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Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor

PC | PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Electronic Arts Official Site: http://www.medalofhonor
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date:
14th October 2010
Medal of Honor

Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Electronic Arts
Official Site: http://www.medalofhonor
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date:
14th October 2010
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Medal of Honor Review
Review By @ 04:46pm 22/10/10
When the Call of Duty franchise boldly went where no World War II franchise had dared to venture before—the less-explored world of modern warfare—they drew a big line in the sand, tempting their biggest competing franchise to follow suit. Medal of Honor stuck to their bolt-action guns though, refusing to evolve their long-running series to the contemporary battlefield.

But after the last World War II romp, Medal of Honor: Airborne, which was for the most part, much the same as every other Medal of Honor game with the exception of a nifty parachuting mechanic, it was clear what had to be done.

The franchise needed a hard reboot with a Tier 1 operative’s boot.

After much hype, a disappointing closed multiplayer beta and promises of a grittier and more realistic first-person shooter experience, Medal of Honor has finally graced our screens. So does it live up to the hype? Not in the ways that it should.

What is clear from the outset is that Danger Close wants you to take this game seriously. The problem with any game that puts itself on the ‘take me seriously’ pedestal is how reliant the game is on player immersion to determine the success of their intent. We PC gamers expect decent graphics to aid with overall levels of immersion. But right off the bat, the graphics were kind of… not good.

Even on max settings the campaign looks mostly meh. While the gun models are pretty sexy and the characters themselves (particularly the friendlies) look rather good, the world is mostly bland in its appearance. Sure, it’s set in Afghanistan, so it’s not exactly the brightest of colour pallets to work with; but considering this bad boy is running off Unreal Engine 3, I was expecting a whole lot more. Of particular ‘not-worthy’ merit, is the downright ugly glass and abundance of flavourless items (cans, lights, boxes and the like) that litter the game world. And then there’s the fact that the multiplayer portion, powered by DICE’s Frostbite 1.5 engine (the same engine used on Battlefield: Bad Company 2), looks a whole lot prettier.

The initial Tier 1 missions are extremely linear and mostly boring, and then there are a host of problems on offer that constantly fight the player to stay immersed. In less than 10 minutes of gameplay, I had seen multiple instances of teleporting enemies, epic physics engine fails from supposedly dead but rather epileptic Taliban enemies, and the worst one of them all: iffy hit registry.

While we may have to accept dodgy hit registry as an unfortunate part of the online experience, its presence in any single-player campaign is wholly unacceptable. There were multiple occasions during the campaign where bullets would either a) travel through opponents or b) the hit animation would register but death would not ensue (our favourite being the Taliban baddy who shrugged off multiple headshots from a .50-calibre sniper rifle).

Despite some large outdoor locales and sprawling villages, you are only offered a very limited range of options in terms of where you can move. Medal of Honor is, for all intents and purposes, a corridor shooter that teases you with the possibilities of elevated positions and flanking alternate paths, but consistently blocks you with the presence of ever-ominous invisible walls.

The Tier 1 missions also include some rather pointless ATV driving sections where your vehicle’s trajectory is blissfully unaffected by the many rocks it rolls over. Mission directions aren’t always as clear as they should be and then there’s the requirement for you to be within a rather limited magic circle to cue the next set of events or everyone stands around with their thumbs up their digital arses.

The enemies come from the same spots/direction every time (even if you reload a particular section), while the game ‘cheat kills’ you if you dare to disobey your teammates instructions for too long. And then there’s the AI. Both friendly and enemy AI are atrocious: friendlies get stuck in their movement or have a penchant for running in front of you when firing, while the opposition isn’t challenging or clever, even when playing through on hard difficulty.

There were multiple occasions where I had to restart from an earlier checkpoint to progress past portions of the campaign that had glitched out and, worst of all, a particularly damning level that I had to restart in its entirety to circumvent an otherwise impassable bug.

But perhaps the biggest heartbreak of Medal of Honor is when the game actually works. When you step away from the Tier 1 perspective and into the boots of The Rangers, the pacing picks up incredibly. Most disappointing of all, every level from the first Rangers level on transitions so seamlessly to the next with some genuinely tense sections on offer that it makes you wonder at what could have been had the game addressed some of its unattractive flaws.

Those who are big on in-game sound design should, at the very least, spend some time with Medal of Honor to experience what has to be the best feature of the game. Gun shots and explosions have a believable weight to them, while subtle audio cues such as how your weapon sounds when it’s running low on ammo are a welcome touch. The mostly subtle score also serves to inject some much-needed emotionality into the few wholly immersive sections of the campaign.

Depending on how easily you can forgive the aforementioned problems with the campaign will ultimately determine your overall engagement with the game. But at the end of the day, by the time the end credits were rolling and some sort of emotional ending was unfolding, I was so frustrated with my Medal of Honor experience that I didn’t care. Couple this with the highly scripted nature of the campaign and a rather short length (around six hours), and I don’t see myself ever revisiting it.

