Graphics:
8.2
Gameplay:
8.4
Sound:
9.1
Control:
8.5
Replay Value:
8.0
Online Gameplay:
8.9
Overall Rating:
8.6
Publisher:
EA
Developer:
EA Los Angeles/DICE
Number Of Players:
1-24
Genre:
FPS


Maybe for the first time in first-person shooter history, many critics have misunderstood the aim of a particular production due to unfamiliarity and flat-out ignorance. This isn’t a slight against other reviewers; we all have to admit to deficiencies in knowledge that may hamper our ability to accurately judge a particular video game. In the future, I fear games will get so realistic, unless one is a true-blue expert on the subject, he or she won’t be fit to issue an accurate, reliable review. As developer Danger Close tapped the military and real Tier 1 operators for Medal of Honor , I felt I should do the same. I know a few people who have participated in the war on terror so I felt inclined to fire a few questions in their direction. As it turns out, and after playing a game I couldn’t help but enjoy, I’ve concluded that, despite the technical shortcomings (which are certainly a hindrance), this is an authentic experience that deserves its just due.

First up, we deal with an aspect of the game that doesn’t require any of the aforementioned real-world knowledge: the graphics. The visual presentation here is a bit odd, in that one minute, you’ll be impressed and even amazed at the detail, coloring, shading and special effects and the next…well, you’ll see a goat that has no face and black blotches where eyes and nose should be. The nighttime scenes aren’t anything special and the cut-scenes feature plastic-y character design, but during the day, one can’t help but become immersed in the intense, atmospheric proceedings. The designers spent a lot of time meticulously designing many elements of the environment, including seemingly trivial things like mounds of rocks and stubby trees. I still don’t think there's enough colorful “oomph” behind some of the explosive effects and one can’t deny some of the clipping, hitches and other problems, but the graphics do suffice.

The sound does more than suffice, as it’s the highlight of the game. Speaking of developer effort, Danger Close went out of their way to grab a ton of diverse and realistic radio chatter; you don’t often hear the same thing too many times, and both orders and sarcastic comments (which aren’t overdone) greatly enhance the game’s appeal. The soundtrack is great, too, as it kicks up during important parts when you’re advancing towards another battle, and tails off just a bit to let the focus sit squarely on the confrontation at hand. The effects are also top-notch; each weapon has a very distinct sound and everything from the yells of the Taliban – and your allies – to the whistle of bullets and ammo impact, is pretty awesome. The technical deficiency of the game rears its ugly head and can cause the sound to cut out completely at times, and there are a few balance issues. But still, this is about as good as you could hope for.

Based on what I’ve been told, modern warfare and especially the war on terror can be described as follows: 99% waiting around, 1% sheer terror. Of course, that doesn’t work for a video game. Therefore, Danger Close needed to reverse that ratio and create an experience that features the most intense, out-of-control, nightmarish scenarios the Army Rangers, Marines and Tier 1 Operators might encounter. This addresses the first flaw I’ve seen mentioned in different reviews: that Medal of Honor ’s ceaseless action isn’t realistic and starts to feel too much like a “shooting gallery” of sorts. Firstly, you’re not following the actions of one particular individual and one particular group of soldiers. In fact, you will step into quite a few pairs of boots, and that includes being a helicopter gunner, sniper, and infantry invader. Sometimes it’s just you and a buddy; other times, there are multiple allies. Furthermore, as I understand it, fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan is much like this-

There’s little rhyme or reason to such a war. This isn’t the Revolutionary War or even World War II, where one encounters giant battlegrounds often planned down to the smallest detail. No, it’s about chasing random fighters through the rocks; it’s about constantly dealing with surprises; it’s about pitched battles centered in very small hot zones. This is what we have in Medal of Honor . Here, we have a series of situations and events that let you see what the bravest of the brave must contend with, and the variety, pacing and balance keeps you interested throughout. The point I’m trying to make is this- according to information I’ve been given, which is admittedly second-hand but better than third or fourth-hand via media, MoH will ring true to those who have really experienced the war on terror. I think too many people are missing this, and expected something different.

The controls are mostly tight and reliable and I’m actually very, very impressed with the hit detection. This is a facet of some shooters that simply falls flat or isn’t quite so reliable but in this game, just about every bullet that was supposed to hit something does, and weapons are realistically accurate (or inaccurate, as the case may be). Zooming in with the L1 button increases accuracy and yet, the shotgun can only be relied upon in close quarters, where it really can be relied upon. Your enemies won’t only aim at you and they won’t always hit their target. A few too many bullets will put you down, which is appropriate, and cover will protect you, but will often start to crumble if you stick around too long. Even vehicle control is pretty good, although it’s hardly refined and can be touchy.

