Random Review: Medal of Honor

This is one of the few sequels that doesn’t have a number or subtitle.  It should be something like “Medal of Honor: Tier 1” or something, as the game was mostly following some Tier 1 special forces operators through the storyline.

medal of honor

Like the Call of Duty series, I played through MoH on the hardest difficulty (until I saw the “Tier 1 mode” or whatever that I didn’t go back through and play).  But unlike recent CoD games on hard, I didn’t see any real “bugs” with the “good guy” AI.  And the special forces guys in this game could shoot.  While you, as the player, still have to do the majority of the work, the computer controlled players could at least draw fire and provide cover so that you could flank the bad guys.  So for this game, I don’t have to write a version of my “letter to my idiot squadmates” posts.  The effectiveness of my squad did make the game feel a little easier than CoD, but it did make me feel like a good player on a great team, instead of the great player on a crappy team.   However, the game not being as hard didn’t make the game any less enjoyable.

The scenarios and script of the single player campaign seemed very realistic. In fact, some of it seems to be loosely based on the real life situation that was documented by Marcus Lattrell in his fantastic book Lone Survivor. Some other parts of the game were so engrossing that as things started to unfold, I actually was getting worried.  In one section, you’re fighting your way down an Afghan mountain with a small squad of soldiers, vastly outnumbered by the Taliban.  You’re trying to call in close air support, but things just aren’t working out.  You’re hiding in buildings that are slowly getting destroyed by small arms fire and RPGs, and you continue to fall back.  All the while, your squad-mates are counting down ammo.  Soon, they start firing kill shots only.   Then you start hearing “last mag!” and other not good commentary.  When the radio guy tells command to use the air support to help another group because we’re about to be overrun and it would just be a waste of time… At this point, like my squadmates, I’m also getting very low on ammo, and I’m starting to freak out…back in the real world, on my couch, my heart is racing!

There was also a section where you get to be the gunner in an Apache (my favorite helicopter of all time).  Surprisingly, on the hardest difficulty, I got through it pretty quick, and I was only using the main gun.  When playing through again later on easy to pick up some achievements I missed, I realized that the apache also had rockets, and I never used them on hard!  I died a lot more on that section on easy than I did on hard.  But it sure was fun!  Now someone needs to make a game featuring my favorite airplane of all time, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, aka “The Warthog”, but that’s a discussion for another day!

The multi-player was Ok.  I liked some of the progression aspects, but I think the Call of Duty franchise has a better overall system for that.  As a new player unfamiliar with the maps, I was getting sniped far too much for it to be a lot of fun though.  In the Call of Duty games, after you get killed by another player, you see an instant replay from that player’s point of view, so you can at least see where the person is camping as they kill you over and over…

There was a lot of hub-ub when the game was coming out that in multi-player, one side was good guys, and the other side was the Taliban.  There was a huge negative press that you get to be the Taliban.  After EA changed the name to the more generic “OpFor” (opposing force) that is used by militaries around the world in war games (and used in the Call of Duty series of games set in modern day), the rhetoric didn’t seem to calm down much, and Exchanges on military bases still refused to sell the game.  I wonder if they ever sold “Counterstrike”, or the Call of Duty games.  In counterstrike, one side was always the “Terrorists”, and the other was trying to rescue hostages or defuse a bomb planted by the terrorists.  The Call of Duty games always had one set of players being the Axis and the other side the Allies.  Personally, I don’t see the big deal, particularly since the game is rated Mature.

All in all, I thought it was a really good game, and can’t wait for the sequel (bring on lucky number 13 in the franchise!)

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