Medal Of Honor Beta Impressions

Ever wanted to play Modern Warfare 2 with Battlefield Bad Company 2 controls? Me neither. But that’s very much how the Medal Of Honor beta for Xbox 360 feels. It’s made by DICE, the team responsible for Bad Company 2, using the same engine no less. But in place of the Battlefield series’ more methodical, strategic feel, here they are very obviously gunning for the twitchy, fast-paced style of Call of Duty. The maps are fairly small and the combat is frequent and intense.Since the game is so clearly targeting the core audience of the current shooter king, lets compare them…  Unfortunately, Medal Of Honor lags behind Call of Duty in several respects. First of all, the graphics just aren’t up to par. Player models have a strange, plastic look to them, and gun models look far more cartoon-y. There is a levelling system here (one of the core features that make these games so addictive), but it’s all a little bit “meh”, at least in the beta. But by far my biggest problem with Medal of Honor are the controls. The janky, screen-shaking effect is back in full swing when you run. (Speaking of running, if you do, you’ll appear on the enemies radar. Way to promote camping!) In fact, the whole mechanic of aiming down your sights and targeting enemies doesn’t feel smooth at all, it feels lethargic.This wasn’t as much of a problem in the slower-paced Bad Company series, but in a twitch shooter, it just doesn’t work. Despite all of this, the beta didn’t give me the impression that Medal of Honor was a bad multi-player game. It seemed like a decent one. Perhaps, if you are completely burnt out on Call of Duty, you’ll find something to like here. Certainly, you won’t be bothered by a constant barrage of killstreaks in the sky in Medal of Honor, and that will please some people. Also, if you are a person who would enjoy a grittier, less arcade feel, then perhaps the comparative lack of polish here could be a plus. However, to me it seems that for all it’s flaws, Modern Warfare 2 still reigns supreme. Every new “Call of Duty Killer” that comes out just seems to drive that point home further. With Medal of Honor’s multi-player, DICE are trying to compete with a full strength espresso by serving up an instant coffee. It might give you a small caffeine hit, but it won’t really satisfy.
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