Medal of Honor Review
|Developer:||Danger Close / DICE|
|Genre:||First Person Shooter|
|Release Date:||October 15th, 2010 (UK)|
|Reviewer:||Richard H (Hezzy)|
Even if you have or haven't thought about purchasing EA's new Medal of Honor (MoH) game, you are bound to have heard the controversy the game has caused in the media. Moving away from the highly done to death WWII era style fighting, EA have made, what I would refer to as; a brave move in updating to a modern conflict, set in the mountains of Afghanistan where US special forces and Rangers face the Taliban or also known as in multiplayer as "Opposing Force". It's been said to be "highly disrespectful" to the current forces operating in the area right now that players are booted into a simulation where you actively have to kill coalition forces.
Pressing on regardless, MoH is in essence two separate games, using two completely separate engines for both single and multiplayer. The single-player game was developed by Danger Close, who used an altered version of the Unreal Engine whilst DICE have very proudly used their Frostbite engine to power the multiplayer. So we have two company's developing one game, it should be awesome; DICE are very good at making addictive Multiplayer Games and EA's studios have an abundant amount of experience so both games should deliver, but sadly they don't.
Starting with the single-player, what you have here is what I would call an interactive movie. It's like being part of all the action parts of any movie based on modern combat, which I must highlight is very enjoyable to play through. Then it ends, it ends just as you start to work out which character you are supposed to be and just as you start to feel like you're getting into the story itself. Truly, I cannot recall a singleplayer FPS game that has been so short.
Whilst the graphics are what I would refer to as industry standard and keeping in mind the length of the game; there is a definite lack of diversity. There is only so much you can do with harsh mountainous terrain of Afghanistan after all, but this also means you don't need a monster rig to take full advantage of the game's graphics.
Whilst I couldn't recall a moment when I wasn't staring at a mountain or abandoned clay hut, I couldn't help feel that it was a refreshing change from your very bog standard urban combat with people in bandanna's popping up randomly from windows and bursting out of shanty town doors. It does still mystify me though; that given the lack of detail that is required of setting, you would have thought the game would have lasted much, much longer.
The single-player missions do have some variety though; you take on rolls of a number of Special Forces soldiers, Rangers and get the opportunity of being a gunner in an Apache as well as using a high powered sniper rifle.
You will also find yourself "painting" a target which uses guided missiles to destroy objectives and to instruct the deadly AC-130 gunship to destroy countless enemies, which can be somewhat confusing for the first few uses but soon becomes very satisfying after you get the hang of it. Where some games seem to be too scared to milk these sorts of features, MoH does not and they manage to use it enough to entertain rather than bore you.
The fight sequences are lengthy yet relevant, this causes MoH to give players an idea of what it would be like to actually fight in this conflict, and unlike some other games we do get some sense of realism.
To summarise the single-player isn't really difficult; you essentially have a polished game that's well worth playing, but is way too short. It's not a game of beauty either and you will not find any massively new gameplay.
I do have to come back to length again though as it's worth stressing that I find it completely bewildering how so little content can be pumped out and it be acceptable to consider this a "campaign". It's the equivalent of going to a movie theatre to see a film and finding out its only a short story.
Moving on to the multiplayer, as previously stated Swedish studio DICE developed this part of the game using the same Frostbite engine used in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. To be quite blunt it feels like an unfinished game, players who endured the clunky, buggy and somewhat familiar gameplay of the beta won't find a huge variance from the original product. Although it runs and plays better, it does feel like it needs work and it has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to beat its main competitor. And since a couple of pieces of downloadable content already available (one free) there is hope.
As for the gameplay, bearing in mind that it technically is a different game, it does feel close to the single-player. Let's start with the good stuff, the sound is superb, in particular the realistic sounding weapons. When you fire a weapon in other games you are often greeted with a light sounding 'pop pop' or 'tatata', but in MoH: multiplayer, you are given an awesome sounding weapon that draws you directly into the game.
However any realism is soon firmly ejected out the window, as there is virtually no recoil on any of weapons and although the damage is listed differently I honestly could never tell any difference. This makes things feel very much like an arcade shooter of old, a 'twitch' shooter if you will.
You will also find yourself dying constantly and not being any the wiser where your attacker was; this is highly annoying as it turns into a game for campers. If you manage to avert the campers and stay alive, the game's UI isn't user friendly enough to make people aware exactly what they need to do. Despite having a minimap and a few pointers; people seem to be more concerned at shooting each other rather than fulfilling the objectives the game offers.
There are several game modes, which unfortunately do feel like recycled elements of similar games, I suppose this doesn't surprise me given the crowded genre. There are also a few vehicles, but only a few, which almost makes them a pointless really.
However, do not despair completely as EA/DICE have introduced a kill streak style system referred to as "point streaks", where by killing enemies without dying grants benefits such as rocket strikes (mortar strikes) and similar sorts of weaponry.
What does again add to the realism is the sound of soldiers constantly shouting orders and making comments about current actions in the game, this tied in with the weaponry makes it a very beautiful sounding game, which is a let down by the general gameplay.
This sadly isn't enough to convert players from other games, as it doesn't deliver anything new, even the abundant amount of weapons and the slightly new approach to ranking up isn't going to urge players to play on any further. There are simply too many cracks in a game that had been so anticipated. It will be very interesting to see what the future holds for MoH, but one thing is for sure; a lot of work needs to be done.
A realistic and modest attempt to draw fans from similar games, but with an annoyingly short single player campaign and a multi-player game with little meat on the bones, its left me somewhat underwhelmed and a little disappointed. Fans and players defiantly deserve a bit more for their money.
- Well polished single player that will keep you glued
- Satisfying sound and visual effects in both multi and single player
- New setting for a modern war game
Not so good stuff
- Very short single player campaign
- Multiplayer needs attention
- Needs more vehicles
- Not friendly to new players