Many recent wargames are a bit too clean and shiny for our liking, bearing little resemblance to the actual reality of battle. ShellShock: Nam '67 is the game that's intent on bucking this trend and putting the horror back into the bullets - even if the jury's out on whether this is because of its historical significance or because they know the kids love to see the gristle flying off the bone. Expect to see atrocities committed by your squad, heads on spikes, gruesome NVA traps and some of the most disturbing images we've seen in a shooter for many a year.
Viewed from a third-person perspective, ShellShock sticks you in the fatigues of a basic grunt trying to survive his tour of duty - whose successes see him rising through the ranks and into the Special Forces and the top secret Black Ops. You fight in squads, though you won't be able to give orders, and you visit all of the expected Vietnamese locales, from paddy-field and tunnel network to wreckage-strewn city.
Despite being a little cynical when first presented with ShellShock, we're warming to its gung-ho brutality. A very cinematic game, it has 12 hour-long missions containing striking images and a storyline that encompasses mythical all-powerful NVA generals, a spy in the camp and a revered Special Forces hero who dies in suspicious circumstances. With its unflinching approach to warfare, developer Guerilla is clearly hell-bent on making ShellShock the Platoon of the current crop of Vietnam shooters. We'll need a more thorough playtest to see whether the gameplay lives up to the vibe.