Medal of Honor is Danger Close’s latest offering, published by EA (Electronic Arts). The game borrows positives from the two otherbigger franchises – Call of Duty and Battlefield. The game takes place in urban settings and relatively small environs (like Modern Warfare 2) and has a toned down procedural destruction system (thanks to the immensely powerful Frostbite engine, by DICE).
Medal of Honor initially set out to differentiate itself from the previously mentioned shooters, and carve out a niche for itself in the overly – saturated FPS segment, and it has. Just as in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you play as 4 different soldiers in all – Rabbit, Adams, Deuce and Hawk.
Gameplay-wise, and on the visual front, the game has a solid hit-detection system, stunning lighting effects, and solid character animations, and brilliant sound effects. All this adds to the credibility of the game. The cut scenes are extremely well rendered and make the game feel like an interactive movie. The textures are pretty good and the game looks great even without anti-aliasing. The background score just blends in with the situations and pulls you into the game even more. Disappointingly, there is almost no recoil while firing guns, and just as in Modern Warfare 2, the reload animations are lightning quick (it looks as though the game has borrowed a lot from Modern Warfare 2), which brings down the realism by a notch. The fact that the developers took the help of real Tier 1 operatives really shows, the game plays out in a thoroughly professional manner – with soldiers communicating with each other in a military-jargon-riddled manner. Even the basic element of taking out the bad guys is played out interestingly, with sensible tactics involved most of the times.
There are a variety of missions, from riding buggies and sniping to being an Apache gunner. The game is totally glitch, and Danger Close pulled off one feat effortlessly – making enemy AI look as dumb as pigs. They just run helter-skelter when you fire at them, instead of taking cover and taking headshots. Even the supporting characters’ AI is takes the definition of “dumb “ to new heights. In more than one instance, I found a supporting character looking the other way and shooting enemies, who promptly dropped dead like a sack of potatoes. Apparently, Danger Close has taken cues from Treyarch’s upcoming magnum opus – Call of Duty: Black Ops – and added a dive feature. Sprint and crouch, and your character dives. The campaign mode is painfully short and can be completed even on Hard difficulty in under 5 hours. Just when you start bonding with the characters you play as, the game nearly comes to an end.
Due to lack of time, I couldn’t try out the multiplayer component of the game, but you can read my review of the Multiplayer BETA here.