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Napalm, NAM DOS
Genre: Action, FPS
Perspective: 1st-person
Gameplay: Shooter
Interface: Direct control
Setting: Cold War, Historical events
Published by: GT Interactive Software Corp.
Developed by: TNT Team
Released: 1998
Platform: DOS

Perhaps this is one of the most controversial, one might even say - odious first-person shooter, released at the end of the legendary Build engine in 1998. It is almost impossible to find any neutral, restrained or moderate reviews of this game - only the most direct and most extreme judgments. Well, let's try to figure it out...

The Vietnam War is a rather unpleasant page in world history. More than one movie was dedicated to these tragic events in the United States. And until 1998, games were even released, among which, for some unknown reason, for some reason there were no 3D shooters. But it was so desirable ... But who among us, “banging” on the Build engine, for the hundredth time from powerful “trunks” recklessly shooting dumb pigs, cultists or ninjas, didn’t think: “What if we saw something on the“ Duke ” then about a war game, where everything is real, where they can easily kill with one bullet? ... ”I must say, such FPSs already appeared then. But these were mostly command and tactical games, where you had to give complex commands to your partners, carefully read the briefings before the mission, wait in ambush... , frantic gameplay, pace: move and shoot, shoot and run somewhere again ...

And then one day, as a small addition to the "Duke", the "Platoon" addon appeared - yes, yes, exactly as one of the best films about the Vietnam War is called, which won the sympathy of millions of viewers with its drama (the Russian rental name is "Platoon" , 1986). Then it grew into the NAM game, where we are offered two campaigns of about a dozen levels, and there is also a multiplayer. The idea is as simple as two and two: there is no plot, although your character even has his own name. Before the mission, sometimes they will only verbally explain to you what approximately needs to be done. The campaign is simply mowing down the enemy's mouths alone and throughout all levels with the main goal - to reach the captured colleagues in order to free them.

What came out of this venture? Well, first of all, graphics. She just took upon herself the most outrageous criticism from the picky aesthetes of computer 3D. Of course, the design of some objects turned out to be rough: helicopters, tanks, ARS - yes, we have to admit that they came out “not very”: the possibilities of 2.5D were still not unlimited then. The character sprites were, to put it mildly, under-res. The crowns of large trees in the jungle should also have been done in more detail, although solitary palm trees, abundantly growing shrubs and thickets, just decorated with sprites, turned out to be very realistic. Well, everything else: trenches, dugouts, embrasures - were a good success, perhaps because of the simplicity of their purely military purpose. The sky at the levels is of different colors: a bright golden tropical sunset, clear blue, and there are also night missions. What did the critics not like here? ... Oh yes, it was already 1998 - sprites suddenly began to abruptly be considered the “Stone Age” ...

The atmosphere is truly incredible. With such a "simple" graphics, there is a super-realistic feeling of being in battle! The gameplay is addictive in seconds from the start of the action! Probably, this is a record among similar games in principle. Literally behind every sprite bush, insidious "charlies" (often even respawning) are waiting for you. Among them there are submachine gunners, machine gunners, suicide bombers, hung with explosives (a prototype of the poor "coolies" from Shadow Warrior), grenade launchers, snipers (and these are very annoying in dense thickets) and other "specialists". An almost non-stop radio chat sounds: you can hear American soldiers, or you can hear Vietnamese negotiations. Very often in open areas you can get under your own artillery fire or under a powerful air raid. And enemy soldiers with friendly fire support are no better - sometimes you can stand and just watch how some unknown force turns respawning enemies into a monstrous bloody mincemeat! Perhaps it was already such humor in the game, from the mappers ...

Interaction with the environment is pleasantly amazing. Well, where, in what other game can you defuse a mine yourself by slowly stepping on it? By the way, if you're lucky, you can get a mine detector, which, with its beeping, will tell you about mines nearby. And the moving propellers of the helicopters, which can crumble into a vinaigrette your protagonist, who inadvertently gets too close? An interesting implementation of the damage model. It seems to be done in a similar way, according to the “Duke”: there is armor, first-aid kits, there is a wearable supply of medicines. But if your health falls below a certain threshold, then it will slowly and irreversibly decrease until you restore it to the desired level. This is accompanied by the inscription: "You are bleeding ...". In addition to the first-aid kit, in some missions a medic will walk behind you, who will always heal you. True, and he can also be killed. Since we are talking about a medic, we will have to tell about the tactical controls for other units - a radio operator and a grenade launcher. The first is to call in aircraft or artillery for support in certain places. The second can shoot at enemy clusters from a stationary position. All their management is carried out by a single "Action" key: ingenious - it should be extremely simple. You can also turn on the radio yourself and call for aviation support, or even just listen to radio communications. So both with the atmosphere and with interactivity in NAM, everything turned out at the highest level.

The armament is made authentic for the US Army. If there are no cartridges left, then the knife is used, then the “emka” ... set aside - M16, then the most brutal M60 machine gun goes in rank. There is also a shotgun, an M79 grenade launcher, a captured Kalashnikoff - something here is “not very”; You can also throw hand grenades. The flamethrower, which looks like a superweapon, turned out to be completely useless here. Ammo will often be lacking already at the simplest difficulty levels, of which there are four in the game. The sounds of shots and explosions were very pleasant. Throughout the game, a monotonous, but positive and absolutely “non-binding” soundtrack sounds.

The architecture of the levels is simple and uncomplicated: buildings, trenches, fences, barbed wire (sprite). Inside the premises, barracks or dugouts, the situation is very ascetic, but the elements of a soldier's life are still recreated. Lots of beer bottles on the tables. On the wall, next to the map of the area, there must be a poster with some lovely "Miss July". There is the implementation of elements of the complex of the famous underground structures of the Vietnamese partisans, where the hero of the actor Willem Dafoe so boldly went alone in the very film “Platoon”. Not without cruel "jokes" that play on the best feelings of moviegoers. In one of the levels of the second episode, you will see skinned corpses hanging and bright green spots of some kind of liquid on the leaves of the bush. Of course, the hearts of American action movie fans will shrink here to the limit from what they see. But, alas, that's what he was - just a "joke" ...

Yes, recruit, here we have a real War! Your life in the game always ends after only five or ten steps taken imprudently from the next cover. Your favorite girlfriend will be the M16 rifle, your main key will be Z - "crouch", and your only and desired menu item will be SAVE. In general, the described game is, first of all, praise to the ingenious Build engine, on which it was possible to “build” such an amazing atmosphere and interactivity with NPC tactical control elements. After NAM, it becomes generally difficult to realize the full scope of the potential that was laid by Ken Silverman in his offspring. And another example of the 3D shooter NAM is just that exact, exemplary indicator of the professional level of the then player critics, who, together with not quite modern graphics, completely “splashed out” everything else - the most valuable, everything that makes the gameplay bright and memorable for many years. Oh, and one more thing - NAM'a has a worthy sequel called WWIIGI, dedicated to the events of the Second World War. However, the description of WWIIGI is already a completely different page of our site... Enjoy the game, everyone!