by Chris Scott
reviewed on X360
If it seems like there are a lot of problems with Medal of Honor’s campaign that would be because there are a lot of problems. However one area where the game has no issues is in its sound design. The sound design in the game is stellar and some of the best put into a game this year. Sadly the sound design is not enough to redeem the many problems the game has. All in all though the campaign is at the very least, serviceable.
In a game that already had some odd design choices, the single biggest one has to be having developer DICE produce the multiplayer for the game. DICE, the developer behind the far superior Battlefield: Bad Company 2, was tasked with making a competitive multiplayer piece that would compete with other top tier shooters on the market. What they delivered is a serviceable yet feature lacking multiplayer suite.
If one has played Battlefield: Bad Company 2 then there should be nary a problem adjusting to Medal of Honor because the gameplay is near identical minus a couple key Battlefield features. Medal of Honor ships with four different modes (five if you count Hardcore), Combat Mission, Team Assault, Sector Control and Objective Raid. Team Assault is your basic team death match mode. Sector Control and Objective Raid are miniature version of Bad Company 2’s Conquest and Rush modes and Combat Mission is a full scale version of Rush. Included with the four modes, are a total of eight maps, three of which are only playable in Combat Mission. Unlike Bad Company 2 though, the Medal of Honor maps are extra small, to facilitate a fast paced match.
Not everything in the game is pulled from Bad Company 2 though as DICE introduces their own version of the kill streak reward. There are different levels of rewards based on the player gaining consecutive point totals and when a reward is unlocked the player will have the option to give a defensive bonus to their entire team or to call in special offensive support, like a mortar strike, etc... It adds an element of strategy to the deployment and while they can be exploited they do seem more balanced than the kill streak rewards in Call of Duty.
Like many other FPS titles, Medal of Honor has a player investment system but like everything else in this game it too feels lacking. Players can play as one of three classes, assault, special ops and sniper but being as there is no support actions like there are in Bad Company 2, they feel a bit forced. In addition to that, snipers seemingly dominate every multiplayer mode and the unbalance in class selection sucks a bit of the fun out of the game and enables some major spawn camping.
It should be noted that the graphics engine and the quality of the audio for the multiplayer suite is as different from the single player as Danger Close and DICE are. DICE uses their own Frostbite engine for the multiplayer (Danger Close used the Unreal engine) and as should be expected, it works really well. However the practical use of the Frostbite engine does make the game look even more like Battlefield than it probably wanted. The audio sounds fine, guns have a nice pop to them, but much like the visuals it kind of feels like a “been there done that” kind of thing.
Doesn’t mean the requirements
Anyone who has followed the development of Medal of Honor know that Electronic Arts was taking aim at Call of Duty with this title. They missed and in a season that also features Halo: Reach and the latest Call of Duty title, Black Ops, Medal of Honor does not meet the requirements to be labeled a top tier shooter, let alone a recommendation that you should go and play it. Hopefully though Danger Close and DICE can build on what was good about this game and move forward to create something that can genuinely compete in with the big dogs, because a little competition is always a good thing.
Fantastic sound design and amazing lighting effects in the single player. Fun and frantic multiplayer combat.
Extremely buggy, doesn't look good a lot of the time, narrative is a cliche ridden action film.