While the closed multiplayer beta was extremely underwhelming, the recent release of the short-lived open beta made Medal of Honor’s multiplayer potentially appealing again. Particularly considering how addictive Bad Company 2 is, I was really looking forward to losing some hours in the online portion of Medal of Honor. DICE has tried to find a happy middle ground between the fast-paced and ‘deatmatchy’ nature of the Call of Duty games, and the play modes/team-based emphasis of Bad Company 2.

This sounds fantastic on paper, but in reality only serves to highlight some of the weaker elements of Bad Company 2 when the destructible environments are stripped away. Yes, destructibility is not a big part of Medal of Honor, unless you count the obligatory splintering of wood-based cover.

There is a steep initial learning curve, particularly if you didn’t cut your teeth on either of the betas. Although a so-called team-based game, there is a major emphasis on rewarding individual player progression over completing objectives as a team. Why attack/defend said objective when you can find a nice cosy corner to pitch your tent and level up each of the three classes (rifleman, special ops and sniper)? In DICE’s defence, you do earn more points for completing team objectives, but not enough to justify the whole team working towards them. Then there’s the inclusion of ‘Score Chains’ (essentially the same as ‘Killstreak’ rewards from Call of Duty multiplayer) for scoring consecutive kills that offer a choice of offensive or team-rewarding ordnance. Again, the problem is that the more selfish offensive rewards are infinitely more appealing than their team-friendly counterparts.

Levelling up a particular class grants access to weapon attachments and, more importantly, much better weapons. The sniper class in particular is not new-player friendly, with the two initial rifle choices (a semi-auto and an old-school AWP-like rifle that seems to kill with one shot, even in the leg) only sporting a non-magnifying scope; hardly ideal for picking off long-range targets, particularly when said targets have unlocked more powerful scopes.

If you try to play multiplayer, as I did, like an aggressive Modern Warfare 2 player, you will die a lot. It’s only after you get into the habit of moving to cover, scanning for target and moving again that you are rewarded with extended digital life. After you start unlocking new weapons and attachments, it starts to get a whole lot more tolerable, but that’s only after a fair share of FPS ‘grind’ against a host of players who have unlocked much better kit than you.

All things considered, I was desperately underwhelmed by Medal of Honor. I genuinely believed it would be a more interesting and serious take on the now popularised modern warfare FPS. As it stands, the campaign was a short and mostly forgettable affair, while the slower pacing of the multiplayer only becomes rewarding after some initial persistence. Here’s to hoping that the inevitable next iteration of the already well-selling reboot applies a lot more spit and polish, and steps clear away from the corridor-shooter approach.
What we liked
  • Some genuinely tense moments of immersion
  • Fantastic pacing from the middle of the game onwards
  • Brilliant sound design
What we didn't like
  • Game-destroying bugs
  • Linear mission structure
  • Short campaign
  • Questionable hit registry
  • Confused multiplayer design
We gave it:
Latest Comments
Posted 06:36pm 22/10/10
Way too kind ! Although I bought the PC version ...... so disappointing !
Posted 06:38pm 22/10/10
Game is crap dont bother buying it..
Posted 10:31pm 22/10/10
5.9 is too kind. Seriously, we all knew what was coming with the terrible betas. They did more damage to the title then good.
Posted 10:34pm 22/10/10
good game didn't like it either
Posted 10:39pm 22/10/10
yeah the campaign is not very fun at all and the guns feel like s***, hammy ham hamham.
nfi how they dropped the ball so badly on this one.
Posted 11:17pm 22/10/10
Absolutely positively a brilliant game for consoles....

Coaster for PCs.
Posted 11:28pm 22/10/10
I agree ! ! :-)

hehehehe good game imo :-)

(not as good as medal of honour tho broxsssssssssssss ;-)
Posted 11:29pm 22/10/10
Gave it 5 minsutes in SP and went back to MP though probably one of the most frustrating MP games I have played yet enjoyable.
Posted 01:41am 23/10/10
Absolutely positively a brilliant game for consoles....Coaster for PCs.

You Trollin'
Posted 06:41am 23/10/10
yeah the campaign is not very fun at all and the guns feel like s***, hammy ham hamham.
nfi how they dropped the ball so badly on this one.

Probably were under pressure to release it before Black Ops
Posted 09:25am 23/10/10
Was it just me or did the game/EA/DICE try a little to hard to make Team America Fsck Yeah look fscking awesome ?!?

Correcto on the console comments. Such a poor attempt at a port.
Posted 09:37am 23/10/10
A really average game. The Singleplayer was okay but it suddenly ends and make you feel cheaped out.

