Medal of Honour has been an absolutely huge success on multiple formats most notably on the PC, fan sites have popped up everywhere including one by a friend of mine. Now after waiting for the Xbox release and having PS2 users gawp and laugh at our longer wait, we finally get our teeth into what if done properly could be an amazing game.
Straight from the start you feel yourself get very patriotic especially if you are an American as you yourself are an American Operative so expect plenty of speeches and all manner of patriotism. As a Brit I am quite happy to go along with the ride.
The music is certainly what grabs you from the start with a very delicate start building up to be a quite sentimental and a perfect style for this type of game.
The game starts on the D-Day landings. Very good choice as this is an amazing scene right out of the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’ which I’m sure most of us remember for the chilling realism portrayed. This game is no different and with the added extra of a Dolby Digital 5.1 system sounds just superb as the bullets are pinging around your ears and explosions and water splashing engulfs your little tinny craft.
The problem with this is that the scene although not graphically splendid by any stretch of the imagination is very adrenalin pumping and really grips you. This means that the later levels seem quite slow and less thought out. This is not a bad reflection on the rest of the game as the game as a whole is very entertaining and I wasn’t bored at all from start to finish which is quite a rarity these days for me.
Yes the game is graphically quite plain and the textures (yes I know I go on about textures a lot, but I do feel they are very important) are extremely standard looking and no Xbox features have been taken advantage of such as bump mapping or the capability of using much richer textures.
The levels themselves are nicely done with plenty of help and advice if you get stuck. By hitting the back button on your controller you can get a couple of hints if you find problems in the game which you can not solve on your own. Also things like a list of tasks and tick boxes to show your progress all make this game easy to pick up after a few days of being left, allowing you to get straight back into the action. Luckily this game has some very interesting gameplay so the graphics become less dull as you play the game, in fact the lack of features actually helps you become immersed in the story and the objectives required to complete each section.
This game has multiplayer finally and is certainly a nice extra. Although not Xbox Live! it is fun in split screen, but alas no system link option which is always much more fun then just split screen, but at least we have the option.
With 19 missions this is quite a short romp on easier settings and I myself completed it in less then two days of it arriving. However on harder settings ducking and diving is required rather than on easier settings just running up to the enemies and shooting at point blank range. Another fun feature of this game is throwing grenades. The enemies if given time will pick them up and throw them back at you which scared me to death when I saw it happen the first time. Certainly makes you think a little bit more when you use such tactics to flush an area out.
The weapons are nice enough and there are 18 to acquire. Don’t expect all powerful as we are talking about World War II here not Unreal Championship with lasers and missiles. You do however come across more powerful weapons that you can use like machine guns. Also note though that when these become available, it normally means you are about to have many troops coming at you so be ready. If this wasn’t enough for your demands facing tanks and mortars should make life a little bit more interesting. Although tanks take a while to rotate their turrets, once aimed you can be killed very easily.
There is also the opportunity to sabotage vehicles, find hidden documents and change into an officers uniform where fire button becomes the button to show your documents of who you are.