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Medal of Honor: Beta Thoughts

So this guy was all up in my house wondering… “What’s on the television set?” and being the old fashioned type of dude that I am, I replied to him: “Looks like a penguin…” then he’s all like, “You stole that from Monty Python,” and I was all like… “No… there is a penguin on the set,” because at the time, I had a pet penguin I called Pub-the-dub and he liked the heat of the television set so he stayed up there. So then we got into this fight, and yada-yada-yada I started to play this game. Oh hi! I’m Tristan Wong, one of the writers for this fine site and recently I got my hands on something… something divine… something rich, something that involves a certain director named Steven Spielberg. This game is so legendary, I can’t even remember it’s divine na—wait… it’s in the title of this article, what the hell am I thinking…

 

Yeah… this old ass game is back from the dead.

I wanted to try this game because it looked fairly interesting and being that it’s set in contemporary modern times (gee whiz… modern warfare much?) and I was all hyped and what not… this could’ve been porn for military nerds if it really wanted to be. The beta of this fine game is a multiplayer only, so I will only take you through that portion as the singleplayer remains under wraps… I wonder what happens through the story though? Boy sees boy, boy trains boy to be an evil terrorist impersonator and then gets part of an elite anti-terror unit known as Tier one… than you do things, then you’re dead. Pretty accurate story, wouldn’t you say?

 

Modern warfare is going to turn out to be like world war II… out played and outdated, like this screenshot tells… familiar sight, is it not?

 

So in the beta, you start off by making an account… big whoop. What, you want me to explain it to ya? Make an EA account and you’ll get an accurate depiction of what the process is like, have a nice day. After that, you choose between one of two modes… combat mission, and team battle.  One of the two modes will feel instantly feel familiar to those who played the recent Bad Company 2 game… and that one mode is Combat Mission. Combat Mission is just another fancy way of saying… Rush. You have one team defending these points from the other team, and that’s it. That’s the premise of the game-mode… nothing special, just assault here and go. And if that wasn’t enough, there were APC’s there to really irritate the skin.

 

May as well put this here… there isn’t a difference between the two games so far.

Now the combat mission gametype requires excellent team work, and excellent precision shooting. Without it… well, I should be calling you a bit of a wanzer as party chatting will not get rid of that APC on this map and since many engagements are taken at long-range (sometimes close range if the opposing teams actually decides to assault instead of bombarding you with sniper rounds). Trust me, I’ve seen men just sit there with their assault rifles kicking ass and taking names… yet they complain every which way about the APC killing them all the time, news buddy… PULL THE ROCKET LAUNCHER OUT! Choke points, counter-snipers… assault teams, etc. they all need to be reported to your team and if you don’t… well then again, you’re a bit of a wanzer.

 

Insurgents against Americans… I wonder where I heard that before.

The game type isn’t special and the map it was played on isn’t great either. It’s a barren wasteland known as the Valley by many players and it really lives up to its name. It’s just a big valley with some trenches, rock palletting and some interesting pathways to the objective (there are only two… front and back) for the Americans to traverse. There are machine guns posted everywhere, there are tanks to support the infantry… there are intense grenade fights, but in the end… it’s just an uphill battle for the Americans (figuratively and literally) against the insurgents. Snipers rule the map, and rifleman lead the charge… the spec-ops can’t really do much (or engineers, so I can refer to both insurgents and Americans) aside from lay mines and take the tanks out with rocket launchers.

 

There aren’t a difference between the two factions… one guy likes his bandana, one guy likes his safety.

 

There is a considerable amount of Bad Company/Battlefield influence in the combat mission gametype as you are able to deploy back at your new HQ. Every time you successfully hold a target attack area, (you capture what the insurgents are defending), it becomes you new HQ and you can spawn their anytime you want. However if you’re lazy and hate walking, then you can spawn on the frontlines and subjugate yourself to sniper fire… interesting, if not original and no you don’t have a squad to role with like in Bad Company… so you just spawn with some guy and die along with him if he’s being silly.

 

Silliness at it’s finest.

 

Assault and Defend is the best thing to call Combat mission, and as a result you have one other thing that just subliminally makes you want to play Battlefield again… and that’s the ticket system. I know, you will never escape this bloody mechanic and it will always be there to piss you off. Hidden off on the left side of the screen, you have one-hundred tries to capture one base… refills to seventy-five if you lose twenty-five men on any previous assaults, or one-hundred if you lose twenty-four or less… just like Bad Company. It can be a very frustrating mode like Rush was if your whole team doesn’t assault, or just doesn’t want to die like the rest of us. Medal of Honor doesn’t do much to alleviate this problem and many aren’t willing to run into the fray less everyone does so—this mode isn’t and will not be any different if you are familiar with typical Rush games in Bad Company. If it’s any constellation… no medics, so you can last a while in a fire-fight if you go it alone.

 

Things like this… would make this game fresher than Call of Duty.

 

The other game-mode is Team Battle and it’s obvious as to what this is. It’s a team deathmatch, and it feels almost exactly like Call of Duty, except the pace has waned down a bit to match Bad Company… it’s kind of like Bad Company 2 TDM, except it’s on a map that looks like it’s counter-part in Call of Duty. On the map known as the killhouse (Karachi is the name, it just feels like a killhouse), it feels all too similar to the same map from Call of Duty… almost shockingly so. Same apartment buildings, check… has lots-o-places to camp, check… has sniper overwatches… check, whatever am I missing? Oh… noob-tubes, check. This map is so claustrophobic, it made me throw-up in dismay. No matter which corner you go, you’ll get shot or tubed and it ain’t fun in the long run. Snipers rule the alley ways and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a kill.

