Have you ever wanted to play a game that had the realism of games such as MAG or SOCOM, yet the ease of games such as Call of Duty? Well let me tell ya friends…there’s a game being released on October 12th, 2010 that has it all, and its name is Medal of Honor. Yes my friends, the series brought to you by EA, Sony and Dice (who are developing the multiplayer side of the game) has been upgrading and moved to mountains and lands of Iraq and Afghanistan. I got a chance to participate in the multiplayer beta and let me tell ya, I’m sold.
As a newbie (new player) to the series, I was a tad hesitant about whether I would enjoy this game or not, but what I found was a game rich with beautiful graphics and vistas that suck you in from the word go and hold on for dear life. For the multiplayer beta, they gave players the choice of either playing Team Assault in the ruins of Kabul City, or Team Mission in Helmand Valley, Afghanistan—notice that the common denominator is team, and EA/DICE has not spared the significance of that word. In each choice, players must play as a team if they want to achieve the goal of winning the match, so if you don’t play well with others, this may not be the game for you.
In Team Assault: Kabul City, you are a part of an elite group of soldiers, who are sent in to clear out the insurgents who have taken over the city. It is urban combat at its scariest and finest. All around the player, in the explorable and unexplorable areas of the map, it is quite common place to see the gamut of carnage. From a glass blow out of a upper window in a building two blocks, to a full on cruise missile striking and demolishing of a building, with explosions shooting into the air, DICE has really brought their game up a notch in order to make this multiplayer part of their showcase. From the constant flyovers from drones and fighters to the call in of artillery or mortar strikes, all goes to cement the realism of urban warfare on a scale that I haven’t seen in any other game to date.
Team Mission: Helmand Valley is almost taken from the pages of the newspapers, and international TV scenes. In Team Mission, you and your fellow players must work as a team to infiltrate and destroy a Taliban stronghold in the mountains of Afghanistan. The area is gritty, open and ominous. Often while playing it, I wondered if this is actually how it’s like for my friends and family, who are in the military, on a daily basis. The fear level was palpable, because while playing, players never actually know if they are in suitable cover, and more times than not, you aren’t. I love the realism of seeing a RPG missile flying past my head, as I’ve just taken out the shooter with my sniper rifle. It’s warfare in its dirty and most visceral form, and I think DICE has done a great job.
Throughout the graphics are beautiful (though some are unfinished), and really add to the realism of the game. I really love the fact that the maps are all destructible, because realism calls for it. If you shoot an RPG at a building in order to hit a group of enemies, that part of the building (enemies included) is blown away. The weapons have a weight to them that’s not seen in many games. For example, to varying degrees, recoil on a weapon is very much determined by what type of weapon it is, and it was done to near perfection. Bravo for that, DICE!
However as with all betas, there are going to be glitches, and yes this beta had its share. The most reported bug (one which should be fixed by release date according to DICE) was the fact that at least on PS3 (the platform I used to test the beta); the game would for seemingly no reason freeze. In fact, the freeze was so hard that every time it happened (which was three times during the course of my beta testing), I had to hard restart my PS3 to stop it. Another bug reported (and that I’ve personally witnessed) was instances where players were kicked out of matches for no reason; though I sum that up to poor server connection issues, because it was a beta server and not a live one.
My only real quam with the beta is one that I have with all FPS (First Person Shooter) style games, and that is the placement of the melee combat button. When a player is in the heat of battle in any game, but especially in FPS games, it is very easy to accidentally push down on the R-Stick (right joystick) in the process of trying to take out an enemy, because the R-Stick is also used to move your toon (Player character)’s weapon. Why would a developer put the melee ability on the same button? Why not (for instance in the case of the PS3) put it on the left trigger…just a suggestion developers.
I would like to add a note to the parents of the younger gamers among us—this game may not for them. Because of the simple premise of the game and its multiplayer aspects, this reviewer would suggest being cautious when purchasing this game for players 15 and under, simply because of the nature of the violence. As an adult gamer, during one match in particular, I even had to sit back and think about what I’d seen, after watching a teammate (who had just saved my life from an allied player) getting blown up by an artillery strike not 20 yards away from me, after having crossed the road that leads out of the Stronghold I was defending.
Issues notwithstanding, I really loved the beta, and can’t wait to purchase the game when it is released on October 12th. I just hope DICE has the issues repaired in time for release.