Let’s be honest: All of these modern military shooters are, at their core, propaganda. They show our troops up against impossible odds, wiping out an Arab enemy, and saving the day. Propaganda can go too far though, Medal of Honor trying to make players believe the Taliban would be stupid enough to find milk crates as a suitable cover? Even dumber, they look around the crates as opposed to the 50 or so holes in the plastic to find their target. For the record, you’d be pretty hard pressed not to win this scenario.
Enemy A.I. is the least of this game’s problems, many of the latter stemming from the sluggish, stiff, and even unresponsive controls. Based on Tier 1 operators, one should expect precision and care of which Medal of Honor has none of.
The whole experience feels desperate to stand out or even justify its existence in the face of the monumentally popular competition. That aggression to the design has led to not only the rough, unfinished feel, but blatant copies. Working with a fellow sniper in the campaign, the player runs across numerous enemies who are taken out one at a time as the player calls it, much like in Modern Warfare 2 sans the mountain climb.
The same goes for multiplayer, with its point-based airstrikes or other mass-kill bonuses. Never mind the absurd censorship and debate over the Taliban inclusion; Medal of Honor has far more concerns.
There are certainly moments where this game shines, few of them interactive. One cinematic has a solider-filled chopper loaded with friendlies clipped by an enemy RPG. The result is a sequence where occupants are tossed around the interior like pinballs, the camera swaying to enhance the effect. What follows is a brief wake-up, followed by a turret section, because every FPS these days has to have one. It’s in the unwritten rule book.
Direct involvement in any of this intensity typically means running away while waiting for an air-lift, the game’s apparent attempt to make this all feel realistic hindering anything memorable. It causes a lack of variety too, MoH complacement with its basic combat engine, slow walking, and constant need to be helped up a small hill by a fellow soldier. Brief excursions on an ATV, which is simply a means to move from firefight to firefight, and over-the-top helicopter assault are just that: brief. Then again, firing any more missiles inside that helicopter would have shredded what little credibility the game had left.
If anything shows the total lack of ideas and concepts in MoH, it is the multiplayer descriptors. Sector Control states it is “like Domination,” which to be clear is not exactly truth. It is Domination from Modern Warfare 2, and although Activision’s franchise did not create the mode, simply referencing it reveals what a shameless knock-off Medal of Honor now is, and a knock-off is exactly what it plays like.
Medal of Honor is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood, Strong Language, Violence. This game can also be found on: PS3, PC.