I am the definition of a hardcore FPS gamer. I am a military know-it-all addict that has bookshelves full of titles on all sorts of military hardware from around the world. I own almost all the original Medal of Honor and Call of Duty titles. I also have an assortment of RPGs like Mass Effect and Fallout — but enough about what I like to play and the background I have with games like these. Let’s talk about the garbage experience I had playing the Medal of Honor beta on Xbox Live. That’s right, I said garbage. It pains me to even think I wrote that.
But I play Battlefield Bad Company 2 almost every night now and I am totally familiar with what a “destructible environment” is supposed to be. If I see a building or a wall in front of me, and I know you are cowering behind it, I will blow it up! Destructible environments and changing scenery based on how the players are progressing through the map is just plain awesome.
So, after putting in endless hours into the multiplayer, you could see why I would expect a similar experience when a game such as the new Medal of Honor, which also purports to have ”destructible environments.”
But the environments in Medal of Honor were nothing close to what I consider “destructible.” The most destruction I witnessed was chunks from some concrete blocks getting chipped off.
So much for destructible.
Another issue I take is with the claim that it uses a real-world location in a real-world combat and it uses real-world weapons. I do remember reading and seeing clips boasting about developer Danger Close (formerly EALA) had input from real-world special forces.
That claim, too, doesn’t exactly live up to the hype.
Take the MP7, for example. I took a particular interest in this weapon, as my boss at work has had extensive time using MP7 in the Marine Corps.This offers me a bit more perspective on it as it compares to the real-world version that this game purports to emulate.
One of the main problems between the real thing and the game was the MP7’s recoil, or “kickback,” as you fire on full automatic. The real MP7 has little to no recoil, even in full automatic. Not so with the game version. For a game that claims to be creating a real environment, it already has come short, and this is just with one weapon in the game.
But my disappointment doesn’t stop there.
When I first got into the beta, I clicked on the Mission section of the multiplayer, and I found myself with only one other player on a huge map. I figured it would add players as time passed so I took in the scenery. Lots of places to hide, varying terrain, the sounds and backdrops of snowcapped mountains and desolate arid valleys in Afghanistan. Yes, finally a game with a real location, not some made up place with a corny name.
In Medal of Honor, you can play either as a member of the Taliban or the US military. I started out playing as the Taliban. I wasn’t all too excited to play as one, but I was interested in the weaponry available to them. There are three classes for each the U.S. and the Taliban, using names such as Rifleman, Special Forces, and Marksman for the US side and Soldier, RPG Grenader, and Sharpshooter for the Taliban. Each class has its own weapons and such. My experiences with this game were nothing like the PC version already covered by Nick Dinicola’s multiplayer PC review, and here’s why:
It ran slow. We’re talking frame rates that made me cringe at some points. No teamwork was utilized or awarded, points given for kills seemed low (compared to Battlefield or COD4). And the maps didn’t seem to have any real specific purpose. Everyone just ran around like headless chickens and shot at anything that moved.
Weapon usage is severely limited, and considering this was a beta and not a demo, why not let us try out all the attachments for each weapon? Why do I have to play long enough to unlock these things. The purpose of the beta is to test out how the game is working and get user feedback, right?
I played for hours, switching classes trying to figure out what I could use to get the most kills and what weapons would be just be a bit more comfortable. I ended up using the Sniper class only because it was the only class where I had some kind of usable zoom when I was aiming for targets farther away. Iron sights are fine for some situations, but I was just having a tough time using the stock equipment.
From having weapons that don’t react as their real-world counterparts to fighting in environments that seem pointless other than for just random encounters with the opposite team, this game has not impressed me at all. I had very high expectations for Medal of Honor and had no doubt in my mind that I was going to purchase it. But now, I think I might go for Halo: Reach or Call of Duty: Black Ops and bypass this one.