I can't believe how mediocre Medal of Honor is. It's like every military shooter ever made was puréed into a smooth but flavorless paste. Nothing about it was new or interesting. Nothing was terrible, either, but then again I'm pretty forgiving about things like AI squadmates who hunker down and refuse to move until I cross an invisible checkpoint. Just as long as I can keep blasting away, I'm good. Still, every time I play a game in this genre, I think to myself, "I've had about enough of this for a lifetime." And then when the next one comes out, I play that one, too.
Medal of Honor is supposed to be different because it's supposed to be more realistic than its contemporaries. Certain things are true-to-life: the way people and places look, for example, and the way the weapons work. Other things are less so. That's the ground I cover in my review.
I was actually glad to see a friendly-fire incident, since those are pretty common, and that was the game's biggest feint toward real realism. Of course, it was ordered by some needle-nosed bureaucrat in Washington who'd been out of combat for years and who, presumably, the CIA had pushing too many pencils. This is seen from a distance, in satellite view.
But I kept thinking about Pat Tillman, and how, faced with the barrage of friendly fire that would kill him, he was reported to scream "I'm Pat fucking Tillman!" However brave Tillman was -- and he seems to have been uncommonly courageous -- it was a moment of sheer terror and panic. He didn't sacrifice himself for any great cause. His death was one big fuckup.
Why was I thinking about this? Because I kept accidentally shooting my squadmates, and they kept brushing off my bullets with quips. There wasn't a Pat Tillman to be found.
The real truth of warfare is that people die in all kinds of stupid, ridiculous, and not at all heroic ways. Combat deaths are senseless at least as often as they are heroic. Could you make a game out of something like that? I don't know. But I know that Medal of Honor didn't try.