Tier One.

MEDAL OF HONOR 2010 (The Review)

Developers: EA Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment, Danger Close, Dice.
Publishers: Electronic Arts
Genre: First-person Shooter
Release Date: 12 October 2010

Minimum System Requirements

* OS: Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7
* CPU: Pentium 4 @ 3.0 GHz / AMD Athlon 64 3200+
* RAM: 2 GB
* HDD: 10 GB free disk space
* Graphics: 256 MB Graphics Memory
* Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
* DirectX: Version 9.0c

Recommended System Requirements

* OS: Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7
* CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.66Ghz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
* RAM: 4 GB
* HDD: 10 GB free disk space
* Graphics: 512 MB Graphics Memory
* Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
* DirectX: Version 9.0c

 

INTRODUCTION

The Medal of Honor series has always been well known for establishing a touch of realism and historical authenticity into every game they’ve developed. From their previous titles like “Medal of Honor: Allied Assault”, which takes place during World War II, to the present day  Medal of Honor Tier One, which portrays the on-going conflicts in Afghanistan.

The developers of MOH have stressed their inclusion of actual U.S. Military Specialist from various special operations units as consultants to ensure realistic gameplay. The story starts you of as a member of a special operations team, call sign Neptune, sent to collect intelligence from an Afghan informant and then revolves around a group of soldiers, which allows you to play as multiple characters as the plot progresses.

The storyline, although slightly confusing, wasn’t all too bad. It feels as though they could very well be actual event that are unfolding over in Afghanistan rather than just figments of the game developer’s imagination.  It has a somewhat accurate depiction of the kind of uncertainties a soldier faces at every corner and teeters on the brink of tragedy that would make a rather interesting HBO mini-series.

 GAMEPLAY

However, despite having a somewhat conventional storyline, MOH isn’t exactly a very polished first-person shooter. It’s basically just a more advanced game of wack-a-taliban. The enemy AI often emerges from the same areas and runs to the nearest rock to hide for a couple of seconds before popping up to take a shot at you. And they NEVER move from their spot again.

Maybe they were trying to illustrate how in a real-life combat situation, people really do just hide behind big rocks to prevent from being shot at, or maybe the developers were just too lazy to make them run around. Either way, that’s an AI fail.

The main issue I have for the PC version is the hassle of having to hold down the shift-key to dash instead of simply tapping it once like in all the other FPS games. Most of the time you find yourself running for cover from enemy fire or simply just trying to keep up with your teammates.

The hassle of having to constantly hold down the shift-key while sprinting just feels awkward. Which makes me wonder how the developers could’ve overseen this quirk, or have they just never heard the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Another thing that annoyed me was how the hud has no compass or mini-map to point to mission objectives. Instead, you have to press H, which would display the name & whereabouts of your teammates for a few seconds, as well as where you’re supposed to go. This can be really troublesome during the stealth missions which are mostly played in the dark of night and filled with fog. You almost never know where you’re supposed to go. Ergo, make a god damn compass map next time. (Be sure to keep that in mind all you future FPS game developers.)

GRAPHICS

The graphics aren’t too shabby. Lot of nice mist and sand blowing at you, nice poofy clouds of dust that forms every time you fire at the ground. Cut-scenes are very sharp; the characters each have their own unique facial features and none of that weird blotchy shit. Despite the lousy gameplay thus far, the Daylight in MOH really shines. The terrain & environment is lavish and wide, and the landscape of the desert is as beautiful as a computer generated desert can be. Same can’t be said for the night missions though.

MUSIC/SOUND EFFECTS

The sound design is excellent. The developers did not hold back on preserving the genuineness of how a real gun battle should sound like. Every shot & explosion packs a hefty punch and sounds remarkable, especially if u have a surround sound system to back it up. The music score is quite well done too. I’d have to say this would probably be the game’s saving grace, seeing as how everything else is pretty fucked.

CLOSING COMMENTS

The campaign is short and rather dull. It clocks at about a mere 4-6 hours of gameplay, and could probably be completed in a day. The multiplayer will probably wear out to the more popular FPS and the maps are surprisingly boring so I wouldn’t count on much of a replay value.

The interface lacks in a few customizable options (and perhaps a better map system) but otherwise it’s alright. Daylight graphics are great but there’s almost nothing to look at during night missions. Sound quality is awesome like I said before, but at this point who gives a shit?

Maybe the developers were too fixated on trying to deliver a realistic war experience that they neglected certain elements of gameplay that were necessary to make it fun. Not even DICE’s talented multiplayer designers were unable to resuscitate its numerous flaws and already quirky gameplay. With that said, fans of the franchise would likely agree, Medal of Honor is one of the bigger disappointments of 2010.

 

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