The graphics are really dated (especially for a PC game) and the SP mode is so scripted it make you feel like you're being funneled down linear corridors (even outside).

The Multiplayer also isn't working for me.

I paid only $22 AUD for it and I still feel like it didn't live up to my expectations.
Posted 10:13am 23/10/10
MP is great, people just need to adjust to the game.
Posted 06:28pm 23/10/10
It's honestly not reLapse. The map environment is well done, sure. But everything else is just so f-ed up. Spawn points, guns being like laser rifles, snipers being the dominant weapon, shotguns killing people 100m away, streaks lackluster and for a team encouraging game, it doesn't really say "go team" much.
Posted 12:02am 24/10/10
buggy pos is buggy. finished the SP today and i could only ever pick out the flaws.

Played it through hard but it wasn't even hard? i could take like 20 shots from baddies and not die then any challenging part was met with you calling down a strike of deathfromabove. The triggers in each mission was lame. In one particular part I was getting cheesed off at the game so instead of sneaking i just rambo'ed in so the way the game thought it would make it harder was to.. spawn AQ right on top of me...

And for some reason my mouse is lagged to s*** when i load it up and it i have to toggle vsync on/off before it fixes itself..weird

You cant help but compared the SP to MW2 sp.. and this attempt is just really sad.
Posted 07:52pm 24/10/10
Eorl no game has a good spawning system, snipers aren't dominant on the pc, shotguns definitely do not kill from that far away and the streaks are anything but lackluster.

I play it, sounds like you don't.
Posted 08:55pm 24/10/10
Wow, I never thought this game would be 'this s***'...

Lets hope Black Ops will be a much better game eh?
Posted 08:59am 25/10/10
reLapse, Doom had a good spawning system. Have you actually played that?
Posted 02:08pm 26/10/10
@reLapse, from what I played, it sure as hell was bad. And there are a lot of other MP games that have better respawning then this pos. Hell, css has better respawning.
Posted 07:19pm 27/10/10
I actually enjoyed the game. Short SP, granted, but the MP is pretty solid. Good tight maps, fast, and interesting.
Posted 12:31pm 28/10/10
@Eorl CSS TDM respawning is just as bad as any other game, you always spawn near someone else.
Posted 06:14pm 28/10/10
I just finished the single player and loved it. Great stories and cutscenes. Prone and lean are an awesome thing. Only one crash. I think 5.9 was too harsh.
Posted 08:38pm 28/10/10
infi likes any game where you get to shoot Hajis.

Needless to say, i'll be renting this out on the xbox for an over night bash.
The GuVna
Posted 01:25am 29/10/10
Posted 01:48am 29/10/10
Hahahahahah, that's gold guvna!
Posted 10:56am 29/10/10
So - am I reading correctly that the console version is preferable to PC (which is what I would normally prefer)??? Even with the reviews I know I will end up buying it...
Posted 11:00am 29/10/10
Might check it out, see how I go.
Posted 09:53pm 29/10/10
SP is hit and miss. i enjoy the simplicity of racing thru the levels and only using pistol (unlimited reloads) and trying to knife as many as possible. hell, im even having more fun than COD6 SP cause im not havign to wait all the time for blood on the screen to die down from the millions of enemies that just keep coming at you.

MP i have love/hate relationship. Some games are great and i pwn while others i get spawncamped or cant move from A to B without some camping sniper nailing me a mile away with no deathcam to spot the little bastard. I hated COD6 due to terrible ping and enjoyed BFBC2 but found it too team-orientated which is great when with buddies but i have none. Hence, MOH is a mix of both. Run and gun similar to COD but bunnyhopping style gameplay doest work too well and less teamwork required than BFBC2.

I would never, ever touch console though. Im terrible with gamepad and dont see how console could ever play better apart form the ability to hire out and finish campaign in a sitting or test MP then return the day after.
Posted 12:02am 30/10/10
I do like smokin Hajis but I am also partial to the AK....

Also no lean or prone in MP BLOWSSSSSS wtf they are two different games. But its still pretty damn fun, definitely an improvement over BC2 even though its basically the same engine.
Posted 10:46am 30/10/10
typical.....once again it sounds like their catering for console market and pfft to pc gamers :(

save my coin for a couple of slabs.........
Posted 04:31pm 30/10/10
also there is no split screen multiplayer.
wtf is with that?
Posted 05:42pm 04/11/10
I don't mind the MP... Sometimes frustrating but rewarding when you can get around and Knife those F'in snipers that camp. If you’re gonna run out in the open, throw smoke first!
Posted 09:36pm 04/11/10
Rented this to play the single player campaign and smoke some Hajis.

Though i think at the moment i'm the one being smoked. Suck s*** USA!
Posted 12:10am 05/11/10
lol, MP is f***en awesome. way better than cod4 and BC2. cant comment on mw2 cos i never bought the POS.
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