Medal of Honor Review
Information At A Glance
Medal of Honor is a Xbox 360 game in the FPS genre. The game was published by Electronic Arts and developed by Danger Close and EA Digital Illusions CE. The game has an ESRB Rating of M (Mature 17+) and was released on 2010-10-12. The game's official site can be found at www.medalofhonor.com.
|Overall Game Ratings|
A well-designed reboot to a well-known series
Medal of Honor is the latest installment in the series that began over a decade ago on the original Sony Playstation. That game had major involvement from Steven Spielberg and received extremely high scores from critics. Since that release, the series has gone from being an above average shooter to a mediocre one. This current release is meant to reinvent the series and make it relevant again so it can compete with the Call of Duty's and Bad Company's of the world - and for the most part it has succeeded - it's in no way better than either of those series, but with a bit more work it could definitely be solid competitor.
This game tackles an extremely controversial topic - the War in Afghanistan. From what I've read, the initial versions of the game actually allowed you to play as the Taliban during multiplayer skirmishes, but due to external pressure that was nixed in favor of playing as the "opposing force". I personally didn't think it was a good a design decision to allow players to take on the persona of the the Taliban while attacking our troops - but I also don't think the developers should have been forced to censor it. I found the censoring kind of odd considering Modern Warfare 2 had a very controversial scene involving a massacre at a Russian airport (with you pretty much playing the role of a terrorist during the scene). In some ways, Modern Warfare's sequence of events is even more controversial than those that would have occurred in Medal of Honor.
The single player mode was really well done. Despite the controversy regarding the Taliban in multiplayer mode, their presence remained in the single player mode (although you don't ever actually play as them - you only battle against them). During the main story arc you play as several different characters and character classes including a covert ops specialist and a sniper. To provide a little variety there are several sections where you get to call in air support and a section where you get to drive an ATV. Overall, the story and pacing of the single player experience was very well done. The productions values were also very high - everything from the graphics, the music, the sound effects, the special effects, etc. were all excellent. My only gripe was that it was a bit on the short/easy side. Playing on the highest difficulty, I managed to complete the entire game in under four hours. I would say that Medal of Honor's "Hard" difficulty is about the same as Call of Duty's "Normal" difficulty. Also, I only died about five times over the course of the entire game.
The multiplayer is where the game let me down. You get to chose to play as one of three classes - a sniper, a rifleman, or a member of special ops. Each class can be leveled up to 15 (which takes about twenty hours per class) and at each level you unlock a new perk (such as a new weapon, a new ammo type, or new scope type). There are also four main online modes - "team assault" which is basically a team deathmatch, "objective raid" where you must blow up or defend certain objectives, "sector control" which is basically a variant of king of the hill, and "combat mission" which is like a mini-campaign mode where you and your team move across the map fighting over various control points. All of these online modes allow up to 12 players per side and each of the modes is fairly fun. The unique feature of the online is that once you get a certain kill streak you are able to use a special ability. You can either decide to use a defensive support action and help out your team such as providing everyone ammo, armor, etc.. or you can decide to use an offensive support action and attack the enemy using things such as mortar strikes and cruise missiles. It's a cool idea in theory, but I feel most players won't ever get to use the more advanced support actions because they will die far too often. And this leads me to my biggest problem with the mulitplayer component of this game - balancing. The sniper class is way overpowered and the online has degenerated into one huge camping session. The developers tried to combat this problem with a patch, but unfortunately it still exists. After being sniped on multiple occasions I finally took the approach "if you can't beat em, join em" and leveled up my sniper class and became one as well. I was eventually finishing every round in the top 3, but wasn't having too much fun. I personally prefer a more fast-paced gaming experience so even though sniping was effective, I didn't find it very fun. Once I finished getting my sniper to level 15 (for my tier 1 achievement :) ), I stopped playing multiplayer altogether.
The final thing I will mention is that if you like easy achievements then you will like this game. You can easily max out all 1000 points in under 25 hours. The only difficult achievements being fire controller (use all support actions at least once) and completing the entire single player campaign in Tier 1 Mode (basically you have to finish each mission under a certain par time without dying). The Tier 1 Mode achievement wasn't too bad except that I kept being disconnected from EA servers for unknown reasons and had to restart several levels because of it. One final thing I feel I should note is that this game makes use of EA's game pass - so basically only those who buy the game new (or purchase a $10 "pass") may fully enjoy the game's online component. Others (i.e. those who rent the game or buy used) will only be able to play the game for 1 week before the online modes are locked. However, seeing as you can get all of the online achievements in this time frame it is not a huge issue with this release. Overall, this a fairly competent shooter and with a bit more work on the mulitplayer side it could easily become one of the greats. I'm looking forward to the inevitable sequel :).
Review Posted By AllYourBaseBelongToMe On 2010-12-22 At 14:57:02