chambers five rounds, or the Type 56. Scouts that choose the M91/30 are equipped with caltrops and binoculars, while scouts that choose the Type 56 receive the bouncing betty and the time bomb.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Plantation knife Plantation knife
Sidearm: Flare gun Flare gun
Primary weapon: M91/30 Type 56
Miscellaneous: Caltrops Bouncing betty
Additional: Binoculars Time bomb

The Engineer Class

Like in Battlefield 1942, engineers will serve the important purpose of repairing damaged vehicles. However, in Battlefield Vietnam, they'll also double as demolition experts who may use static charges, mortars, and even log traps to wreck havoc on enemy bases and vehicles. You'll have access to different engineer classes depending on which map you're playing on.

Be sure to cover those ears when using a mortar.
Be sure to cover those ears when using a mortar.

US Army, Engineer Class
Army engineers carry combat knives, the M14 rifle (essentially an M21 rifle without the scope), wrenches to repair damaged vehicles, and blowtorches. The blowtorch is a new item that is basically the opposite of the wrench--instead of gradually repairing a friendly vehicle, the blowtorch gradually damages an enemy vehicle. Army engineers may either carry Claymore mines--anti-personnel mines with remote charges--or a mortar that lobs shells at an arc. Battlefield Vietnam will let you take manual control of the mortar from a first-person view, as well as use your right mouse button to share sights with a friendly scout's binoculars.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M14 M14
Miscellaneous: Claymore mines Mortar
Additional: Blowtorch Blowtorch
Additional: Wrench Wrench

The blowtorch can be used to directly damage enemy vehicles.
The blowtorch can be used to directly damage enemy vehicles.

US Marines, Engineer Class
Marines engineers carry a weapon and equipment loadout that's more or less identical to that of the Army engineer: a knife, a sidearm, an M14 rifle, a wrench, a blowtorch, and either mines or a mortar.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M14 M14
Miscellaneous: Claymore mines Mortar
Additional: Blowtorch Blowtorch
Additional: Wrench Wrench

For some reason, this ARVN engineer doesn't seem to love the smell of napalm in the morning.
For some reason, this ARVN engineer doesn't seem to love the smell of napalm in the morning.

The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), Engineer Class
Like Marines engineers, ARVN engineers carry much of the same gear that army engineers do. However, ARVN engineers carry different types of explosives: either the C4 "sticky bomb," which can be tossed at and affixed to buildings and vehicles, then detonated remotely, or anti-vehicle land mines, which, like those of Battlefield 1942, explode on contact with any vehicle.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M14 M14
Miscellaneous: C4 mines Anti-vehicle land mines
Additional: Blowtorch Blowtorch
Additional: Wrench Wrench

This Special Forces engineer looks for a good place to lay a few mines.
This Special Forces engineer looks for a good place to lay a few mines.

US Special Forces, Engineer Class
The Special Forces engineer can carry throwing knives, a Magnum handgun, and the M14 rifle. The character class can choose to carry either C4 and a blowtorch, or land mines and a mortar (in lieu of a blowtorch), along with his trusty wrench.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Throwing Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: .357 Magnum .357 Magnum
Primary weapon: M14 M14
Miscellaneous: Land mines C4
Additional: Mortar Blowtorch
Additional: Wrench Wrench

An example of an NVA soldier doing his job. Assuming that tank belonged to the enemy.
An example of an NVA soldier doing his job. Assuming that tank belonged to the enemy.

North Vietnamese Army (NVA), Engineer Class
NVA engineers carry machetes, TT33 handguns, and the MAT49 submachine gun, along with their trusty wrenches. These wily engineers may also equip themselves with a mortar and wirecutters--which can rig any vehicle in the game to explode--or with anti-vehicle mines and a shovel--which lets the engineer actually dig up and relocate NVA spawn points on the map. If you're careful, you can notice a trapped vehicle by a small series of sparks underneath it. And in order to move an NVA spawn point, engineers must first big continuously at an existing spawn point to fill up a "dig meter," then dig continuously at the new, desired location to complete it.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Machete Machete
Sidearm: TT33 TT33
Primary weapon: MAT49 MAT49
Miscellaneous: Wirecutters Shovel
Additional: Mortar Land mines
Additional: Wrench Wrench

A VC soldier and his MAT49 have fun storming the castle.
A VC soldier and his MAT49 have fun storming the castle.

