Medal of Honor screenshot
Medal of Honor screenshot

One problem that popped up in our games, as a result of the team imbalance, was that it seemed difficult for an attacking team to get the upper hand on a squad of devoted defenders. Having a point A and B in Rush divided defenders' attentions and allowed attackers a bit of variety, but with only one objective to guard at any given time it's obvious where the attacking team are going to be pouring in from. Teams swap roles at the end, though, so it's okay.

Still, these modes were pepped up considerably by DICE's considerable mapmaking expertise. The Shahikhot Mountains and the Mazar-i-Sharif Airfield were both intricate arenas for Combat Mission, each an epic, unfolding zone of carefully-constructed details, with a natural way of guiding you in the right direction. Diwagal Camp and Kabul City Ruins, the latter recognisable from the first beta, are both fantastic Team Assault maps, peppered with just the right mix of high and low ground, tight alleys and wide-open sniper traps.

What's most interesting are the Killstrea- sorry, Support Actions. It's all about the Scorechain, you see, which you obviously rack up by killing the other team, but also by performing actions like capturing points and securing objectives. About four kills earns you 50 points on the chain, which can then be cashed in offensively on a mortar strike or defensively on a UAV. Save up even more points, though, and you can splurge your hard-earned chain on bigger and better prizes, peaking in either beefy Kevlar vests for your team or the opportunity to drop a cruise missile on your enemies.

It's clearly a similar concept to the Killstreaks we've all come to know and love in the other game, but giving you the option to go defensive or offensive with each support action adds a lot of depth to the proceedings. Die and you lose your chain, but if you've managed to earn a reward it'll still be available to use when you respawn; if you score chain hits 250 and you die, for instance, you'll still be able to choose between either an artillery barrage or improved rounds when you magically pop back into existence.

Support Actions are not nearly as frequent as most killstreak rewards, so when you've managed to earn an artillery strike you really feel like you've accomplished something. It also exacerbated the difference in ability of the two teams playing on the day: my team, as it so happened, were stacking ammo and armour upgrades on each other to the point that we were virtually indestructible.

As you level up each of the three classes – Rifleman, Special Ops and Sniper – you unlock bounties of fancy doohickies and attachments. Classes must level up individually, though your level remains the same regardless of what faction you're playing as. Each class progresses through three tiers of weaponry, so the OPFOR (Taliban) rifleman gets an AK-47, moves on to a PKM and ends with a F2000. In the interests of parity, both factions share the same top-tier unlocks – the coalition rifleman enjoys a M16A4 and M249 before the F2000, for instance.

Class variety adds another interesting twist to the proceedings, with the Rifleman acting as a standard go-to 'assault rifle' guy with a bunch of handy grenades, but the Special Ops comes complete with a rather fancy rocket launcher. Snipers snipe.

All the weapons feel weighty and pack a punch, and there's general sense they're not too far removed from their Bad Company 2 equivalents. It's your standard mix of assault rifles, snipers and shotties you've seen before a hundred times, though the execution is impeccable. Amusingly, though, somebody went out of their way to tell me that sniper rifles were effective at long range fire but not so good when used up close.

Where Medal of Honor will fit into an online world already populated with Bad Company 2 and Call of Duty still remains to be seen, but it certainly looks like DICE is competently treading the middle ground. With a compound of modes from both games, and a devout insistence on making it so that skill is more important than perks or unlocks, it looks like it shouldn't have too much trouble carving out a niche of its own.

Medal of Honor is due for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on October 15.

