Medal of Honor has been around for a very long time and has taken place mainly in the days of World War 2 and has focused on the events that have been important to the victory of the allies. Now this game has finally jumped into the current conflicts and has had a complete reboot which is a good thing because I honestly think that they were running out of ideas for new World War 2 conflicts. The story has now been taken to the current Afghanistan war and is based on some of the missions that have been performed by real world operatives in the field with a few changes to the details. These scenarios are spread out over a few characters with all the stories having an effect on the other members that you get to play as and every mission that you have to go through gets you more attached to the characters that you play.
The gameplay of Medal of Honor is very similar to that of other shooters on the market today such as Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 so if you have played that game you will be able to simply jump into this game without very much adjustment needed. The controls are very similar to the Call of Duty franchise and this is a great thing because players don’t have to learn new button configurations and let’s face it, they work great and if it isn’t broken, then why fix it? A nice feature of this game is that when you are running and hit the crouch button then your character does a slide into cover, this is a nice touch and does help getting to cover more fun and realistic. Throughout the campaign you are accompanied by either one or three teammates depending on this mission and they really do drive the story forward. The chatter between them is pretty constant and does give depth to the game and definitely helps to tell you what to do without losing the immersion that has been established. These teammates also do a great job at helping you clear the path to your objective and don’t feel like they are just put into the game to take up space. There is one slight problem with the AI that is helping you, they do get stuck once in a while and unless all the members of your team are present then the next objective will not pop up. I had this happen when a teammate got stuck on a bush while making my way through a village, to fix it i had to backtrack to find him and nudge him free. This is a slight inconvenience but because there are no infinite spawn areas you won’t be mad because you lost ground to the enemy.
The graphics in this game are spectacular, the opening sequence itself show a lot of polish that has been put into the game, and the polish i seen throughout the entire game without as much as a hiccup. The enemies, teammates and environments look great and great detail was given to position objects around the environment so that they fit well with the scenery and did not look out of place. The lighting was very well done and made the game look very pretty as well as gave a good sense of the time of day, it didn’t look out of place and the shadows popped up where they were expected. The cut scenes in this game were definitely not done in real time which is not a bad thing because this allowed for more detail to be added to these cinematic. With actors and the accompanying animations flowing beautifully it was a pleasure to watch the cut scenes as a reward for all the hard work that you did in the previous section. Once the pre-rendered cut scenes were finished the game engine took over and the action continued seamlessly though at a slightly lower resolution. This is again a great touch at not losing the immersion of the game since there is no real stop to the action once it starts. The only graphical glitch that i found myself getting annoyed at is the use of chain-link fence with the draw distance being very noticeable. This wouldn’t be a problem if it didn’t leap out on the screen on both the PS3 and Xbox360 version considering a few parts of the game require you to move along a chain-link fence. As insignificant as this is, it does take slightly away from the overall immersion of the game.
The game itself is very well done with a lot of interesting locations and great mission design. As the player you will not find many dull moments that will have you wanting to quit the game but you will want to know more and more. Though right when you get a really good feel for the game it ends, the ending is well suited but overall this game feels a bit short. EA tries to rectify this by adding Tier 1 mode which allows players to play through the campaign without checkpoints and making you gun for the best time in a competitive online leaderboard. This mode can get frustrating though because if you die, you start the mission from the very beginning. The players persistent enough to finish all the levels in the par time or better get rewarded with a big fat 100 Gamerscore on the Xbox 360 and a silver trophy on the PS3 however this doesn’t expand the length of the game by much. The difficulty of this game is also something that could have been upped a little bit. On my first play through i had the game set on the hardest possible difficulty and had no problems getting through the majority of the game. This could have been due to the excellent team AI or the very easy headshots.
If you are a fan of the Medal of Honor franchise this is a definite must play because it reboots the story and gives the player a new experience. If you are a fan of the new Call of Duty(COD) games then definitely rent this to get a story and gameplay that is unavailable from the COD franchise however for online fans of COD will be disappointed because that is based on the Dice engine used for Battlefield. (Come back later for a full Online review) With gameplay mechanics well implemented and the graphics looking very pretty this game is a joy to play but leaves the player wanting more because of the overall length of the campaign. However this game should not be glossed over and given the respect the Medal of Honor name deserves, and besides the box art is kick ass and is reason enough to try this game. Remember gamers, Beards equal kick-ass secret soldiers.