As for AI, your allies are better than your foes. Your targets will sometimes do cool things like slide into cover but after that, they just sort of wait to get nailed. This is one of the bigger downfalls of the game and, along with the technical problems, keeps it from being an elite title. But your friends will take down plenty of targets and even though you’re often jammed into tight spaces, they don’t seem to hinder you too often. I never once died because I tried to strafe or hide and got stuck next to an ally. But really, the enemy should’ve flanked or acted a bit more human-like, and it can sometimes be difficult to know where to go next. This is another problem that’s well-documented but honesty, I think this complaint is due to two things: 1. someone who tries to move too quickly and doesn’t listen to the issued commands and 2. going off on your own and confusing the game.

Granted, that last one shouldn’t happen at all. The game should be able to adapt to your movements, no matter how ill-advised they may be. But if you stick to your allies, do what you’re told, go where you’re supposed to go, and execute as you’re asked to execute, everything will usually progress quickly and smoothly. And you know what else? All of that stuff – i.e., following orders – is kinda important. In other words, if you approach each mission as a soldier would approach it, you likely won’t encounter many of the snafus that do indeed infect the basic structure. We have to remember this. I’m not giving those snafus a free pass but I’m trying to keep the spirit of the experience at the forefront because I believe it’s crucial and may even be unique to this particular FPS. Thing is, the atmosphere never fails us. The sound, action, well-designed landscapes and continually fresh feel keep us on the edge of our seats. I’m sorry, but are we supposed to ignore all that?

It’s true that we have an incomplete graphical presentation (with great highs but disappointing lows). It’s true that the game almost froze on me once, and can hitch and glitch during transitional periods (although I never saw it during firefights). It’s true that the campaign is short (perhaps only 5 hours or so). It’s true that the story is disjointed and the characters are too faceless. But let’s look at this another way; in my eyes, the right way. In war, you simply trust the person by your side; you don’t really care about his past. I don’t care what Dusty’s favorite color is. I don’t care if he has a deep, dark secret. I only care that he tells me what to do and when, and that I execute correctly. When I jump from one view of the war on terror to the next, I’m immediately plunged into something intense and new ; it ranges widely from all-out insanity, like desperately trying to stay alive until air support arrives, to quiet, stealthy missions, to marking targets from afar with some serious firepower.

Oh, and let’s not forget the fantastic multiplayer, which strikes a nice chord; it’s like a blend of Call of Duty and Battlefield: Bad Company ; it forces you to think a bit more and react quickly, and although the maps are too similar to one another, the experience is ultimately quite rewarding. You definitely need to take time to master each individual weapon and the combination of strategy and fast-paced, white-knuckle action is excellent. This alone ramped up my final score of 8.3 to 8.6, if you’re wondering. The bottom line is that I believe this is a shockingly reliable virtual incarnation of what actually happened over there, although I’m sure there’s a wee bit of exaggeration involved for the sake of drama. It has its shortcomings, which are obvious. But what is also obvious – to me, anyway – is that a Tier 1 Operator will probably look at this and go, “yeah, that’s about right.” And that’s fine by me.

The Good: Atmosphere always rocks. Sound is utterly fantastic. Balance, pacing and variety is top-notch. Multiplayer awesomeoness. Attention to detail in terms of realism, presentation, audio, and war-like situations, is much appreciated.

The Bad: Short campaign. Technical problems, including clipping, screen tearing and outright glitching. Questionable enemy AI.

The Ugly: That freakin’ mutated alien goat. What the hell was that, anyway?

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Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Just one final comment- I'm aware in the minority on this one. And if I really wanted to focus on the negative, I too could tick off the problems on my fingers while sort of ignoring the rest of the game appeal.

I just don't think that's fair. This is more of a "bigger picture" experience, IMO. But if you want to go by the majority scores on this, that's understandable.

coverton341
coverton341
10 years ago

For what it's worth, I really enjoyed the game but it really was ridiculously short. Beat the campaign in maybe 4-5 hours. Really good message overall though.

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

yeah, Coverton. These 5 hour games have got to stop. I know there's a total package value of having an online component that could possibly soak up many, many hours.
But for those who are minimally interested in another online frag-fest it significantly reduces the value. On top of that, with this FPS market already being so overly saturated with military frag-fests this diminishes value even more for those who are already into this sort of thing. It kind of remind of all those MMORPG's that popped up after WoW. Granted the game's may have a lot to do, but not enough new, or different, to cause most to care to re-invest into a different title.

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
10 years ago

I really do wish the campaign was at least 4 more hours, but I really did like the campaign the characters and their connection to each other was really good, that last part was really sad though, wasn't expecting it to end that way.

