Tunnel Rats is a game now available on Steam from developer Replay Studios which is based on an Uwe Boll movie. Does the game translate well and is it worth your hard earned cash? we aim to find out today.
Tunnel Rats tells the story of an American soldier in the Vietnam War. His helicopter is shot down and he enters into a one man rampage through Vietnam while trying to escape the hostile environment and the aggressive Vietnamese soldiers.
Our hero is a little confused as one minute he will be complaining about the unfortunate horrors of war and the next he will be screaming like a berserker on the hunt for blood. While there are many reasons for split personality characters having to deal with the horrors of war I am not sure the whole experience gels well in the context of this game. It certainly is a new concept in controlling a guy clearly on the edge of a mental breakdown, but i found it hard relating to, or understanding some of his actions in the game.
Tunnel Rats will prove offensive to many people as the language involved is taken to the extreme. It is understandable that guys at war will deal with certain situations by taking out their aggression both physically and verbally but the profanity and racial slandering is somewhat hard to deal with, as it is used so excessively throughout the game.
This would be forgivable if the combat was better, however the collision is sadly lacking and when using the knife, even when you apparently connect with an object it appears you are just wildly swinging it into the air. The grenades are also tied into a weird coding issue, in that sometimes they don’t explode on contact. The other weapons such as the machine gun, pistol and shotgun all work reasonably well, however the sights on screen seem to be rather hit and miss and I ended up turning them off to improve my accuracy. You can also only carry one weapon and one special weapon at the same time which means you need to make adjustments to your inventory on a regular basis.
Combined with the somewhat depressing combat system is the ineffectiveness of the Artificial Intelligence. Most of the soldiers tend to stand and act like dummies most of the time, meaning they are never much of a challenge, even those armed with shotguns in cramped conditions.
All in all there are only seven levels and the whole game is relatively easy to complete in 6 to 7 hours. After you complete a level it is possible to replay it by the menu system, although the thought of replaying some of these levels is akin to torture. The problem is that the objectives never seem to mean anything and there is never a high sense of immersion to make you want to come back for more. The level designs are really quite poor especially when compared to the better first person shooters released in the last year. Some key objectives are easily missed as you are able to walk past them into the environment without ever realising you had to destroy them.
The most difficult facet of the game is actually the plethora of traps laid out throughout the maps. There are tripwires attached to grenades and spikes and pits set to kill the careless and by the end of some of the levels I literally wanted to put my foot through the screen. Combined with the lack of manual save options it ends up a frustrating and hollow experience.
Graphically the engine is pretty decent and some of the detail is good on the trees and environmental objects. The jungles are impressive with rich vegetation and foliage and the tunnels have some detailed texture work on the walls. Unfortunately more important objects such as player and weapon models lack attention to detail which is very noticeable. The sound in the game is also unimpressive with some shoddy voice work and ambient noises which lack effort and implementation by the designers.
The game is for sale on steam for around $20 which is a reasonable price, however the experience is so bad that even at the reduced price it is hard to assume that even the most patient and tolerant of gamers will find anything remotely rewarding from playing Tunnel Rats. The frustrating traps and the bigoted, aggressive, shallow minded hero mean this is only for the most numb of gaming minds. Avoid.
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