Medal of Honor was the game that started the whole intense first-person wartime fighting genre as you saw yourself running up Omaha beach whilst being shot at by lots of Germans with very big guns. It’s still an experience which sticks in my memory and since then there have been many iterations of the franchise. It’s also not unfair to say it’s been overshadowed by the immense Call of Duty games recently. This reboot brings us the most current fighting experience set mostly in the snowy mountains of Afghanistan and provides a short single player campaign and DICE’s own take on what multiplayer should be about.
The single player campaign is just as short as Modern Warfare 2’s and moves between different groups of troops all fighting for the same cause. There’s a variety of all-out shooting, stealthy infiltrating enemy of camps, sniping and calling in airstrikes from afar and even raining pain down from above in helicopters. It’s all very grandeur and cinematic but, apart from a couple of short moments in the game, it doesn’t feel like there’s anything new here.
The story also isn’t going to win any BAFTAs and moving between different characters over the same looking mountain ranges can be confusing. You quite often end up just moving through the levels forgetting why you’re actually being shot at. Still, the shooting and combat does feel tight and the weapons feel meaty. FPS fans are certainly going to get a kick out of it despite the not so clever enemy AI and some odd invisible walls that stop you jumping down from small ledges or mantling things that are less than knee high.
A really neat game mode is Tier 1 mode which lets you play through the single player missions to score points. These then get uploaded to leader boards so you can see who completed the mission in the best time or, for example, got the most headshots.
It’s the multiplayer where DICE hope there is real future in the gameplay. Set over bigger maps, the game nods to the gameplay of Battlefield where you take areas of land, hold it and push forward, just like in real warfare. The maps may be a bit too big for gamers used to COD but at least it offers something different.
Medal of Honor will certainly entertain you for a while but I can’t help get the feeling everyone will be jumping straight into Black Ops when it’s out next month. It gets an excellent 8 out of 10.
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