Thursday, October 28, 2010

Medal of Honor

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.


anotherdae said...

Thats too bad. I was hoping this would be the game to get me back into war type games again. Oh well, back to 1943.

Jacob Clark said...

I totally agree with the review for the game. The gameplay was so bland and felt like a call of duty rip off more than its own franchise. Keep up the good work!!!

Signing out, Jacob

Unknown said...

Is it fair to leave out -any- of the positive aspects of MoH in the review? The multiplayer is amazingly brutal, which can be annoying for some, but for shooter vets can also be very challenging. The sound design has always been amazing in MoH games, and this is no different.

I agree that it's disappointing EA didn't take greater advantage of the "real world" setting which turned out to be a marketing gimmick, but the game does have some appreciable differences that a genre expert, not a pedant, would point out for you. It's certainly not as bad as your review makes it sound, I think.

MoH is at least worth a rental, but I might actually hold on to my copy even after Black Ops comes out. It does offer something different in the multiplayer from Bad Company 2 or Call of Duty. It's not all good different, but certainly isn't all bad, either.