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Medal of Honor is EA’s reboot of the series, but this time it’s a modern day shooter taking place at the onset of the invasion of Afghanistan. In fact the opening credits is filled with audio from reports made on 9/11. Also I’m not sure what it is about this game, but from the get go it takes Call of Duty’s style of having them talk over an ever changing map. If you have no idea what I mean, play Modern Warfare 2 (I’m sure if you’re reading this you have). This is one of the first things the game obviously is trying to emulate from the Modern Warfare games.
The campaign puts you into the shoes of three different people in the U.S. special forces. It’s very hard to talk about the story, because it’s honestly not very solid. The groups are not really involved with one another till about the last hour and a half. You get the feeling that they were trying to just put you in the shoes of random people serving in Afghanistan. The game throws all kinds of little things that you could imagine that soldiers to this day experience overseas. None of them being something you’d probably want to experience. One in fact has you backed into a corner while you are surrounded by Taliban forces with only three other people. A hectic portrayal of real life events is probably what you will think of as you play the game, but it really does hurt any emotional connections to the NPCs and playable characters.
The gameplay itself is a combination of both Call of Duty and Battlefield, but leaning a bit more on the Call of Duty side for single player. Multiplayer is more of an even combination. I’m sure you think I could end it all there, and I probably could since both are well popular games. However there is one problem that Medal of Honor has that these don’t. Those being glitches. Yes, this game has some real bad problems with glitches if you get them. The most common being that the game will sometimes freeze up. Thankfully it fixes itself, but 1 out of 5 times it wont. Another interesting problem is the animation. The animations are normally good, but there are times you can spot the work of lazy developers. One that I noticed, while sniping, a Taliban fighter glided up a hill. Now I don’t mean he turned into Superman and flew. The model just stood still, and moved as if on a track. The biggest and most annoying problem was at the mission “Dorothy’s a Bitch,” where at a point in the game an artillery gun has to be blown up. What is supposed to happen is a gunship gets it. However the game will sometimes not do this, and it naturally has you try and blow it up. If you do this you will place the C4, and be stuck on the detonator until you restart the mission (yes, the mission, and NOT the checkpoint).
Mutiplayer is where the game gets a bit better. Its style is much like Battlefield: Bad Company 2, but it plays like Call of Duty. It has the class system of Battlefield (minus the medic), but once you’re on the ground it resembles Call of Duty more with its smaller maps and play styles. You play as either the U.S. Armed Forces, or the “Opposing Force” (however we here at Play Affinity say to hell with that, and from here on out we will call them the Taliban). The U.S. Armed Forces use more modern weapons likely to be in the hands of a solider today like the M16. However those who play as the Taliban will be sporting something closer to an AK47. Though I’m sure it’s technically equal, it makes you feel like the poor kid in the group with the outdated toy. Those who play shooters for the cooler weapons of today will not see this when they play as the Taliban. If you had to summarize multiplayer into one word it would be fast. Just remember speed and fast responses are the key, and don’t rely on your expertise like in the story mode.
Last but not least I wanted to dig up the controversy with this game. As you know the Military doesn’t like this game, and even banned it from being sold on bases. However after playing the game I see more of a reason they wouldn’t like it besides the whole Taliban thing. One of the biggest things is how they point out the incompetence of the Generals. Twice in the game the general in charge messes up, and gets soldiers killed. I should also mention he does this all over video chat from outside the country. Another thing being that it shows just how bad it is over there, and just how sliders are inches from death every day. With all of this it might seem like they are demonizing the war, and in a sense they are. In the end of the game they honor those who have died in the war, and give touching words to those who have served, are still serving, and those who have died for this country. It made me do something I’ve never done with a game. That being that, I sympathized with EA. Though they had a much better shot than Activision.
In the end this game is not really what it promised it would be. You end up with a average game with multiplayer that is a okay emulation of two great systems. If you have the cash to burn I recommend supporting the series by getting it (just as a big f**k you to Bobby Kotick). For everyone else it’s worth a rental. Is it the best modern shooter? No. Will it be better the Black Ops? That is yet to be seen, but after the whole Infinity Ward thing I sure do hope so.