Mainstream war games have been kind of gun-shy (no pun intended) about the Vietnam War. WW2 was popular for so long because it was the last big war where America played an unambiguously positive role. Modern warfare is easy pickings too because as we've seen in Call of Duty you can just make up any ridiculous story you like. But 'Nam? CoD tossed it into Black Ops but it was just another level or two, not the whole focus.
Magicka: Vietnam takes the other approach: tackle one of the most uncomfortable, tragic and embarrassing chapters in American history with sheer go-for-broke irreverence. What if wizards were fighting alongside GIs to track down Charlie and magic-napalm VC villages? What if the wizards had M60s and M16s in their arsenal along with devastating spells? Magicka creator Johan Pilested elaborates on these elements and several others in hid dev diary below.
I think Arrowhead games has the right idea: either treat 'Nam respectfully and seriously, or satirize the hell out of what a hypocritical cluster it was. Maybe Magicka Vietnam will influence Activision to do some real, nuanced war commentary on 'Nam, but my hopes for any mature war insights in CoD kind of went out the window with Modern Warfare 2.