Back in 2004, when everyone was already complaining about a surplus of World War II games, Vietnam was the next big thing, and Shellshock: Nam '67 was Eidos' answer to Battlefield Vietnam, Vietcong, Line of Sight and others. Nowadays, World War II is still big business, Vietnam has been abandoned once again, and Shellshock 2: Blood Trails is the answer to a question no one asked. It's not a very good answer.
You play as a grunt inserted suspiciously into a unit deep in Vietnam, only to discover that you're not only in the s***, you're on the hunt for your brother, who has been infected with some sort of zombifying virus that turns him - and a lot of his fellow GIs - into something out of 28 Days Later. Mist-soaked hills and raw jungle oppression were enough for Vietnam games five years ago, but apparently not now.
Which is a shame, because the Xbox 360 and PS3 would certainly do a good job of rendering Vietnam in smoldering, oppressive detail given half the chance. Whether for budget reasons or not though, Rebellion barely gives them a tenth of a chance. Textures are bland, geometry uncomplicated, lighting sharp and unrealistic; the jungle is jagged, clip-happy and static. Character models on both sides are dull, sparsely detailed and clunkily animated, and the frame-rate lurches into the teens with alarming regularity. Load times are also surprisingly long, although, as you'll see, I'm not going to complain about the time I got to spend not playing it.