Review: Medal of Honor

By Mike Wheeler

  • Good graphics
  • Some controller problems
  • Game too short

After a bit of controversy about gamers being able to take on the role of the Taliban, and just avoiding a head-on clash with rival game Call of Duty: Black Ops, Electronic Art’s Medal of Honor has finally made its debut. There was a bit of hyperbole surrounding the game, which is the norm, but there is/was more of an edge with both games coming out within a month of each other.

So how does it stack up? The plot is set in Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC, which means the bad guys are the Taliban and Al Queda, so the scenery is Persian in all its desert and mountain glory. You play various characters on missions throughout Afghanistan whereby you clean out villages of hostiles and go on missions to take out the bad guys.

I’m a huge fan of first-person shooters, but what I really like – and what separates pretenders from the true-blue outstanding games – are the missions and the backstory. Without these, these games could become just one shootfest after another, which I find boring. And this is a problem with this game – I’ve done/seen it all before earlier this year, and a lot better, from a game some of you might have heard of called Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2.

EA might dismiss such claims as churlish, however, while there are different nuances, there’s nothing really new. I want to be surprised, or taken aback by a wow factor, when there isn’t one.

Then there was the problem with the controller configurations. Having just played Wolfenstein, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2, Bioshock 2, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Assassin’s Creed 2 and Darksiders over the past six month, I was used to my controller doing a certain move that is integral to any game – moving the weapon up and down. Unfortunately – and it really really REALLY annoyed me – the way the game has been set up is that when you push the down button, the weapon goes up, and when you push it up, it goes down – in other words it does the exact opposite of what the other games do. So it took an age for my brain to engage as to how the weaponry moved, which means I got shot quite a few times – as well as very frustrated.

The graphics are generally good, although close ups show that the detail is not as fine as it could be.  It is also a relatively short game, so if you are an expert gamer you’ll spend about 4-5 hours finishing it off, which might make you feel a little underwhelmed.

Here’s hoping that Call of Duty: Black Ops better be one hell of a game, because resting on your laurels leads to nothing by disappointment.

Overall the game is entertaining, but just seems to be missing that extra spark that could have made it one of the must-have's of 2010.

Pros: Nice graphics,
Cons: Game time short, gameplay could be better,

3 Shacks out of 5