Viet Cong (VC), Engineer Class
VC engineers carry plantation knives, TT33 handguns, MAT49 submachine guns, and wrenches. They can also choose to equip themselves with a shovel and land mines, or with a mortar and Pungi sticks--a hidden pit full of spikes that kills any enemy soldier unlucky enough to fall into one.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Plantation knife Plantation knife
Sidearm: TT33 TT33
Primary weapon: MAT49 MAT49
Miscellaneous: Pungi sticks Shovel
Additional: Mortar Land mines
Additional: Wrench Wrench

The Heavy Assault Class

The heavy assault class includes both heavy infantry weapons and also traditional anti-vehicle weapons, such as the ones that anti-tank troops used in Battlefield 1942. Depending on which map you're playing, you'll have access to different heavy assault classes.

Speak up. I can't hear you over the noise.
Speak up. I can't hear you over the noise.

US Army, Heavy Assault Class
Sure, Army heavy assault troops carry knives and pistols, but the real reason to play as a heavy assault trooper is the 100-round M60 machine gun. Army heavy assault troops can also choose to carry either the 5-round M79 grenade launcher or the 5-round M72 light anti-armor weapon (LAW) rocket launcher.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M60 M60
Secondary weapon: M79 M72 LAW

The M60: for when you absolutely, positively have to fire 100 rounds per minute.
The M60: for when you absolutely, positively have to fire 100 rounds per minute.

US Marines, Heavy Assault Class
Marines heavy assaults have the same weapon loadouts as Army assault troops, including a choice of M79 and M72.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M60 M60
Secondary weapon: M79 M72 LAW

The M79 grenade launcher lets you make every delivery a special delivery.
The M79 grenade launcher lets you make every delivery a special delivery.

The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), Heavy Assault Class
Like the Marines, the ARVN heavy assault class carries the M60, as well as a choice of either the M79 or the M72.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M60 M60
Secondary weapon: M79 M72 LAW

Battlefield Vietnam's jungle foliage provides plenty of opportunities to stage an ambush.
Battlefield Vietnam's jungle foliage provides plenty of opportunities to stage an ambush.

US Special Forces, Heavy Assault Class
Special Forces heavy assault troops likewise carry an M60 and either an M79 or a M72.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Combat Knife Combat Knife
Sidearm: M1911 M19
Primary weapon: M60 M60
Secondary weapon: M79 M72 LAW

The business end of an RPG7V.
The business end of an RPG7V.

North Vietnamese Army (NVA), Heavy Assault Class
NVA heavy assault units carry machetes and TT33s, but their most powerful assets are their heavy-duty anti-vehicle weapons. They can choose to carry either a Type 56 rifle plus a five-round RPG7V grenade launcher, or static "expack" explosives and the 3-round, auto-reloading, heat-seeking SA7 rocket launcher, which is extremely effective against enemy choppers.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Machete Machete
Sidearm: TT33 TT33
Primary weapon: Type 56 SA7
Miscellaneous: RPG7V Expack

This VC soldier keeps his eye, and his RPG2, on the skies.
This VC soldier keeps his eye, and his RPG2, on the skies.

Viet Cong (VC), Heavy Assault Class
VC heavy assault troops carry plantation knives and TT33s, and like the NVA, can choose their heavy-duty weapon loadouts. VG heavy assault soldiers may carry either a SA7 rocket launcher plus expack explosives, or a Type 56 rifle plus an RPG2, a 5-round grenade launcher that doesn't quick pack the punch of an RPG7V, but can still do a number on smaller vehicles.

  Primary Loadout Alternate Loadout
Melee weapon: Plantation Knife Plantation Knife
Sidearm: TT33 TT33
Primary weapon: Type 56 SA7
Miscellaneous: RPG2 Expack

This concludes our profile of the infantry units in Battlefield Vietnam. Stay tuned for further updates on the game's vehicles and battlefields in the future.

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