Friday, 25 April 2014

Medal of Honor: Game mini-review

Having recently picked up MEdal of Honor as part of the Humble Bundle. I finally gave it a chance. I'm going to give a quick review of the game and my thoughts on it.

Standard and linear action- It's extremely linear game with lots of scripted sections. Unlike games like Farcry or Crysis, you don't really choose the approach. If its an action section you will be shooting. If its a sniper section you will be sniping, if its a steath section you will be sneaking. If you don't follow the scripted sequence, you will fail the mission.

Confusing storyline- The opening sequences are very confusing and don't really help explain the characters, situation or plot very much. It also doesn't help that the opening sequence takes place in the night time.

Lack of squad control- You work as a squad but you can't control your squad members which is a shame really.

Is MOH propaganda?
One of the criticisms of the game is that its America propaganda. Compared to Homefront with its cartoonishly evil concentration camps and brutality or Spec Ops: The Lines criticism of the FPS genre I find MOH occupies more of a 'war documentary' space.

 The more I played it, the more I feel its more similar to compare MOH to a documentary based around interviewing soldiers. Although ficitionous, MOH is based on a real operation in Afghanistan. As I played I felt that MOH is trying to show players how soldiers felt about the conditions of fighting in a mountainous terrain against a Taliban army and the various difficult scenarios they encountered while doing so.

Unlike other war games like Brothers in Arms however MOH lacks the educational aspect of a documentary. Aside from some cutscenes between commanders, there wasn't really enough context about what they were doing. No mission briefings or maps. If anything I felt kind of sorry for the Taliban I was shooting up. You are part of the US army, a hi-tech force with drones, powerful guns, helicoptors and airstrikes. The Taliban on the other hand, look like they are dresed in traditional garb, live in primitive houses, use old tanks and are having their villages and houses bombed to bits by the US army.

Everything in Medal of Honor is competent but the linearity and somewhat confusing storyline  makes it feel more like an interactive movie than a game. I don't mind linear games, I enjoy games like Serious San, Painkiller and Brothers in Arms which are all linear but the extremely restrictive nature of MOH and lack of any real gameplay innovation just makes it feel unmemorable. I can't recommend it unless you really enjoy mediocre shooters.

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