Medal of Honor
Kevin Porras, Crispy Gamer
Medal of Honor
Recently, I've been able to sit down with the PC version of EA's latest attempt to reclaim the FPS throne, "Medal of Honor." Even though the game is still in beta, it's possible to tell EA that has its sights set on bringing down the current FPS king, "Modern Warfare 2."
It is worth noting that "Medal of Honor" is being built using two distinct engines and by two different development teams within EA -- the Unreal Engine for single player by EA LA and the Frostbite Engine by EA DICE (known for the "Battlefield" series).
"Medal of Honor" fills in a gray zone between the frantic hail of bullets and bodies that is "Modern Warfare 2" and the expansive full scale combat for which the "Battlefield series is known. From the perspective of a gamer who has played both the "COD" and "Battlefield" series, it can be seen that the recent versions of "Call of Duty" focus on fast paced gun fights where a player can be expect to be killing others around every corner.
The "Battlefield" series, on the other hand, takes a more-is-better approach with large amounts of players, tanks and teamwork. Kills in "Battlefield" also happen at a much slower pace, with focus on long-range warfare. Recently with
Even though the multiplayer version of "Medal of Honor" is running off the Frostbite engine that powers "Bad Company 2," "Medal of Honor" steps into its own by offering maps that force players to change their strategy frequently to suit various battlefields. A single successful strategy does not exist in "Medal of Honor."
Another beta map,
While I appreciate how "Medal of Honor" keeps players on their toes by forcing them to adapt swiftly to new environments, there are many missed opportunities and iffy features. First, having played and enjoyed "
As it stands now however, "Medal of Honor" is quite transparent in its efforts to be like "Modern Warfare 2" without successfully outdoing the blockbuster game in its current beta state. The kill streak system has been lifted straight out of "MW2" without the diverse set of effects or the customization. The kit configuration options are minimal, with a low number of guns available as well as a scant few modifications that can be added to said guns. There is no customization that can be performed to your actual solider, such as the Perk system in "MW2" and "BC2."
The UI and menu also lack the slickness and polish of current AAA shooters, employing a cheap neon light style that feels very out of place for a game attempting to go for a realistic approach to war. There are also indications that the PC iteration will be a hasty port of the console versions, as there are art assets and menu options that have no business being in a PC game, such as a screen configuration option for your "television". These problems, however, can be easily addressed before launch.
All this being said, the basics for a solid shooter are present in "Medal of Honor." The feel and handling of your solider are tight and responsive. Your player moves with heft through the battlefield and every bullet you place feels deliberate and powerful. The hit recognition also seems to be top notch, which was a problem with "Bad Company 2" when first released. Players seem to go down just as quickly at long range as in "Modern Warfare 2," with close quarters fighting being much less predictable due to spray and pray tactics. The game also seems to reward smart use of cover and situational awareness. A tactical approach is supported by "Medal of Honor" while at the same time keeping the frequency of kills on par with "Modern Warfare 2,' which is an impressive balancing act and shows thoughtful multiplayer design.
At this point, with respect to the multiplayer half of "Medal of Honor," EA has a solid foundation on which to build a shooter. In its current state, this game does not stand out as a top contender for FPS king, but with the inclusion of thoughtfully designed maps, more load out customization, destructible environments, more guns, or some combination of all of these, it can be. We will see how it develops between now and its planned launch of
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