Medal of Honor Allied Assault Breakthrough Hands-On Impressions

We take an up-close look at the second expansion pack for Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.


We had an opportunity to try out the new expansion pack for Medal of Honor Allied Assault at today's Camp EA event. Breakthrough will let you assume the role of US Army Sergeant John Baker as the Allied forces battle from North Africa up the Italian peninsula. The 11-mission campaign starts you off at the battle of Kasserine Pass and then takes you into Messina in Sicily, Monte Cassino, and finally to the battle of Monte Battaglia.

According to EA representatives, the game has just entered the alpha stage, so all the levels are in place. All the developers involved in the project are sensitive to the fact that the last expansion pack for Medal of Honor Allied Assault was widely criticized for its brevity. Many players were able to breeze through Spearhead's campaign in less than eight hours. We were informed that experienced EA play testers are currently able to finish Breakthrough's single-player campaign in about 10 to 12 hours, so the average player can reasonably expect around 12 to 15 hours of gameplay from the campaign.

Aside from the 11 single-player missions, Breakthrough will include nine new multiplayer maps and a new multiplayer mode called liberation. Similar to jailbreak mods for other shooters, liberation pits two teams against each other. Whenever a player dies, he or she is placed in a jail area inside of the enemy's base. The surviving teammates much reach and activate special triggers on the map in order to free their comrades. The game ends when an entire team is placed in jail.

Breakthrough also includes new soldier models for the Americans, British, and Italians, as well as a handful of new weapons based on what was actually used by both sides in the Italian campaign. One new British weapon is the PIAT, a handheld mortar that doubles as a makeshift bazooka. There are also new sniper rifles and a new Italian submachine gun called the Moschetto Automatico Beretta MOD .38A.

We sat down and played part of the campaign's first level, set in North Africa at the battle of Kassarine Pass. We began the game riding in the back of a jeep that took us to the front of the battle. The initial fight was intense; wave upon wave of German soldiers beat back the ranks of Americans. Thick red dirt swirled about as the battle raged on in the midst of a dust storm. The dust made it difficult to see and to discern friend from foe as we fought our way through the German lines. Eventually, we came upon an abandoned German tank, which we commandeered and used to penetrate the German ranks. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to try out any of the new weapons in our brief time playing Breakthrough, but the new German soldier models were appropriately garbed for the scene, including special masks to help filter out the choking red dust.

From what we saw, Breakthrough appears to offer much of the same formula that made the original Medal of Honor: Allied Assault such a hit on the PC. You can look forward to the new campaign, new weapons, and the new liberation mode for multiplayer when Breakthrough ships this fall.

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