by Joseph Luster

One of the odd joys of the 21st century is being able to see ourselves as others see us via the games they make about us. So it is with G5 Software, a Russian game company that has created Whirlwind over Vietnam, an action combat game set in the la Drang Valley in November 1965.

While the game models various soldiers and vehicles, as well as trees and other terrain, what really interests the game makers is the Huey helicopters. For the entire game, the player will be in an attack Huey. All the major American helicopters are in the game, including those modified for use by the Marines. This is the archetypal combat from that war that interests the Russian designers.

In Whirlwind Over Vietnam, players are able to experience Huey combat action in the way that the Russians saw it.

Customized Realism

Various sliders let the player set the realism in WOV at whatever level he or she likes. At the highest level, gauges will register dynamically as the player trims the controls. The pitch and speed of the rotors will visibly change out the cockpit windows.

Gameplay reflects the challenges of executing the various missions (fire support, fire coordination, seek and destroy of the enemy) from the three different stations inside the helicopter: pilot, co-pilot, and door gunner.

Players who are looking for a more arcade-style experience can shift the sliders the other way for a game that will run smoother on their computer, and be more focused on hitting home.