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

I have been watching a lot of video of this game… honestly guys, I am not that impressed with it. The DICE multi-player does seem decent though.

Going to skip this one, or wait for a half price affair.

Good and detailed review Ben 🙂

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"


Last edited by Qubex on 10/14/2010 12:24:28 AM

Streets_74
Streets_74
10 years ago

I had a feeling PSX would have something good to say about MOH, and I'm glad to see it. Most other sites went kind of like this,two points off for not being call of duty, glitch here screen tear there, it's still not call of duty another two point deduction for that, ok give it 6/10. This is why I come here day to day, thanks for not being too bias around these parts.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
10 years ago

I believe your bigger picture comment applies to every game out there.

Sure, some games will be more deserving, but in my book, the sum of the parts is more important than a few glaring omissions.

Good review BTW, and was really wanting to buy this game, but that 5 hour campaign is deal breaker. It's become nothing more then a rental.

mackid1993
mackid1993
10 years ago

Great review Ben. For once someone looks at the bright side of this excellent game.

sawao_yamanaka
sawao_yamanaka
10 years ago

Great review Ben! Purchased mine already but I'm waiting for my PS3 to be shipped back :/. Played it with my brother and we both found the game great.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Comprehensive as always, and in a way kind of confirms to me that the other reviews may be affected by CoD Syndrome.

Now that the game is out and reviewed, I really hope I never have to read or hear the words "Tier 1" ever again.

NonProphet
NonProphet
10 years ago

Tier 1 – Thanks for the review. It definitely felt like many of the other reviewers were affected by some kind of COD comparison disorder (CCD)

Its also nice to see ample appreciation given to really high quality sound, something which often goes unnoticed. I have my copy in the mail and was starting to get down after reading all the negative reviews but this take on the game seems more congruent with my expectations and I'm looking forward to playing the game again.


Last edited by NonProphet on 10/13/2010 11:43:12 PM

Victor321
Victor321
10 years ago

Good review Ben, I knew MoH was an excellent production, I knew that straight from playing the beta.

I have a question: are you going to continue this "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" part of your review? Because I find it very useful, and an awesome way of summing up your points at the end of the review.

I would like it if you continued with that =)


Last edited by Victor321 on 10/13/2010 9:55:18 PM

YesterdysRising
YesterdysRising
10 years ago

I think once I'm done playing Bad Company 2's multiplayer, then I'll pick this up. Nice review, I was waiting for this one.

piratedrunk
piratedrunk
10 years ago

I really liked your "good, bad, and ugly" section of the review. I don't think this sounds like my kind of game but I might give it a rent just in case.

TheCrazyMerc
TheCrazyMerc
10 years ago

This game looks solid, makes me want to go to best buy and buy it.

Hezzron
Hezzron
10 years ago

So a FPS with a 5 hour campaign marred with technical issues, questionable design choices and uninspired MP gets a 8.6? Seems just a tad high.

This whole MOH relaunch been kinda disappointing for me, especially since the PS3 was supposed to be the lead platform.

And yes, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly section HAS to stay.


Last edited by Hezzron on 10/13/2010 10:09:05 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Um…who said anything about uninspired MP?


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 10/13/2010 10:11:26 PM

Hezzron
Hezzron
10 years ago

I believe there's only 3 modes and as you pointed out, the maps suffer from sameness. Just saying there's better out there in that department.

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
10 years ago

Just think though it could get a lot better considering how EA supported BC2 pretty good. I would expect them to do the same with this.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

MP is a huge benefit for MoH. Most will tell you the same.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

From what I'm reading the mp isn't very good at all. Small amount of game modes and many of the sp actions are not present.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

"from what I'm reading".

I suggest you try it yourself! The mp in MoH is among the best. I enjoy it far better than BF:2 and MW2. And everyone here knows I like my MW2.

Also their 3 different game types played on 3 different maps for each. its set up a lot like MAG. Theres no short of gameplay here not to mention there is a couple modes you havnt played before in any other game. They are new! The game is very good all the way round!

CharlesD
CharlesD
10 years ago

There is more than looks to a game and although there are some technical glitches it dosen't dominate and make the campaign a chore. The mp section of has five different modes, all of which I found rather enjoyable. The environment and map design is great, the weapons are decent (although I would like to see a little more variety) and the balance between battlefield and cod type game-play is a great feel for a mp experience. There are a few small glitches and the sniper rifles are wayy overpowered but with DICE being decent with patches and working on a mp section of a game after production; I have confidence that with a bit of tweaking this could very well be pushed to the level of one of the best mp options on the market. (It's already more than halfway there IMO)

As for the review, I think it was very well done and pointed out the things that needed to be said. The sound is spectacular and the story really keeps you on your toes as you jump from situation to situation with a good balance of stealth, assault, and aerial battle. Had a blast.. just wished it could have been a bit longer


Last edited by CharlesD on 10/14/2010 12:07:04 PM

SixSpeedKing
SixSpeedKing
10 years ago

Not as high as I was hoping it would achieve but I will still get it… eventually.

