Right.. Having been away a bit, I'd like to start off this review by giving you the skinny on how I perceive the critique tossed at this game.
Initially, I liked this title to death and had naught but scorn for the reviews that run a comparative review of this game. If you intend to pair games up against each other rather than seeing them as individuals, you may as well stop reviewing stuff altogether.
You'd have to pair every first-person shooter with Wolfenstein 3D, every side-scroller to Defender. Hell, you'd expect see a Gran Trak 10 paired up with the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo 5 soon enough(hopefully).
With that out of the way, I should have established that, in this review, I will solely be talking about Medal of Honor - and not running a comparative checklist!
I bought Medal of Honor on the day of release, played the single player campaign and the online multiplayer - then I spent a few weeks away from game entirely. So rest assured, this review in unbiased, non-comparative and truthful (from my own perspective) - personal perceptions may vary.
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Medal of Honor comes from EA - the original creators of of the WW2 fad which the FPS genre has been riding like a .. pony, for the past several years.
Now, after a few years of being AWAOL, the team is back with a fresh take on the franchise with a dash of modern dag and age.
Set in a real and on-going conflict with a promise of realism, the game aims high - but is it a hit or a miss?
The development team behind MoH has been using the fabled Tier 1 operatives to immersive the player as much as possible; seeing that the game (supposedly) is based on true events, with a bit of action and narrative thrown into the mix (but truthfully, we'll never know- since the OP stories come in a hermetically sealed envelope, revealed only to the dev team).
The game plants you smack in the middle of the Afghan war with Taliban soldiers, military jargon and everything you'd expect to see in a modern shooter - yet differently depicted. The game invites you to see morsels and titbits of the war you’ve been hearing about, reading about and watching telly about – all from the safety of your own comfy couch.
You take up arms as four different operatives, which initially strikes you as schizophrenic – but adds up in the end since all the knots get tied up as the different soldiers come together as a united force in one big op. This may sound like there’s an epic scope involved, but there is not. This game is about real soldiers in real situations – not about saving the world whilst dangling from a wire like a Coke-Zero add.
The game is very much aimed at those with interest in warfare – weapons are correctly named and the military jargon runs thick throughout the game. Being an army grunt is, however, nowhere near a requirement. Not familiar ‘A-box shots’? Fine, just shoot it ‘till it’s dead.
The game is extremely easy, which is a shame, since the game goes to great lengths to be ‘true’. My suggestion is to immediately crank up the diff. to HARD on your first play through, to get any challenge out of the game.
The game handles rather well, as long as you follow the selected path. I’ve been hearing other people complaining about a lack of different routing and invisible walls hampering their gameplay – I noticed no such things myself – but that only goes to prove that I’m a very predictable gamer, or that the other people are hypocrites. Two things in MOH that I have ALWAYS felt were natural to shooters (yet these were omitted) are sliding and leaning functions.. MOH has these, and I love them. I spring and sprint from cover to cover and it all feels natural, rather than performing a sprint to get to a spot only to stand still for a split second in order to tell my character to ‘duck the fuck down!’. It feels tight and natural, to me.
Gameplay-wise, the game has most of what you’d expect form a modern shooter – you kill folks and you do it well. Every now and again, you’re tasked with a few different missions to help break up the pace a bit. This is a formula which is tried and true – but why break anything that works? A helicopter sequence, vehicle section and a sniper section may not be very original, but they are wholly enjoyable none the less.
Medal of Honor will last you a goof 6 hours to finish – but that’s excluding the multiplayer implemented as such. The Multiplayer is an entirely separate deal, running on the frostbite engine and developed by DICE. The game is your standard run-of-the mill shooter. Different classes with different guns and a levelling system to keep the game fun and challenging. Instead of perks and abilities, you get to pic gear, ammo, barrel-type and even camo for your soldier. No “see-through-wall” perks or killcams here, ladies and gents. As opposed to other shooters, however, MoH has a scoring system. You are awarded a set amount of points for killing players, handling objectives, performing knife kills or headshots e.g. which keep the player styles varied.
Scoring points will increase your ‘score-chain’ which, in turn, lets you call in different score-chain actions – be it offensive or defensive.. Defensive score-chains are, e.g., stocking up ammo for your allies or supplying them with flak-jackets. You may also go lone-ranger and pull in some air-to-surface ballistics, if that cathes your fancy.
As a closing comment, I’d ike to point out that I played the beta of MoH and I hated it with a passion – things have, fortunately, gotten cleaned up nicely. The lag has gone, and players are no longer bullet-sponges. A-box shots kill.