A mediocre tribute to the soldiers in Afghanistan. They deserve so much better

User Rating: 5.5 | Medal of Honor PS3
Medal of Honor used to be a critically acclaimed franchise. Created by Steven Spielberg, the series focused mainly on World War 2, and was a huge success, that sadly disappeared slowly, especially after Call of Duty moved into modern territory. The last game was decent, but a disappointment, so now EA decided to reboot the series... in Afghanistan.

I have to be honest, I never were excited for this game. I know it tries to be different, set in Afghanistan and all, but it just looked like a big Call of Duty copy to me. Thus I wasn't really interested in buying the game. But my brother bought it, so I figured I might as well play it.

The game is set in 2002, just as American soldiers are invading Afghanistan, following 9/11, in search of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. You play as three soldiers: Dante Adams, Deuce & Rabbit, and you see their actions during the war.

Despite the setting, the story is horrible. It has clichés, like the General, who wants his troops to do this, yet always ends up being wrong. It doesn't really delve into character development either, and thus the psychological aspects are completely ignored. It's a botched up attempt at showing the Americans in the war, thinking that our hate for the Taliban is enough to make us care about the soldiers. Well it's not enough. At least it isn't as patriotic as the previous ones.


Someone should give me a cookie, because the gameplay turned out just as I expected... a Call of Duty copy... literally. With the exception from leaning (a feature which we haven't really seen for some time now), the controls have literally been "borrowed", button from button, from Call of Duty. It's odd then, that it doesn't feel as smooth. It feels slow and sluggish, and oddly enough, your character is really slow at points.

The shooting mechanics works well though, but that's only because it's been copied from Call of Duty. Some of the environments are destructible though, which means you'll have to stay on your toes. Throwing grenades takes ages. Takes ages to throw one and takes ages for them to explode, yet hold them for just a few seconds and they'll explode in the air. Really stupid.

The campaign is uneventful, for the most part. There might be one or two really good moments, but half the time, your just running and gunning, and taking out some big AA gun or stuff like that. I know I shouldn't expect big set pieces like Call of Duty, since its Afghanistan, and it's totally different, and I didn't. But that still means nothing happens in the campaign. It's pretty damn short too. Just as you feel like something's about to begin, the game ends. It took me only 4 hours to finish it, despite the levels being longer than your average Call of Duty level.

At least you can replay the campaign in Tier 1 mode, where levels don't have check points, and you're on a time limit. Results can be uploaded to leaderboards, and you can even put a marker on how far you made it, to your friends. It's actually a nice feature, in an otherwise bland game. Oddly enough, there's no collectables in the campaign either.

Multiplayer is better, but it feels tagged on. It feels like you're playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2.5, as it's the same modes, same controls, hell even the same movements. In fact, the controls in multiplayer are even smoother than offline! Guess that's what happens when you have two development teams working on entirely different things. (Danger Close for single player, DICE for multiplayer). Guess DICE should have made the single player campaign too.

Multiplayer is fun though, even if it's a copy of Call of Duty, but then again so is all the other multiplayer shooters out there (except for Assassin's Creed Brotherhood), but it's good, clean fun. Especially Combat Mission mode, which has one team trying to complete objectives' and the other defending. It's something that Call of Duty should introduce, because they're really good.

Multiplayer's not without its issues though. There are some problems with hit detection, such as headshots not registering sometimes. Respawning seems random too at times, and there's a good chance you'll end up respawing so close to the enemy, that you'll get killed the min you come back. But beyond that, the multiplayer's good fun. Not as good as Call of Duty, but it's something that should entertain for a good amount of time.

The multiplayer is fun, and well made, which is unlike the offline campaign, which feels like an afterthought. Like the story, it doesn't show the soldier's job in Afghanistan well. If they did, then I could play the more recent Call of Duty games and they'd tell me perfectly.


While the rest of the game disappointed, as I expected, the graphics on the other hand, is really sad. The guns look nice and the character faces looks realistic, but there are just so many bland textures. Environments lacks detailed and bland, and things like caves, snow (Even when looked from afar) and cliff walls, all suffer from pixilation. Seriously, they look like pixels, and that is a pretty huge problem. The frame rate buckles under too, though rarely. And the explosions are embarrassing.


At least, the sound is good. The voice acting is good, though the script should have allowed more character development. The music, composed by Ramin Djawadi (who made the music for Prison Break) is excellent though. Helping in bringing a atmosphere. It's just sad, that the campaign, nor the story lives up to it. The general sound effects sound okay, but some of them sound a little too weak. Gun sounds are sort of realistic. There are a few audio bugs in there though, though the one that happened the most had the sound cutting out for a second, which kept happening, all the time.


Medal of Honor doesn't disappoint me, because I never had any hopes for it. The developers say they worked with the US military in order to make the game, but it hardly shows. It's resorting to a Hollywood style experience, in similar vein to Call of Duty, and even at that, the game can't keep up.

What they should have done, was focus on the characters: how the war affects them and the constant battles. It would have made for a much more interesting experience, and much more fitting, as a tribute to the American soldiers and what they go through, but sadly, the game doesn't seem to care about it. Its mediocre, with a solid multiplayer tagged on.