Men of Valor Hands-On - Tet Offensive and Early Missions

We take on 2015's upcoming PC and Xbox shooter during the infamous Vietnam War siege and through the training missions.

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At the Gen Con convention in Indianapolis, we visited VU Games' booth to try out both the PC and Xbox versions of 2015's upcoming Vietnam War-era shooter Men of Valor. Both versions are nearly done, and both look great.

The PC version included the single-player Tet Offensive mission, which is based on the real-world battle that took place during the war. Several of the game's missions, including this one, open with a cinematic sequence that's cut from black-and-white stock footage and followed by an in-engine cutscene. The Tet cutscene shows a Vietnamese "entertainer" who visits with the American soldiers in your squad just before the base comes under fire.

In this mission, you're sent right in to battle. You'll follow your teammates as you scramble around the flaming ruins of your base while taking fire from enemy soldiers. Though you have only a pistol to begin with, you can equip yourself with weapons from fallen enemies and from, in some cases, comrades by pressing your "use" key while you're searching a corpse. Both versions of the game have similar interfaces, so both provide a compass in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and an aegis that appears in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, which indicates your current health level. You sustain two kinds of damage in Men of Valor: lingering "permanent" damage (indicated by a dark red stain on the aegis) and bleeding damage (indicated by a flashing red stain on the aegis). You can use bandages to stanch bleeding (although this hinders your movement), but you'll need to find first aid kits to treat permanent wounds.

We also had a chance to play through the early missions in the Xbox version of the game. These missions begin with a training level that instructs you on how to move, shoot, and interact with the environment. The Xbox version wastes none of the buttons or triggers on the controller, so the "back" button pulls up your objectives, the X button reloads, the right trigger fires, the left trigger zooms in on your enemies and lets you lean out from behind cover, and the black button uses a weapon's melee attack. Both versions of the game let you crouch and lie prone to take advantage of cover at the cost of moving more slowly. The Xbox version lets you crouch when you push in your left trigger once; you must then hold it down to lie prone.

The first mission is a training level that sends you through a standard training course to teach you how to fire, take cover, swap weapons using the D pad, and use the A button to switch firing modes, like alternating between grenades or buckshot on the M-79 grenade luancher, for example. You start off at camp, where a reporter is interviewing a teammate. Then you get involved in a friendly game of catch with a football until you're called to prepare for the next day's operation.

From all appearances, Men of Valor seems to be coming together extremely well at this point. The game is scheduled for release later this year on both the PC and Xbox.

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