Medal of Honor screenshot
Medal of Honor screenshot

I didn't like the Medal of Hono(u)r beta - but that's okay, according to DICE, as it was intended to be an actual beta. Not these fancy 'betas as marketing gimmicks' that are commonplace nowadays (although it was used as a marketing gimmick) but an actual, honest-to-goodness beta with warts and all, such as serious problems that needed fixing – like the way it kept crashing my PS3, for instance – and really dodgy balancing.

So, it's been a few months and the game's due out in a couple of weeks. What's changed? Loads of stuff, actually. Some of the most noticeable changes include the overhauled HUD, the recoil of the weapons and the killstreaks, which are now far harder to obtain. That might not sound like much in an industry obsessed with making up 'revolutionary' new features to plonk on the back of boxes, but take the game for a spin online and it's clear that these tweaks have had a massive impact.

That being said, my only opportunity to test out the multiplayer component of the game – this is the bit being made by DICE with the Frostbite engine, as opposed to Danger Close's single-player campaign – was over the course of an afternoon a few weeks ago. The set-up was two random teams of European journalists, who all worked together about as well as two random teams of European journalists ever can: badly. One major problem was that the sides were wildly imbalanced, and while steamrolling the other team over and over again was undeniably entertaining, it didn't show off too much of the game's subtle intricacies. Still, can't complain.

Changes from the beta are immediately apparent as soon as you spawn. The re-jigged recoil adds a lot more to the fire-and-forget style of the beta, and while the animations still lack the fluidity of other competing shooters there's an excellent selection of chunky, enjoyable weapons. It is incredibly easy to perish, which makes bullets feel deadly and life precious.

The first mode we played was Team Assault – the game's standard Team Deathmatch variant. It's tried and tested, and will probably be the most popular mode. You band off into two squads (yes, one team is the Taliban – just like the papers said) and try to shoot each other while not dying in the process. On that note, when will developers stop trying to make up their own names for Team Deathmatch? Nobody is being fooled into thinking this is anything new.

Then you get a bit of Sector Control, which you'll probably recognise more by its other name: Domination. Here you try and lock down three points on the map and then hold them to accrue points. More points, more prizes. You'll end up shooting people along the way, too. Again, it's a staple gametype of modern shooters.

More interesting, perhaps, are Objective Raid and Combat Mission. These have drawn their inspiration from DICE's spiritual sibling Battlefield. Objective Raid turns Bad Company's Rush into an intense skirmish where an attacking team needs to blow up two points on a teeny tiny map within five minutes. Areas are so small in Objective Raid that you're shooting people a couple of seconds after you spawn.

Combat Mission is an altogether more expansive territory-grabbing mode that sees an attacking team attempting to move across five consecutive objectives. These have a bit more dressing to them than simple points A and B; on the Shahikhot Mountains map, for example, you start by securing a crashed helicopter, and then move to blow up an ammo depot, clear out a stronghold, knock over a mortar station and, finally, take out an anti-air gun.

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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

Technical Specs
Release Date: 15/10/2010
Developer: EALA
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 2,469 119
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