Medal of Honor

FamousFive focused on the Single Player campaign while Urbankiwi was way too ADHD to get past the first 10 minutes of single player and raced off to the multiplayer section. So here’s the verdict: 

Urbankiwi: Yeah.. I’m more of a social gamer, so the single player campaign didn’t really draw me too much… However I did give it a try. What i found was something that felt a little too linear. Linear enough that I felt I could run ahead of the team, and if your in easy mode you can Rambo your way to the end. This brought about some interesting consequences, such as enemies spawning right next to me. It was a bit odd, but to be fair I was giving it a go on easy mode… which was… very easy.

FamousFive: The single player campaign was awesome, if a little frustration until you realise how you’re supposed to play the game. Being a strongly linear game with scripted sequences Medal of Honor is no place for Rambo types. You’re part of a team, and as such you have to be a team player and follow orders. Something Urbankiwi never was very good at. Listen to the instructions of your team and don’t try and rush ahead of them in eager anticipation of the next firefight and you’ll soon loose yourself in the dynamics of the game.

It’s a tough battle that Medal of Honor has, a late arrival in the Modern Warfare genre of first person shooters, it will always be unfairly compared to Modern Warfare 2 (MW2). The truth is, these are two different games, and in my book, Medal of Honor gets it right. Where MW2 tried to emotionally engage us by having America invaded, Medal of Honor takes a more down to earth approach, putting us squarely in a conflict that is still raging on the evening news. It does so with a gritty realism that MW2 failed to achieve. The graphics are sharp, the environments varied but similar (all being based in the same area of the world) and he audio is streets ahead of MW2 – and it’s the audio that really nails the immersion into the game. Where MW2 splattered the screen with blood to remind you that you were getting shot, Medal of Honor overloads your auditory senses creating an uncanny feeling of bullets ripping through your body. The audio really is that good.

The emotional aspect of the game comes form the situations you find yourself in, rather than relying of some patriotic notions that half your audience won’t feel. I can’t really go into the details without ruining the storyline, but suffice to say that there are moments that come close to when you found yourself crawling out of the downed Black Hawk in the original Modern Warfare.

Of course, Medal of Honor isn’t the perfect single player game, and it did come in feeling a little short, but for my money, it’s the best Modern Warfare single player experience since 2007.

Urbankiwi: Now the multiplayer is a whole new experience. Its worth to note that the single player and the multiplayer are built on two separate engines. The single player uses the Unreal Engine 3, so very similar to Medal of Honor: Airborne and a couple of other big FPS’s. The multiplayer runs on the Frostbite Engine, the very same used in the Battlefield franchise. So you get yourself a very social, very busy and very dynamic online experience.

Destructive environment works well, although sometimes I wish they added more destructive elements to the maps, and you really do need to be careful about where you run. Duck and cover becomes a very useful tool, and running around like a Halo Newbie will earn you a world or respawns.

Team is vital, if you join a map with a group of soloist then you could be on a hiding to nothing. Working as a team will yield some very satisfying game play.

Famousfive: Once you try out the multiplayer aspect of Medal of Honor, you won’t want to go back to MW2. You have semi destructible environments and a lot of clutter – this is a battlefield that feels like a battlefield. As with any real life battlefield you will find yourself falling to the ground and crying fro you mother quite often until you find you feet and realise that running through the map with your gun set to full auto will only get you a bullet in the forehead. As Urbankiwi said above, team work is essential if you want to master Medal of Honors multiplayer environment, as is map knowledge.

Urbankiwi: There were a few things that annoyed me, firstly was joining battles. It is quick, however you can sometimes end up in a laggy match and when that happens no matter how many times you try to reconnect (even after waiting 10 minutes) you often seem to reconnect to the same laggy match. The good news is that this has only occured to me on one night, otherwise it seems to be well populated with quick connections for Kiwi Gamers.

Spawn points seem to be very predictable too, I did at one stage commit acts of evil camping at an enemy spawn point reaping the rewards (I’m not proud of what i did.. it was for the good of the review).

FamousFive: I haven’t had the luxury of putting in quite as many man hours online as Urbankiwi has and apart from the occasional lag hiccup and once or twice spawning in front of a bullet, things have gone smoothly for me.

Urbankiwi: Overall I like this game. The multiplayer is a lot of fun. If you enjoyed Battlefield 2 you will love this. In-fact i would go as far to say the multiplayer is worth the price of admission alone. Its quick, fun and has a great frenetic pace. Its also great not having to listen to newbie teenagers whining about campers. I give this 3 out of 5.

FamousFive: Medal of Honor lived up to it’s expectations. It has a good solid – albeit a little short – single player mission, that has the added extra of a Tier 1 mode that gives you to opportunity to test yourself against the clock and without the luxury of being able to bum ammo of your team mates. But the long term strength of any decent first person shooter these days is the online component. Having separate developers for the single player and multiplayer aspects of the game has paid off big time for EA, giving their forgotten franchise a much needed reboot. The only thing that could make this game better would be a couple of free maps packs release over the next six to twelve months.

Seeing as I have the last say in this review, I’m going to trump Urbankiwi’s suggestion of 3 out of 5 and go one higher.


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