Medal of Honor Heroes 2 Wii Review
Medal of Honor Vanguard, like other FPS’s on the Wii before it, didn’t allow us to get as intimate with the controls as we might have liked, as quite simply they just weren’t up to scratch. With that said I approached Medal of Honor Heroes 2 cautiously and soon came to the realisation that the game isn’t only an enjoyable instalment in the series but also an extremely smooth one.
I can only think that developers have tried to be too clever with FPS motion control, as very few have actually got it right (to be fair many of them may have been still getting to grips with it). Medal of Honor Heroes 2 is one of those few; therefore you’ll most likely get on with the basic controls within mere minutes of playing the game. Indeed the controls are really that good, and whilst I am not at liberty to say as to how the Wii Zapper setup works, I found that using the remote as a pointer gave me instant joy and precision. The controls are vastly improved over the previous Vanguard which means that unreasonable things, such as stance changes, are no longer expected through optional nunchuck gestures, thus changing stances is now simply done with a button press. You can also lean in and out of cover by moving the nunchuck in your desired direction and reload by swinging the remote upwards, which both work a treat, amongst other things. Just wait until you literally get your hands on the shotgun and the bazooka. Indeed, an upward swing of the nunchuck pumps the shotgun after each shot which surely makes Heroes 2 shotgun one of the coolest in a game, and certainly the most tiring. Moving on, the remote also acts as a very small bazooka which you place onto your shoulder, and as silly as it sounds it does actually work.
The controls are customisable to the smallest point which means if you aren’t satisfied with the default scheme you can tinker with the setup in the options menu. Please don’t take the word customisable lightly, as the level of customising on this very game is really quite extraordinary and stretches way beyond silliness. You can turn things off that you’d prefer to be without (if pumping the shotgun makes you feel like an awkward action star wannabe for example, you can switch it off if you’d like), you can customise the dead zone to determine the point of the screen where your movements will occur, alter the sensitivity of the remote, and more. If you can’t find something you are happy with then all I can advise you to do is to try harder.
The game itself offers no real surprises in terms of structure and returns to its linear roots. Anyone who is familiar with the series will know that you’ll be killing legions of German soldiers, planting explosives and blowing things up, carrying authentic weapons from the period, manning mounted machine guns and more. Planting explosives and using mounted machine guns is actually fresh in how you go about performing these actions, when planting explosives, tilting the remote to determine the amount of time before the big bang, and then setting it with an upward motion of the remote works brilliantly, whilst mounted machine guns are controlled by moving the remote and nunchuck in any direction, a movement that is so realistic that my arms almost felt tired with manoeuvring such an oversized weapon. The remote also doubles as a radio tuner to get mission updates or secondary objectives, a mine detector when you are tensely crossing a minefield (the remote speaker informs you if you are about to put one of your boots on top of a mine) and finally the nunchuck also masquerades as a deadly mortar.
The game itself may not be quite as successful as those amazing controls, although it’s still a great shooter of the first person kind, despite the shoddy AI and enemies seemingly appearing from thin air at times. The eight mission campaign is certainly very short (it took me under three and a half hours to get from beginning to end), but fortunately it’s a very enjoyable one with decent level design and great shooting. What’s more is that whatever your skill level you’ll be able to mow through German soldiers with gunfire, and if you are a “wet-behind-the-ears” total FPS beginner then the lowest difficulty level is rather welcoming in the comforting fact that it has a rather handy lock-on feature.
If you aren’t a perfectionist aiming for all the gold medals and are one of these people who don’t return to campaigns after completion then I’m glad to say that there’s more to the game than that. There’s a fun arcade mode, which basically plays like an on rails light gun shooter, where shooting, reloading and ducking are frequently your only responsibilities. There’s also an online multiplayer mode that include three basic modes (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag), and with support for up to 32 players, it’s actually a record breaker on the Wii. There’s no need to worry about friend codes or anything of the sort, all you need is an EA Online account and you can then search for or host your own games. It works well too with very little lag, although I did experience a few server issues in which I couldn’t connect to any games.
Admittedly I haven’t played every FPS game on the Wii, although Medal of Honor Heroes 2 is certainly the best one that I myself have been in contact with. The controls are fun and are much more responsive than I expected after playing Vanguard, and with the campaign, multiplayer and arcade modes it’s also a very nice rounded package as well. What’s certain is that I’ll never look at a pump action shotgun in the same way again; automatic pumping has suddenly become so old fashioned!