Medal of Honor

2011-05-04 19:05:02

Medal of Honor, an old franchise rebooted to deliver a fair competitor to Call of Duty. Now as you know I'm a pretty big fan of Call of Duty, I picked up that franchise at Modern Warfare and then rolled back to the original as well as played through to MW2. I stopped at MW2 because after the issue between Activision and Infinity Ward went down, I decided I couldn't justify supporting that franchise with my dollars anymore. Now my brother in law is giving me a copy of CoD:Black Ops so I will eventually have a review for that game, but I do not intend to purchase any more of the CoD franchise after what Activision did to IW. essentially firing off the entire staff.

After the CoD thing went down I decided to give EA's Battlefield series a chance and had a great time with it, I decided DICE was a studio I could get behind, so when I heard about Medal of Honor I knew I had to get it. Picking up the title and slapping it in my console for the first time I set to work on the single player campaign. It opened up with some riding around in a truck that felt very reminiscent to MW2's convoy stage, you're mostly helpless and shit eventually does hit the fan. After the intro is over the gameplay begins and it immediately feels more polished, the teamwork and voicework behind the AI is top notch, they relay vital details about themselves and locations of enemy targets, overall I feel like I'm part of a team, not just a super soldier walking amongst expendable troopers. 

I started the game on hard difficulty, and I will have to say other FPS titles might make hard more brutal than this game, but I definitely felt like I was in an intense battlefield, without feeling that the enemy had laser vision and better bullets than I did. a headshot is a headshot in hard, so if you are good at shooting, you should find the game fairly easy. The story takes place in 2001 Afghanistan, when we are in the process of pushing back AQ and the Taliban out of Afghanistan. You play initially as 2 different Navy Seals part of two detachments, both of them essentially sneaking around and taking out HVT's and dropping air strikes. Eventually the General indicates he wants the army deployed and putting the pressure on AQ's holdings in the hills, so you play for a time as Army Rangers. You are the LMG support for the squad, and the fighting and clearing houses feels authentic. I have family members who have been members of the US Army and combining their description of house clearing techniques and what is presented in this title, they did spot on. The Army Ranger missions really highlight the advantage small unit HVT elimination has over mass soldier insertion, because by the end of the Rangers mission you're holed up in a partially blown out building as mass amounts of AQ are swarming out of their hiding positions to try to take out your team. The enemy fights with guerilla tactics and does it's best to overwhelm you when you are most vulnerable, the stand off with the hundreds of AQ soldiers feels desperate, you get close to running out of ammunition and cover as the AQ demolish your building around you. It's a great use of the engine EA has been using to model damage.

There are some sniping missions in the game where you use a .50 cal barrett to take out targets at extreme distance. These missions feel a lot like the sniping mission experienced in CoD4. Except that you aren't ghillied up snipers to the nines, you are Navy Seals running around open hill country, taking targets of opportunity and retreating behind rock cover as needed. So basically similar but a different more hostile environment.

There is some vehicle missions as well which are a lot of fun. the Helicopter mission is entertaining and hard at the same time, as you are the gunner on a heli, and trying to lookout for targets and laydown the proper weapon on those targets can be hard as the whole vehicles is swooping and arcing to avoid rpg fire. Once again very well done.

I ended up beating the single player campaign in a single night I was so entranced by it. It was very well made but also exceptionally short. I did not however feel ripped off in the slightest. Multiplayer is where most of the replay value is, and it does okay, the maps do get a bit repetitive after a short time, and there hasn't been a lot of additional maps added in, however the weapons, and the environments you play in feel incredible, there's simply no way to express the realistic feel. It is unfortunate however that this realistic feel and gameplay lead to the game being banned from being sold on Military bases, and that the entire armed forces denigrates this game so heavily. All because of a mother of a dead soldier getting upset when she found out you could kill american soldiers in this game. You can do that in pretty much any modern game today. Whether it's CoD, MoH, Battlefield, etc. Any game that has any basis in reality and has a vs multiplayer component becomes an american/other killing spree. Nobody bitches about MW2, or any of the others, but suddenly it's bad to fight Americans vs Taliban. In fact there was such a stir that EA had to retract Taliban as the vs fighters names, instead they are OpFor, which is pretty weak, we KNOW they are AQ/Taliban, you can tell by how they dress in the regional garb, they are way way more authentic Middle Eastern opponents than any game before it. I think there's a lot of weak arguments being thrown at this game, when it's single player component really revels in the glory that is the american fighting forces. This game is a work of art, commemorating the hard fight that the US went through over there, and shouldn't be discarded as rubbish because gamers like to play vs games online.

Altogether this is my favorite game I've played in a long time. A+ effort DICE and I am looking forward to Battlefield 3 which promises more of the same.

Reason Result
Start 10
The game is really short -2
Accurately depicts soldiers in this theatre of war +5
Intense scenarios and dramatic climaxes +3
Realistic multiplayer environments with the most realistic fighting experience to date. +5
Not enough Maps in multiplayer -2
Final 19/10

That's right, Game of the Year material. This game is a MUST BUY if you are an FPS GUY, but if you feel it's too late for this bandwagon, Look ahead to Battlefield 3, it looks like it's going to be even better than this game if such a thing is possible!