As well, like Victor321 said, that "Good bad ugly" part is pretty cool.

Anyway great review like always. 🙂


Last edited by SixSpeedKing on 10/13/2010 10:09:00 PM

KNG201
KNG201
10 years ago

good review…this game is awesome it made me feel like a soldier and most importantly a human being…. but a little short on the campaign i hope they add some co op mission those AI teamates made me feel like i was playing with friends.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Btw, yes, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is something I will continue to do (if I can remember). 🙂

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

It is kinda neat, you starting to like Western movies or something?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Nah, I just think it's something we need to do, especially for long reviews that really only present readers with a wall of text.

We've already taken the step of adding a video into the review, but I think we also needed a bulleted summary of some kind.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Especially for the folks who can't read anything longer than a tweet 🙂

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Yeah, well, those people probably don't read PSXE, anyway. 😉

NonProphet
NonProphet
10 years ago

YES! Video reviews, when done properly, add so much information. I mean, a picture is worth a thousand words…or to put it another way, you can illustrate your points with the video. Plus it'd be interesting to hear your voice.

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
10 years ago

if u need, we shall remind you

tridon
tridon
10 years ago

It HAS to stay. If you never had it after this review, how would you have been able to comment about the alien goat again? Right?! 😉

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

Is the evil alien goat invincible?

booze925
booze925
10 years ago

i think i saw the good, the bad, and the ugly thing on some other game thing..
was it gameinformer? yeah, but they never used it 4 reviews

sirbob6
sirbob6
10 years ago

I think EGM did a good, bad, something funny thing too.

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
10 years ago

Good review. I read the whole thing and I wasn't and am still not planning on getting this game.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I'm beginning to like this trend toward whether or not the game is fun versus the technical flaws and their impact on the score.

StangMan80
StangMan80
10 years ago

I will get this game at one point, I wish the problems would of been fixed before the game arrived but I guess all games have there issues, except GT5 that game is going to be perfect.

Nice review Ben, It sounds like it an't actually a bad game, there are issues but they went for a more realistic game and most people won't like that. I just wish this game's issues wouldn't of been so big. I still think this game is going to be better then black ops.

P.S. I herd that some times in MOH a head shot isn't always a kill… ?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Head shots were always a kill for me, at any rate.

spiderboi
spiderboi
10 years ago

I confirm: hit collision for the head is surprisingly spot-on. In past CoD games, I would sneak up on someone, aim directly with ironsights at their head, and they won't die. But in MoH, its *Boom SPLAT*. And I think it suffers from a bit of lag (but not so much as MW2) since sometimes I let go of a shot before dying and they don't die. But on the up-side, the I-killed-you-you killed me scenario happens quite often (again, as compared to MW2) so that's fine in my book.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

Have to agree, the game does a very good job of hit detection! Some of the best as Ben stated.

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
10 years ago

Excellent review Ben. I love that you didn't let COD get in the way of your opinion. I myself have only played a little multiplayer which I actually started enjoying after an hour of play. I plan on playing some campaign tonight. Also love the Good, Bad, and Ugly section. Keep it up.

Nickjcal
Nickjcal
10 years ago

This is basically the only site on the freakin web that actually takes games for what they are and dosent just look for everything bad in a game. The reviewers here look for the good and will spot out the bad but dont let that ruin the game for them. Sony should seriously give u guys some money to bump up this site and promote it more.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

So the explosions suck but the rocks are nice? Wow. Let me run out and pick this up right away.

chedison
chedison
10 years ago

stop being such a sour puss.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

Yeah I don't know what your deal is about MoH?!?!? Ussually you and I are fending people off with sticks, now I feel like turning to you and hitting you with it! 😉

C'mon man if you don't wanna give it a try thats up to you. But as I say to everyone else regarding even MW2 and FPS in general, If you havnt played it or just dont like the genre dont talk down on it!

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Heh…don't be so obtuse. All you're doing is ignoring all the good things I have to say and focusing on the negative.

If you want to convince yourself it's not worth playing, that's your business. Please don't infect others with it.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
10 years ago

Blame Canada. lol

chedison
chedison
10 years ago

i thought Canada was the nice/friendly version of America? haha

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