Thursday, 4 November 2010

Medal Of Honor

Good morning troops! Are you ready for todays review? Again we have another very generous guest review from Mr White, this time on the recently released Medal of Honor, take it away sir....

Medal of Honor… Technically Medal of Honour (Notice the “U” that I used?), but you know, you guys are American and can’t help yourselves
Well, this is the latest instalment in the ongoing series, as well as the first one to be set in the Modern Day era compared to the usual Second World War theatre of operations. The publishers have been trying to get us all hyped over this title for sure, more so than any previous MoH game I can think of, so is all the hype deserved?
First impressions were promising. The menus and interface in the game are aesthetically pleasing; they ooze with that military technology

look that we all love in our games. But this game really has to be reviewed in two separate entities, one in singleplayer, and another in multiplayer because they’re so different.

The Singleplayer
First off, they’ve really done a good job on the graphical side of the game. The facial detail is about the best I’ve seen in any game of

this genre. General environmental detail has been highly focused on too, little props everywhere make the game much more involving with the player, and really helps you get into it. The story is pretty much similar to any other game of this type, but I won’t ruin it for you, you may think it’s startlingly different – But it isn’t, sorry for the buzzkill.
So it’s all new and shiny with a lot of work put into it, but it’s lacking innovation and ingenuity. It still follows the typical linear

pattern of every previous Medal of Honor game, and encounters can usually only be solved in one very specific manner. The game is guiding you, rather than you choosing your own way. Now I know it must be very difficult to make an expansive game whilst still getting the objectives to work, but take a look at Half Life 2; that game really does show you how you how the player can make their own choices to allow them to tackle an obstacle in whatever way they see fit.
Another nail in the coffin for singleplayer is the playtime. Customers will have shelled out around £30 for this game, and the singleplayer

is only about 5 hours long; and that’s frankly a bit insulting. Coupling this together with the common storyline and linearity, Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare blows it clean out of the water. But! I hear you saying “What if the multiplayer is absolutely awesome!?” (I filtered out the typical hacker talk, as well as “lulz” and other such depravities)

The Multiplayer
…is disappointing. EA had DICE do the multiplayer for the title; so it is completely different to the single player in how you play it (Different engine), weapons act differently for example so the continuity is missing somewhat. DICE have made some excellent multiplayer games, best exhibited by Battlefield Bad Company 2 in my mind, but they haven’t excelled here. From BF:BC2, this feels like a step backwards, into quicksand. They’ve taken all the neat stuff out from BF:BC2, and replaced it with a limited selection of load outs, then tried to botch on some new gameplay elements to make up for it. Players can call in Mortar Strikes, Rockets, Artillery and everything else up to a SCUD missile. Sorry guys, this has been done before. Call of Duty called… they want their idea back.

Worst thing is though, they’ve taken elements from other games, and have employed them so poorly they add nothing to the game, just detract from it even more. As per usual the game is riddled with problems that every EA game seems to be plagued with nowadays. In game, the problems are a part of the architecture they’ve created; cramped maps leading to unintelligent spawn zones, further leading to spawnkilling of biblical proportions. Hitboxes and Hit Registration are also appalling. Here’s a taster:

You’re running across the map, desperately trying to gain ground. Some impolite so-and-so has opened up on you, you’re taking hits, you aren’t going to last, you run for cover. Doing that excited jolt you urge your player to run faster to stop yourself from dieing and your precious k/d ratio from being tainted, you dive behind a rock. Safety! Oh wait a minute, sorry, you died.
This scenario is all too common, duck into cover, and find yourself die. Repeatedly. Oh, and I forgot to mention the server problems they’re having too, where reportedly in some places, up to 90% of players are finding it difficult to join a server because the “EA Connection is not currently available”. Their quality assessment at EA must be unrivalled…

Final roll call!
EA have once again managed to release a game promising much, and delivering little. The singleplayer is too short, too linear, and too average. The multiplayer is tiresome, repetitive and buggy-to-boot. I don’t believe this game warrants the necessity of a Medal of Honor title, it has nothing to do with the previous series, and I suspect it’s just to get more veteran players to buy the game who loved the “true” series. The graphics and detail are impressive, the game is visually very impressive; but having stunning visuals doesn’t compensate if the gameplay is flat and stale. The bugs may be ironed out in time, but they should have been done during development. EA have become notorious for released partially finished games, and this is no exception.

It’s a game sliced in two, poorly sewn back together, with some so called “improvements” poorly bodged on top. If you’re a fan of the Medal of Honor series, don’t get suckered in.

(Score? About 6.5 out of 10)
And there we go, thank you for the words Alistair! And for those that need visual stimulous like me, here is a video of the game in action:

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