The Medal of Honor series has been on the sidelines while Call of Duty has dominated the industry the last few years. Seeing how Medal of Honor was one of the most successful franchises in EA’s gaming catalog, they have brought Medal of Honor back to help them reclaim their position as one of the best fps game publishers around. Medal of Honor may not be the best shooting game of 2010, but from what I have played EA may be able to bring MOH back to its former glory.
One of the things that make this particular Medal of Honor unique is the fact that its story and characters have been created with the help of real life Tier 1 Operators. Tier 1 Operators are some of the world’s most advance soldiers and EA wanted to make sure their game felt like something that actual soldiers would go through. This helped to contribute to one of the most enjoyable single player experiences of the year. The pace of the action and missions are put together very well, but the game doesn’t shine in a few aspects such as meaningful dialog, plot, and character development.
Throughout MOH’s story you control a Tier 1 Operator and a U.S. Army Ranger with missions that overlap each other later on in the story. When controlling the Tier 1 Operator you will encounter more objective based missions, such as acquiring intel, supporting other soldiers , etc. When you are the U.S. Army Ranger gameplay seems to be more about combat, killing tons of enemies via air craft, and surviving insane enemy odds.
For people who are familiar with Call of Duty the control scheme is the same in Medal of Honor, but MOH does have a some gameplay hiccups. For one, sliding into cover has the tendency to miss where you want to land and leaves you exposed for a second. This isn’t a problem though because enemy A.I. is bad and they never takes advantage of great opportunities to kill you. Add in a super auto-aim system that lets your character kill enemies with little effort, and MOH leaves room for improvement in later entries.
If you really want a challenge in MOH, turn auto-aim off and play through the game’s Tier 1 Mode. Tier 1 Mode is a competitive single play mode that increases the game’s difficulty and takes away checkpoints. The goal is to complete campaign levels as fast as possible and upload scores to compare with other gamers around the world. When playing Tier 1 mode there are ways to slow time and better your score such as getting headshots, quick killstreaks, etc. Tier 1 mode is a good addition to MOH’s overall package.
Deserving a lot of praise is Medal of Honor’s sound team. Medal of Honor really excels in the sound category. Everything from the sound of bullets to footsteps sounds amazing with perfect clarity. To go with the amazing sound effects, Medal of Honor has one of the best composed soundtracks for a shooting game ever. The music made me feel like a soldier trying to survive so I could make it home to my wife and child. Don’t be surprised if Medal of Honor wins muliple awards this year for its soundtrack.
As for my overall experience with Medal of Honor’s single player, I had a decent time playing the story mode, but this is one of the shortest campaigns I have ever completed. I beat MOH in one playthrough with a snack break in between in about four hours. I couldn’t help but to be disappointed in such a short story mode.
The multiplayer of Medal of Honor is where EA wants gamers to spend most of their time. As of now the multiplayer consist of 5 modes (no deathmatch) and 8 maps with some of the maps only available on specific modes. Also, MOH’s multiplayer was developed by DICE and the single player was developed by Danger Close causing slight gameplay differences (the most notable are the lack of prone position, no sliding to cover, toned down auto aim, and occasional tank gameplay).
Character selection is broken down into snipers, riffleman, and special ops with a linear level up system as far as upgrades are considered. Also, killstreaks in MOH are separating into offensive and defensive; EX. offensive selection is a motar strike and the defensive on is UAV.
One thing I would like to point out about Medal of Honor’s MP is that every map I played seemed to give snipers the advantage in combat making it not uncommon for half of the people playing to choose the sniper class. Never before in my online gaming existence have I played a FPS game with sniper being my dominant class, but I’ve had to adjust to succeed. This is both a negative and a positive, but playing tactically is a rewarding style of play that adds identity to a Medal of Honor mulitplayer that would otherwise be considered Battlefield Bad Company 2 MP on steroids.
In closing, Medal of Honor is a good first step for EA in the revival of a legendary series. Even with its faults, at the end of the day the game delivers constant entertainment that can turn non believers into fans if given the chance to do so. I just hope that in the future MOH’s single player and mulitplayer modes are created by one developer and they make the necessary changes to provide an online experience that truly feels unique.