Review: Medal Of Honor (2010)
The battlefield has now opened, and EA have made the first move. Is it worth fighting in the desert, or is worth waiting for the jungle? Find out in this review.
Although it has been several years since the last Medal of Honor title, EA have now decided to take the ‘future’ leap and are moving into a realm of realistic battle that is still being written throughout your gameplay.
The Story is single-player campaign based. It takes place from 2002 where you control different characters from a force known as “Tier 1”. The Story line puts you into the eye of several different “Tier One Operators” into battle in Afghanistan. Throughout the story you will also be able to play as a US Army Ranger, a gunner for an Apache helicopter, gunner on the back of a truck and so on. The “Tier 1” campaign takes place of being a part of a different part of the story. To fit in the time frame, the story is based around the aftermath of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. You will take place in the campaign fighting alongside characters from different parts of the United States Military, including the Naval Special Warfare marines. In this part of the game you will be fighting alongside “colleagues” codenamed: Mother, Voodoo and Preacher. Your character is known as Rabbit. You are sent at the beginning of the story to rescue an Afghan informant, Tariq, who has details on the location of Afghanistan opposing forces. You progress through the story line battling you way through hundreds of enemies as you are aiming to collect more intelligence. As the story develops so do the characters and different types of objectives and scenarios make the game feel fresh and vibrant compared to its rivals. The story is very in depth and draws you in, to the extent where a relationship starts to form with the characters from start to finish. The massive amount of different scenarios you face really does make the game itself stand out compared to Call Of Duty. Even though you are only fighting apart of the US Army and Tier 1, both of the campaigns still manage to feel exciting and unique. The game is extremely gripping, with its cut-scenes that portray a strong story. Having said that, the story isn’t amazing, but it does the job. Seriously, who cares about the story when you’re aiming down the barrel of an M16? At times it does seem a bit unclear and sometimes a bit pointless for a cut scene. It’s also a real shame that the game is stupidly short and really does end quickly.
If you didn’t already know Medal Of Honor is a first-person shooter based around modern military combat. The gameplay flows similarly to the Battlefield Bad Company franchise, especially since DICE also worked towards this title’s multiplayer. The gameplay is aims to be as authentic as possible. Playing the game for a good few hours you come to notice that the gameplay is highly enjoyable and easy to manoeuvre, the control layout is pretty straight forward and if you are a player that has already played any of the Bad Company titles you will pick it up with ease. If you haven’t played any of the Bad Company titles the controls do not take too long to grasp. The realism in the gameplay stands out and even though it feels a lot like Bad Company, it works well and still manages to come of unique. The single player campaign that was developed by Danger Close uses the Unreal Engine 3. The gameplay uses recharging health, rather than fixed health points, this is a good feature as it keeps the game flowing. If you are hit, your screen will start to turn red, this is giving you a notification that you are losing health and you must find cover to regenerate. Once you have been in cover for a certain amount of time your
health will regenerate. The range of weapons you receive throughout the campaign is brilliant, and greatly affects all of the story scenarios. There could be times where you are using a turret on the back of a truck shooting the Taliban or finding yourself picking off those terrorists to open up your path. The game play is designed to be realistic, and EA have done a brilliant job, it is story driven really does feel and look like what the US Military would be doing in Afghanistan at this present moment such as raiding terrorist hideouts, hostage rescues and undercover operations. The game also features iron sights as well as reflex sights and other aiming accessories. In the single player campaign, you get the opportunity to adventure into the drivable vehicles available, you will be able to use helicopters, jeeps, bikes, and ATV’s. Medal Of Honor is probably one of the best games (other than battlefield) to utilize the driveable vehicles properly, making them easy to handle and enjoyable to use.
Taking design into consideration, this is the first Medal of Honor title that is based on multiple soldiers battling their way through the Afghan territory. The game introduces a new set of characters and squads for both the US Military and Taliban. As you would of guess majority of the battles take place in the desert and familiar dusty paths. The most noticeable design element that stands out is the squad design of Medal of Honor. EA Have spent allot of time focusing on the sense of making the characters and squads operate and look as realistic as possible. Don’t expect to be facing the opposing forces alone as the game focuses around working in a squad for the objectives. Looking at your team members AI, they react as the consummates professional you would expect. The closest game we can pin point that Medal Of Honor’s AI follows is Rainbow Six, but not as boring. Medal Of Honor’s design actually fills up a lot of the story line of the game, without the graphical detail and well made squads, the story’s brief depth would fall and there wouldn’t be a story to follow.
Looking into the details of the multiplayer and story environments you can see a lot of textures that seem to be slightly bugged and hitched, time from time the games frame rate drops and rendering becomes an issue. There is an understanding that the game does have a lot going on at one time. There are also motion glitches that like to pop up in the single player and sadly time from time the multiplayer. Ignoring the minor environmental glitches the scale of design isn’t too bad and actually looks quite amazing from time to time, especially the lighting effects on both the story and multiplayer modes.
The soundtrack is pretty straight forward, with dramatic music when needed to set the atmosphere. It all comes down to the amazing works of the sound team behind this title. There are so many good points with the overall sound of the game, there’s nothing we could pinpoint that is wrong. The amazing realistic sounds used to show off Medal Of Honor’s capability of making a sniper shot sound so realistic that you feel like you heard the shot in real life (especially during the review as I was wearing Turtle Beach X31) The sound design is truly excellent, trust me, explosions will shake your house down. Coming to the closing credits expect to be greeted with a familiar band that has been known for many hits, and has been in featured in both of the Transformers movies. Linkin Park will soothe you to the end.
Medal of Honor’s multiplayer is one of the game’s strong points. The online was created by EA’s Digital Illusions CE (DICE for short). DICE is famously known for their highly acclaimed Multiplayer System that was behind the Battlefield Bad Company franchise. This time around DICE have put their multiplayer knowledge and have placed it into re-birthing the Medal Of Honor franchise. The multiplayer is class based, with three classes available – Rifleman, Special Ops, and Sniper. During online matches you will earn experience during matches to level up and unlock additional weapons and weapon accessories. For example, at the start of the multiplayer game the sniper class does not have a scope available, you the player must reach level 3 to unlock a combat scope. This process continues throughout the different classes. If you manage to earn a certain amount of points before dying, you will activate a score chain, a score chain gives you the opportunity to unlock a missile attack or a defensive action such as ammo or radar. You can earn multiple support actions per life, ranking up more powerful / better than the previous score chain ability. The gameplay features two opposing sides, the Coalition against the Opposing Forces. As you would of guess the Coalition troops use American equipment such as the M16A4, while the Opposing Forces represent forces similar to the Taliban and use according equipment such as the AK-47. Each weapon class for each side is to have an exact fair balance for both teams. Initially the weapons are just team specific depending on who you play as, although this said it all depends on how well you progress as it will unlock weapons that are available for both sides, as well as unlocking the ability to use enemy weapons, each class goes through 15 levels each.
Medal Of Honor is a sure strong competitor for Call Of Duty. Even though Medal Of Honor fails to be in-depth on the story there is a lot of emphases on multiplayer, soundtrack and variety of gameplay. Surprisingly Medal Of Honor seems to be better than what we assumed, and overall is a great and fresh Modern combat title. The brilliant character work and design elements give the game a beautiful shine, but it’s hard to forget the bad moments with the annoying tearing and glitches. There is no doubt however that the sound team behind Medal Of Honor deserve their own “Medal” since the sound effects are truly brilliant.