Medal of Honor makes its reignited gameplay debut in a new form of violence. There are terrorists, a lot of scripted sequences, and moreover a level of moderate intensity that is typical to any low-grade B-flick. While Medal of Honor places an importance on the few hundreds of soldiers lucky enough to be Tier 1, a group of highly trained men beyond the Special Operations Command, it fails to provide any of the heart-pounding action it promises. There are certainly some thrills and fun to have with friends around, but on its own Medal of Honor fails to deliver in both the single-player and multiplayer experience unless it can find an audience base that is extremely forgiving. Medal of Honor wishes to make people feel the thrill of being a Tier 1 soldier in Afghanistan or other remote locations, instead it just relies on the forgiveness of players to a lot of its flaws from the heavily scripted single player dialogue campaign that slows down the pacing from an already short single-player experience, to the mediocre online mode with only 3 classes and yet again no perks feature of any sort. Medal of Honor really does try to heavily change the formula from its previous iterations of old-time war into modern day combat, but it hardly adds any real mechanics worth making it a $59.99 MSRP purchase aside for those hardcore fans of the older titles, who will all be even more insultingly disappointed in seeing a title that recreated a lot of battles of World War II come to such a traumatic halt for the series.
The single-player experience has the typical terrorists, explosions, small scripted moments that are believable, and moreover running and shooting. These, however, are where the problems begin and as a result a decent single-player adventure is something EA Los Angeles failed to deliver. The game makes a strong start with a tense situation of an operator patrol trying to find an informant. This soon turns sour and shooting ensues. The enemy A.I. is the most noticeable flaw in the entire single-player campaign due to their accuracy even in the most difficult mode, and their predictability. The enemies stick out like sore thumbs behind rocks, and move in predictable ways that allow for a simple point-and shoot with any sort of weapon. Action like this, where all you have is run and gun gaming, severely suffers as a result of poor A.I. programming and realism. As the players carry on the missions as a Tier 1 Operator, tasked with infiltrating deep behind enemy lines and being decisive tools of war, they will notice that the entire Medal of Honor mission structure is essentially the same. Another terrorist, another problem or an unsensational and overly dramatic situation that is hardly fallible. Aside from this, the action pacing is heavily denigrated with consistent dialogue scripting in the worst places. As Tier 1 soldiers, it hardly occurs to anyone that there might be a lot of cross-fire in a small area which is highly unnecessary in a realistic sense, but everyone goes marching through it in a fashion that feels as if EA DICE forces an artificial tension. You hardly hear your own heartbeat pounding over the incredible action as the cover suggests, instead you hear your heartbeat wishing for the atrocious campaign to finish, and luckily it is very short even on an increased difficulty mode.
Multiplayer carries on the upsetting display of Medal of Honor’s hopes and dreams of becoming an Activision-inspired title that is set to modern warfare. The multiplayer introduces a half-glowing gem in the face of Tier 1 mode. Tier 1 mode allows friends to get in a level together, minus the necessities of snap-to-target aiming, crosshairs, and faster health regeneration to provide for a showdown in which one of the players thinks they are the best operative in terms of their skill shooting points given a specific amount of time. Tier 1 mode is the only real fun to be had with Medal of Honor, but it hardly classifies itself into a prized title that is worth bragging about considering the enemy A.I. is not smart enough to begin with, which just leads to a competition between who can pull their trigger the fastest and point at an idiotic enemy on the opposing force (OPFOR).
Multiplayer has several other modes that offer 24 player support on 12-vs-12 combat modes, but EA Digital Illusions CE created an aspect of the game that is hardly befitting of a mention for a title that aims to daringly introduce the series into newer territory. Hosts can create playlists which are essentially a cycle of maps to engage with through the different mode types: Combat Mission, Team Assault, Objective Raid, and finally Sector Control. Combat Mission is a run and gun mission of clearing objectives on the map. There are five objectives per map and are story-based. With a universal coalition meter, the team life is always in danger and makes for a great mode. Team Assault is a team-based combat mode where two teams attempt to reach a certain number of points to win a match. Objective Raid is an exaggerated sabotage ‘Plant the Bomb’ mode using specific targets on the map. This mode is the most tedious mode as the OPFOR respawn right away and even though they have a limited amount of time to achieve the mission; it can get pretty pointless given the map layouts. Sector Control is a glorified capture-the-base mode and hardly adds to any excitement. While multiplayer modes are interesting in Medal of Honor, majorities are borrowed concepts and hardly feel engaging. Simply having modes that are set in maps across Afghanistan sand and mountains hardly make them exciting. There needs to be more than just a simple experience leveling system of three classes that only unlock new weapons and a few extras. While the multiplayer aspect is there, it is hardly worth anyone’s time in terms of any incentive or rewards for playing a title that is hardly innovative in that area or respect.
Medal of Honor tries to take a page from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but aims to give a more realistic approach to the combat situations in recent history with the Eastern countries, focusing on a pseudo-reality of Afghanistan. Just because one title does modern warfare so incredibly well for two iterations hardly means it is not open to be used by another developer. Unfortunately, Medal of Honor tries to rely on its modern warfare combat too heavily and basic weaponry models, though varied, are hardly effective with the game as a whole with enemy A.I. that is equally dire. The multiplayer is wholly uninspiring let alone original, the voice dialogue of the characters is abysmal at best with exaggerated dialogues or sudden gasps of enemy coalition forces, there is hardly any storyline with coherent cutscenes but instead dialogue dispersed scripted action through the very short campaign missions, and finally the visuals are hardly all that impressive. EA Digital Illusions CE and EA Los Angeles have both essentially together crafted a modern failure in an all too predictable and already outdated game that relies on borrowed concepts for a franchise that was hoping to begin a new chapter in its short and uninspiring tale of modern warfare life.