Medal of Honor PS3 Review

October 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Xbox 360, Features, Reviews

Publisher – EA – Developer – Danger Close – Genre –  FPS – Players – 1-24 – Age Rating – 18+ – Other console/handheld formats – Xbox 360

Like an old war veteran, Medal of Honor is a series that has had many stories to tell in its lifetime. The series has covered a huge portion of the allies World War II campaign, spanning a total of eight console releases since debuting on the PlayStation back in 1999, alongside numerous titles on handhelds and the PC. But, it just had to happen and Medal of Honor has become a lot more modern with the latest release in the series, so modern that it controversially takes place in Afghanistan.

The game is set in 2002 following the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre in 2001 and highlights a number of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. Sadly though, the characters are really bland and I never really cared as to what would happen to them – we’re rarely reminded as to some of them perhaps having family waiting for them back at home, nor do we get to know them as human beings. It’s a sad state of affairs when game stories can’t give us interesting characters in realistic war games, if the likes of Band of Brothers and The Pacific can do it on TV, then where’s our gaming equivalent? But other than that the story is decent enough, although hardly anything truly special.

Right, so Medal of Honor retains its title and remains an FPS game, but the new modern day setting really gives the game a brand new feel. Obviously, guns such as the Thompson SMG, the M1 Garand and the Browning Automatic Rifle are out and in are a number of more modern and up to date weapons. Of course this goes for the enemy Axis too, replaced by the Taliban.

The AI fails to impress. The enemies of the original game are actually brighter than the foes in this one, although Medal of Honor 2010 does show off the danger of the Taliban, whom use the mountains and caves to ambush you.

By far the predominant feature of the game is the shooting and fortunately the developer has gotten it right. It was back in 1999 that many of us believed that FPS games could never be done on consoles, although the N64’s GoldenEye followed by the original Medal of Honor on the PlayStation debunked this theory. In the modern day, this Medal of Honor reboot has some very satisfying shooting: loud, accurate and with some very nice enemy death routines.

The campaign is a very exciting one and, thanks to a number of factors, it does attempt to mix things up. We begin the game in the heavy boots of Rabbit (obviously a codename as opposed to his real name), a DEVGRU operator, but later on you’ll also be taking control of a Delta Force sniper, an Army Ranger Specialist and finally an AH-64 Apache gunner Captain. These different characters largely give you different experiences from one another, which brings about that very welcome variety that I mentioned.

As Rabbit and the Army Ranger you are going to get a lot of action, whilst the Delta Force Sniper has the stealthiest levels, although sadly they’re overly scripted with the game largely telling you what to do. Obviously when you’re inside an AH-64 Apache you are going to be expecting a lot of action with you dropping explosive presents from the sky, well that’s exactly what you get in these very action packed levels.

There’s much to like about the campaign, including the very attractive visuals, whilst there’s some very ugly textures close up, things generally look great during both day and night, with some very nice explosions that often results in a shower of dirt right in front of you. There’s also great detail to be found in the smoke and the guns, while the sound is also generally impressive with lots of battle chatter, memorable enough music and the ear drum bursting sounds of war, but it does cut out at time.

It’s a very memorable campaign, but one that is overly easy (even on hard) and doesn’t last for long enough. A couple more hours would have been most welcome here, although sadly the ending comes out of the blue and this will be a disappointment to those looking for a lengthy campaign. Options don’t end at said campaign though, with Tier 1 and multiplayer modes also included.

If you find the campaign too easy, then Tier 1 will suit you better. In this mode you can choose any campaign level and are against the clock, oh and if you die during one of these levels you’ll have to start the whole thing again. There’s online leaderboards as well, which makes it a mode that will add longevity to the game for many of us.

The environments are pleasingly varied, everything from dusty deserts and towns to snowy mountains.

The multiplayer portion of the game was put together by none other than DICE, yes the folks behind the Battlefield series. Multiplayer uses DICE’s very own Frostbite Engine and presents you with various modes for up to 24 players. You typically can play as different classes, each with their own individual weapons, some of which are unlocked as you earn experience and level up. There are four modes, which all tread a familiar path as far as multiplayer modes go: Team Assault (your regular Team Deathmatch), Sector Control (take control of flags), Objective Raid (destroy and defend objects) and Combat Mission (one team takes on one objective after another while the other team attempts to stop them). There’s a lot to like in multiplayer and it certainly does enough to be mentioned amongst the best.

Medal of Honor is a successful reboot of a series that started life back in World War II (not literally, of course) and has been dragged out of those primitive days into the modern era of war, which is definitely controversial as there’s still soldiers dying and being seriously injured in Afghanistan, although it’s best just to forget about its setting and enjoy it for what it is. The campaign is certainly very memorable whilst it lasts and the multiplayer is very high standard. Let’s hope that it manages to shift the 3 million needed for a sequel.