In an effort to keep up with the times, Electronic Arts has invested the time and effort to resuscitate their Medal of Honor franchise. Gone are the days of rehashed World War II games and now, EA decided to take a modern approach to the FPS genre. At first, it looks nice and plays decent for a while. Then, the shimmer starts to fade away and you find yourself with a disappointment wrapped up in a pretty package.
There are two components to the game: Campaign and Multiplayer. Danger Close developed the campaign and DICE developed the multiplayer.
The campaign is set in the present day Afghan War. Coalition forces are routing out the Taliban opposition and you play as a Tier 1 Operator; the best of the best of the best. In terms of graphics, it isn't bad at all. It's no Call of Duty but it holds its own. Desolate landscapes, crumbling buildings and different environments give the player a good sense of the challenges ahead. Yet, the areas that you fight on doesn't allow much movement. So, you are restricted to go a particular route to take out the enemy instead of flanking them from the side. What I do like is the option to not have the HUD in the way. By pressing the right button on the directional pad for the consoles, the HUD goes away and there won't be any ammo counts or anything obstructing your view. The character models....not so much. Mainly, they are recycled in looks and A.I. That actually goes for the squad mates that fight with you in the game. I have seen my A.I. controlled squad mates fire upon the enemy at close range only to miss with every opportunity; until I had to take out the enemy myself. Voice acting isn't bad but it feels repetitive, having your squad mates telling you what to do all the time. The game is your standard FPS 6-8 hour completion time. In addition there is a Tier 1 mode in the campaign. It's the campaign but its very difficult and it's timed and scored. Results are uploaded to the leaderboards/scoreboards and it's geared towards those who want most of their time from Medal of Honor.
Now to Multiplayer! Multiplayer is lacking a substance to crucial areas but it's off to an OK start. You have Team Assault (Team Deathmatch), Sector Control (Domination), Objective Raid (Bombing the other players' base) and Combat Mission (Stopping enemy forces from completing an objective and moving on to the next if successful). You have 3 classes: Soldier, Sniper and Special Ops. In addition, you play as the Army Rangers and the OPFOR (formerly known as the Taliban until EA was pressured by the government and critics to change it) Each classes wielding their respective firearm that goes with their class. With you taking out other players online and completing objectives, you gain points that will unlock more weapons and attachments for a particular class. There are many weapons to unlock but mixing and matching the weapons and their add ons can be jarring. Just unlocked that new sniper rifle but can't use that red dot scope you wanted to? Too bad. Start grinding. The maps are huge and using them to your advantage is a key part of doing well in multiplayer. Yet, it just feels unsatisfying by the end of the day. Sure it's fast paced, frantic and the acoustics are amazing but that doesn't take away the things that slow it down. First off is the lack of maps. There are only 2 maps per game mode; bringing it to 8 maps altogether. It gets very boring when you play the same map 3 times in a row and not much choice in the matter. Second, the gameplay gets stale after a while. After playing on the same maps with no variety, it just gets stale for a while. Another issue is the spawning issue. You can choose to spawn in the front lines which can get you to the enemy quicker, but you can get killed quicker as well. One big issue is when you are killed in multiplayer, you have no idea where the killer spotted you for target practice. If I got hit with a stray bullet, that's fine if I knew where it came from. For all that I know, some random player could be firing in a 360 degree pattern from at least half a map away and I could get killed by it and wouldn't know it.
Overall, Medal of Honor isn't a bad game. At the very least, it's a step in the right direction. But, with serious issues bringing it down, Electronic Arts still has a lot to work to do if it wants to roll with the big boys.
Amazing sound effects with the right setup. Fast gameplay keeps you on your toes. Different gameplay modes adds some spice to the mix. Reboot of the series is a good first start. HUD no longer an issue.
Character models are unimpressive. Very few maps for multiplayer. A.I. isn't the brightest for friends and foes alike. Weapon loadouts in multiplayer could use more options. Long load times. Campaign and multiplayer get stale after a while.
Release Date: October 12, 2010 Platforms: PlayStation 3, XBOX 360 & PC Price: $59.99 Rating: Mature Maximum Number of Players: 2-24 Online Publisher: Electronic Arts Developer: Danger Close (Campaign) & DICE (Multiplayer)