Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor Review for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PC

Medal of Honor returns to the front lines, this time in today's war.

Review Verdict Read Review
7Out of 10
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Medal of Honor screenshot
Medal of Honor screenshot

Picture the scene: You're creeping through an Afghan wadi, covering your squad mates' approach with suppressive fire on an enemy machine gun encampment. Dust is being kicked up by running and bullets, and the piecing glare of the red-hot sun is so bright it makes looking far into the horizon impossible. You're a long way from home, soldier, and the emotional toll must surely be immense. As you zero your sights on another distant bogey you gently squeeze the trigger before being greeted by a big ol' headshot notification icon popping up at the bottom of the screen. This is war.

Medal of Hono(u)r enters the crowded shooter market with lofty ambitions: it wants to realistically present the current conflict raging in Afghanistan, and in doing so it has become the most controversial game of 2010. But developer Danger Close's contentious desires are often hindered by Medal of Honor having to concurrently act as a video game, and it's in this back-and-forth between tone and game that the whole product suffers its biggest blow.

What you need to understand about the new Medal of Honor, you see, is that many of its core events play out like its contemporaries. The first level ends with a carbon copy of Call of Duty 4's iconic, slow-motion pistol headshot, for instance, and the second level has you causing a ruckus in an aircraft graveyard less than a year after Price and Soap shot their way through one in Modern Warfare 2.

This aesthetic familiarity is a bit of a shame, as when Danger Close designs set pieces around the currently unexplored avenues of modern combat the result is far more spectacular. One notable highlight arrives in the middle of the game, when you and your NPC cohorts are garrisoned inside a dilapidated house that is progressively blown to smithereens by enemy fighters. The massive scope of the action is refreshing: rolling mountains completely surround you and huge concentrations of Taliban fighters bundle over the horizon. By the time the confrontation ends you can see the whites of your opponents' eyes and your house has been reduced to a single, broken slither of wall. It's an absolutely thrilling sequence.

The problem, however, is that such moments are few and far between. Over the length of the game's six-hour campaign there are only a handful of events that get the blood pumping, with the rest having you do little more than take potshots at distant enemies with high-tech weaponry. Major events are heavily signposted, and too many instances place you behind invisible walls (or in front of a door that only your AI sidekick can open) until you've dispatched the current screen of baddies. Much of the best spectacle is packed into the first few missions, as the game takes you from a top-notch opening to a slightly underwhelming and abrupt finale.

Even the equipment selection is a little sparse. Ammo for your guns is only ever a button press away, with supplies infinitely bandied out by any of your sidekicks. For this reason you're hardly ever likely to switch out from your default selection, which consists of the precise M14-EBR, all-rounder M4A1 and, occasionally, the sweeping destruction of the PKM - all familiar tools to an FPS aficionado, familiarly implemented. You can, of course, pick up weapons from your fallen enemies, but yours are always better so you won't bother. The onus is supposed to be on the people holding the guns, rather than the weapons themselves, but it would have been nice to have a little bit more versatility made available.

And while your Tier 1 fellows and occasional group of Rangers feel like they want to stay alive, perhaps shooting their way through this mess so that they can get back to a nice little house in the suburbs with a cute little picket fence and a tasteful American flag waving proudly in the autumnal breeze, your Al-Qaeda enemies roam around like mindless AI drones. The complete inability for the opposing force to preserve its life feels remarkably out of place - and kind of ruins the end result a bit, too.

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Highest Rated Comment

squidman's Avatar

squidman

Cheers for all the comments, chaps. Much appreciated.
Posted 17:40 on 12 October 2010

User Comments

guideman62's Avatar

guideman62

Martin, you've just become my favorite reviewer. Excellent review. Although I agree 99% with your comments, I still give Medal of Honor an 8. MOH's Multiplayer is what I like the most. Map design is excellent overall. Comparable to BBC2 and better than MW2. Can't wait to try out the new DLC soon.

PS: Such a complete and in-depth review like that means you deserve a raise!
Posted 03:43 on 20 October 2010
p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker

I'd already made my decision of whether or not to get this game (which was to pass), but this was still a great read nontheless Martin :P
Posted 22:59 on 12 October 2010
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

Good review Martin, cracking read. GT5 it is then!!!!

Might give this a whirl when I can get it cheap.
Posted 21:47 on 12 October 2010
omfg-bbq's Avatar

omfg-bbq@ Bloodstorm

Calm down now time for beddy byes.
Posted 21:44 on 12 October 2010
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Heh, i told you! I TOLD YOU! SOME SAID I WAS MAD BUT NOW LOOK AT ME!!!!!
Posted 21:43 on 12 October 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

I'm still disappointed by the Frontline HD port.

Would have liked to storm the Normandy beach in 720p.
Posted 20:42 on 12 October 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ SexyJams

I wouldn't panic if it is after all 7 is still a decent score just not a must own. Which is why most of us are saying if we pick it up it'll be when it lowers in price.
Posted 20:34 on 12 October 2010
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32@ SexyJams

But, but, you'll only get one playthrough of Enslaved D:
Posted 20:33 on 12 October 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Jesus!
I just asked for this for my MOTM game.
I've just changed it to Enslaved though now.
Hope it's not too late.
Posted 20:22 on 12 October 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ Karlius

Clearly haven't understood what I have said then. Oh well.

I'm still getting it and i will enjoy it. I know i will because i didn't shoot it down straight away like others have done.
Posted 19:20 on 12 October 2010
omfg-bbq's Avatar

omfg-bbq@ reynoldio

Who sold you thoose mushrooms?
Posted 18:46 on 12 October 2010
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio@ Neon-Soldier32

Martin only turns up for the big games, he'd suck at a review for Front Mission Evolved as he wouldn't take it seriously, thinking all he has to do is turn up and you'll beat West Brom but when a team sets itself up to be solid defensively you NEED TO FIND A WAY TO BREAK THROU...

*cough*

Think I'll go and have a little rest.
Posted 18:45 on 12 October 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod

Quote:
With any luck, no little kids will get it because "It's not CoD LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL"

Lol alright! That would actually be a big selling point for me.
Posted 18:43 on 12 October 2010
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32

Im not sure what was pointed out as bad enough for a 7, or what was what was pointed out about the sound.

Nice review though, disappointing though. Although, I will wait to make up my own mind on it. With any luck, no little kids will get it because "It's not CoD LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL"

Which should make for a better online experience at least

Also, will Martin be reviewing all the big games?
Posted 18:40 on 12 October 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ Mr_Ninjutsu

To be honest you did just leave yourself wide open to it lol.
Posted 18:25 on 12 October 2010

Game Stats

Medal of Honor
7
Out of 10
Medal of Honor
  • Lots of content.
  • Sound is brilliant.
  • Forgettable multiplayer.
  • Forgettable campaign.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 15/10/2010
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC
Developer: EALA
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 3,735 11631
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