Most maps are riddled with corridors that are simply too thin, and even basic games of Team Assault - played 12-vs-12 - are robbed of any potential nuance by forcing you into staccato chains of death and respawning in areas that are clusterbombs of crossfire and explosive damage. Bullets are especially deadly here, and even the lightest spray of fire in your direction will have you staring at your own demise.
Die, and you're simply told that you're dead. That's understandable, but the last few years has seen post-death turned into a mini-tutorial: Halo nudges you into the direction of the enemy; Call of Duty shows you how you bit the dust from the perspective of your killer. Medal of Honor's vanilla approach might be the purest implementation, harking back to How Things Used To Be, but when you've been blasted away six times from the same camping sonofagun, you quickly realise that these gentle post-death nudges have been added into other games for a reason.
Notch up points while remaining alive and you'll add to your score chain, which lets you choose from an offensive or defensive ability after hitting certain increments.Reaching 50 points will give you either a mortar strike or a UAV, whereas 600 treats to you a cruise missile or a massive boost to armour. By setting the barrier of entry quite high (roughly four kills depending on headshots and other bonuses) DICE ensures that games are focused on tight gunplay and solid tactics instead of cheap artillery strikes.
It's not a bad experience by any means, but it's a slightly inconsistent overall package. By attempting to be a jack of both Call of Duty's and Bad Company 2's trades, it ends up a master of neither, though its vicious gunplay and unfettered carnage will ensure it finds a solid and dependable fanbase - at least until Black Ops and Bad Company 2: Vietnam show up.
Medal of Honor's balancing act combines two developers and game engines. Lofty ambitions on both fronts are ultimately let down by very little desire to redefine the game's range or bring out the best from each engine's particular set of talents, but it's undeniable that both single and multiplayer have their individual merits. Neither Danger Close nor DICE are working to their full potential here, but underneath the hype and controversy there's a video game that's still worth a look.