Magicka: Vietnam

Magicka Vietnam creates the perfect alternative from the original experience, with none of the earlier issues.

By Daavpuke, Posted 24 Apr 2011

Since its original release, the wacky wizardry release Magicka has seen a large reconstruction of patches to fix the problems it had. Always through an explicit use of slapstick, the developers at Arrowhead Game Studios have made sure to keep their audiences tuned in by providing plentiful hilarious updates. They’ve since broken every brick of the fourth wall and haven’t been afraid to even poke fun at themselves, with a spell such as ‘Crash to Desktop’ for instance.

Magicka Vietnam pays tribute to The Trashmen and The Ramones' Surfin' Bird in this trailer.


It is therefore not all that surprising that these minds would come up with an addition to their universe so insane, only they could’ve thought of it. Magicka Vietnam offers two new levels in the available Challenges, with one standard survival of enemy waves and a brand new mission scenario. As the name suggests, this is set in a universe revolving around the Vietnam War, but now complete with wizards and goblins. Yes, it is as bizarre as it sounds.

The expansion is a furthering from a gimmick in the original release that offered players a chance to change their sword to an M60 machine gun. As such, Vietnam now has wizard robes with army helmets brandishing all sorts of firearms, lobbing grenades at the Vietcong goblinoids with their AK47’s and rocket launchers. In a colorful jungle environment, laced with the appropriate era rock ‘n roll music, players are dropped in the fantasy hell of the tropical conflict. This displays a believable universe, complete with rice fields, straw encampments and doom-concealing palm trees.

NoobFeed Review - Magicka Vietnam DLC
The infamous Napalm Strike spell in Magicka Vietnam rains fiery death upon the Vietcong.


The gameplay follows suit, with loads of gunfire, pinned down gunfights and even an all new Napalm Strike spell that causes a tremendous amount of devastation. The standard survival offers a standard map where players need to thwart the Vietcong forces for 20 waves, but the real action is in the Mission map. Here, the goal is to complete a series of objectives such as sabotaging enemy structures and rescuing prisoners, while roaming through enemy lines. Of course, it’s still possible to create a myriad of spells from element combinations and deaths are still around every corner, but the added firepower does create a new strategy. With the hail of bullets thwarting many spells, players are more inclined to look for cover, call for air support and pick off enemies from a distance, rather than closing in for an area spell.

This also presents an additional difficulty to the already punishing gameplay of Magicka. Soaking bullets in your robe, instantly sweeps you off your feet, so trying to create elaborate spell beams will usually fail swiftly. But also, it hinders healing or functioning in general, as concentrated crossfire will halt your actions for quite some time. And as the AI is quite tactical, unaware players might find themselves surrounded and pinned down many times. Because of this amplified difficulty, Vietnam is more a multiplayer experience than ever before. One man armies will be hard pressed to find holes in cover and shoot outs to effectively function and most likely will come to a swift execution from stray bullets. It’s a bit of a bummer, but luckily the experience itself makes up for that in numerous ways.

NoobFeed Review - Magicka Vietnam DLC
Apocalypse now in Magicka Vietnam, as wizards unleash chaos upon the rice fields.

For one, all previous errors with multiplayer have been washed away and in general Magicka Vietnam runs a lot smoother and faster than the original release. While it’s still possible to have friends join through controllers in local multiplayer, which is great fun, it’s easier for keyboard virtuosos to link up online. As this is an effortless setup and there are always players raring to go, consider this the ultimate way to experience the guerilla warfare experience from Magicka Vietnam. It’s just explosive barrels of fun to roam through deadly forests, shooting leagues of Vietcong and calling for an airstrike to defeat a mini-gun wielding troll, with wizards at your side.

While a once-over only offers a few hours of gameplay, the spiked difficulty and instant urge for restarting will provide the necessary replay value needed to warrant a purchase. As an additional universe, Magicka Vietnam creates the perfect alternative from the original experience, with none of the earlier issues. With a funny and believable jungle setting, the fantasy Vietnam conflict is right up the alley of any fan of this release and may even interest newcomers. Just be sure to have some allies by your side, as the Vietcong are merciless bastards that need a thorough bombing and napalm spells lovely in the morning.

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Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Paradox Interactive
Developer(s): Arrowhead Game Studios
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Fantasy
Release Date: 2011-04-12

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