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dragonlord's Avatar

dragonlord

A massive disappointment for clans and friends who play together. Even when only 2 or 3 of you team up, there is no guarantee you will be on the same team when the game starts. Instead of a few friends playing, it becomes a mish mash of split up friends on opposite sides. Its annoying to find when you set up a group (and nobody can talk to each other in the group as its being set up so there is no guarantee everyone isnt waiting for the team leader to get back from nipping to the toilet or making a brew, they just have to wait), and even when you have set up the group you can join a game only to find you are left on the opposing team. Not really what any of us wanted. Even if only one of your mates is on you want to be in the same team it can still split you up at game start, the other night, no matter what I did I couldnt get us both on the same side. At one point I had quit 3 or 4 times and rejoined in the hope it would switch me over, but even when the teams were unbalanced and the opposing team my mate was stuck on was 2 players short it still put me on the wrong team. The lack of speech abilities between games is frustrating and means apart from in battle, you cant talk while the next level is prepping itself for play. silence reigns until a game physically starts and the bullets are flying. The maps are a little smaller than any of us expected as well. All in all I hate this game for what the multiplayer system does to a group. I am not even sure why they allow a group to be created if it is just going to split them up when the game starts. Of the 8 of my mates who bought it, 3 have gone back to battlefield but kept the game in the hope it gets sorted out, 2 have sold it altogether (and I am considering the sale option as well) while the others have either gone back to modern warfare or only play it online when no one else from their list is playing it. Roll on black ops. MOH looks like it has so much promise, but for clans and friend players, it just falls flat on its face on PS3
Posted 05:15 on 18 October 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone

Yea the honourable James Orry just posted up some news about it. I don't think it matters here nor there.
Posted 15:26 on 01 October 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

I see that they have now removed the Taliban from the multiplayer due to all the flac they received.
Posted 15:18 on 01 October 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone

I wonder when VG will get a MoH SP review out... hopefully a few days before the release.
Posted 09:08 on 01 October 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

I might sound like I'm a bit down on this game, but I simply don't want to hype it up in my own mind.

My main wish is that the campaign has a more considered pace then Modern Warfare.
Posted 23:00 on 30 September 2010
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio@ scaz2244

...Zombies...Like...
Posted 22:29 on 30 September 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Nice read Martin. I'm getting more excited for MoH now. Regarding to the Black Ops conversation. I'll be getting this after release. Many other titles is also coming out this month. Its really hard to choose which game I am going to get in November and Christmas period.
Posted 19:36 on 30 September 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone@ Ghost_Dog

The screen shots do loo pretty good though, and the fact that the Single Player is being developed independently from the Multiplayer hopefully means that it will have had the required amount of time spent on it to make it excellent.
Posted 17:12 on 30 September 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

i hope this does well in the reviews cz i really dont see anything really new in COD apart from every two years you get the zombie thing.

if it does well il probz give it a rent then if multiplayer is as good as it sounds then will buy
Posted 13:43 on 30 September 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog@ draytone

The original rumor before it was announced, was that it was set only in Vietnam. So your ignorance is understandable. :)

I'm not fussed about the multi-player in MoH. I would rather it had a really good single-player campaign.
Posted 13:11 on 30 September 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone@ Ghost_Dog

Oh okay. My ignorance there then!

I'll be getting Black Ops after it comes out, it actually might be a trade in with MoH.
Posted 13:06 on 30 September 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog@ draytone

Black Ops is set during different time periods (1960 and 2010).

While Vietnam is featured in the game, there are many other locations.
Posted 12:51 on 30 September 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone

I'm gunning for this over blops mainly because I've played FPS's set in Vietnam before. I haven't played any set in Afghanistan though (although that other game is set in modern times it was still heavily cold war influenced).

Quote:
but take the for a spin online and it's clear that these tweaks have had a massive impact.
does that read right?
Posted 12:40 on 30 September 2010
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga

Nice. I am increasingly enjoying this Gaston chap's style of writing, even though his surname looks French.

It must be difficult for FPS developers when creating online content. The other game has such a stranglehold on the market what is one to do? Create something which is a complete copy and risk everyone saying "But it's just COD!"? Or create something different and have people saying "But COD has or does this different/better!"?

It would seem that DICE have taken a good approach with this MOH, giving something that hopefully COD lovers and haters can both enjoy. I look forward to the final review.
Posted 12:29 on 30 September 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

I'm still really not sold on this. Black Ops is looking the better title at the moment.
Posted 12:28 on 30 September 2010

Game Stats

Release Date: 15/10/2010
Developer: EALA
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 4,596 80
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