 

I’m either blind or I don’t see the difference between these two games.

 

There are a couple nooks and crannies that make this game feel sort of fresh… I mean, if you are at least level three with one of your classes, and you have a five kill-streak, you get a mortar strike! Wait a minute… wasn’t that done before? Well, if you shoot a rifle long enough as a rifleman, you get a red-dot sight! Wait a minute… wasn’t that done before? Well, if you shoot your gun at somebody… they die, wait that too was done before. Huh… I’m lost now, I don’t know what to say about this game but that it’s a rehashing of different stuff and it just doesn’t do that much to set itself apart from all other games—well, aside from persistent characters and unlocks… wait a minute.

 

And here’s Medal of Honor in all its… wait, that’s Call of duty, sorry.

 

Now like I said before, there are two sides with unique weapons—oh what’s the point in trying to make this game look scrumptious, the only thing that separates the two factions apart is that one wears a helmet… and the other has a beard—a rocking beard at that; that and rocket strikes apart from mortars for Insurgents and Americans respectively. So then if that’s the case, let’s talk about the gameplay, frankly the shooting. Made by the guys at DICE, you’d expect something a little more… realistic. The AK-47, the most popular assault rifle in the world, has been known to have kick back recoil on fully-auto… can’t be controlled. Well that’s been thrown out for what many may say as simple shooting mechanics. Think of it this way… remember the M16 from Call of Duty, remember how blindingly accurate the weapon was when you burst fired a couple times? Well, imagine if that was full auto, and you pretty well have the gist of every weapon in multiplayer. Just point and shoot, and hope he doesn’t see you—and there’s a grenade launcher under it for those pyro’s out there.

 

If you hated noob-tubing… well, I can’t say much apart from, look at this pretty shot of a noob-tuber.

 

The M16 (ironic I mentioned above, aye?) runs on fully auto and is blindingly accurate apart from the AK-47 counterpart—two different guns doing the same job the same way… doesn’t make it too much fun to shoot one gun apart from another. It can be very fun to pull off headshot after headshot, but the straight forward design of each of the guns when it shoots on full-auto just makes it easy to camp for rifleman (snipers, beware) and to engineers to a certain degree. If it’s any constellation, the sound design is off the charts when it comes to battlefield hecticity. If you enjoy explosions, mortar shots, shooting rifles, or anything that has the act of shooting something… you’ll probably fall down and gain a massive erection as you fire all of what you have around in this game.  This game really benefits from a surround sound system as… well, I can’t explain it to all of you… just go hear it, you’ll fall in love.

 

I can’t think of anything witty to say… so here are some silly men trying not to be seen.

 

The only thing that can set the soldiers differently on each side is the different classes… well, sort of different. They can all fight at close range, they can all fight at long range… all classes just edges the competition by a small margin. Rifleman on both sides use heavy-machine guns and rifles to kill at medium to short ranges—by a small margin can you fight at long range and as a result you can counter-snipe if you have a fast trigger finger—that or good eyes. Engineers, or rocketeers, or whatever you want to call them… they have M4’s and AKS-74u’s which can do all jobs, just not as powerfully at medium to long range. They have access to sub-machine guns which make them ideal for close range attacks, but make you fairly terrible at even medium range as far as I can tell. They also come with explosives… rocket launchers, etc… tubers galore. Recon is self-explanatory and they have a sniper that starts off with a red-dot sight… wow… thanks DICE for really hampering my abilities. The only thing that you need to get that scope is to fight at closer ranges which isn’t a job for a sniper. In all fairness, the sniper was crippled at the beginning… but don’t worry, you manage to kill someone with your sidearm, you can take his class loadout and run with that—you drop your class loadout when you die in a neat little package.

 

Snipers die a lot… ‘nough said.

 

Like I said, there was class customization for your… characters? (each class has a preset loadout). Each can be outfitted with a new rifle, a new sight, a new round, etc. But each of these customization options are sort of indicative of the Call of Duty influence and the nods to the series. For example… remember stopping power? Well that was replaced with Hollow Points, but there is a very remarkable twist that makes it feel fresh and alive… you can’t kill at long range to save your life. Added magazines takes up the same spot as this stopping power so it all makes it fair and balance in the grand scheme of things. New sights add accuracy, but scopes add to your long range killing effectiveness… but of course, killing a target who gets all up close and personal just… well you know. Most of the beta was locked away for obvious reasons, but so far as I have seen… it’s coming along great with some new ideas I thought would never make it in this day and age of multiplayer.

 

Least this game freshens up what Call of Duty did… wait, that’s tooth-paste.

 

The server browser looks a lot like Bad Company and the lag can be evident… especially when quick match drops you into Russian servers… I mean come on DICE, so the beta was rather messy when it came to quick-matches. The interface is clean and slick with a digital palletting, ala Call of Duty that makes getting from one menu just a click away… smooth transitions that make you smile and easy navigation that makes you hug the nearest man to you. The graphics use the old Frostbite, but not to a great degree as it looks like a two year old game that just has a lot of smoke and particle effects to go on top of it all. This game doesn’t require much and the visual results instantly ratifies the claim. This beta ran smoothly as a result, but really after that… there isn’t much going for this game visually. The only feedback I could give was what I wrote above… this game, for me at least, isn’t looking like a buy multiplayer wise as it just feels so… average. I could be wrong for the rest, but this is what I’ve noticed while I tried my hands in this weird beta.

 

I hope you enjoyed my view of the happening in this beta… have a nice day.

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