Medal of Honor

The latest Medal of Honor shifts focus to the on-going war in Afghanistan thus moving away from the traditional, historical focus of the series

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Medal of Honor Each and every mission in Medal of Honor is based in Afghanistan
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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  January 27, 2011

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Key Specs

Number of players: 1
Online play: Y
Price: $73

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The first game in the long running Medal of Honor series was released on 11 November 1999 and every game since then focused on a certain part of World War II. With the latest game, Medal of Honor (MOH), the focus shifts to a more recent conflict. That conflict is none other than Operation Anaconda, which took place in Afghanistan in March 2002. The shift is apt considering the game is meant to be a reboot for the franchise.

The game features two different play engines and this is obvious when you first fire up the title; it immediately presents you with a choice between launching the campaign or multiplayer mode. The single-player campaign uses a heavily-modified version of Unreal Engine 3, whereas multiplayer uses the Frostbite Engine, which was developed by EA Digital Illusions CE.

Playing the single-player component of Medal of Honor can be difficult at times because the game suffers from major framerate stutters when the action becomes intense. On one occasion assaulting an enemy position was extremely difficult simply because the game ran at slideshow pace and only recovered after about 30 seconds. We observed this behavior in a few areas of the game and this really is a shame because it destroyed what could have been an exciting and immersive firefight to the death.

What Medal of Honor gets right is the authenticity of modern combat; there's constant radio chatter calling in support, reporting enemy positions and as the player, your squad mates always talk to you over the radio. The weapons are thoroughly up-to-date in terms of looks and most of them have just the right amount of kick to them. This reviewer found the sniping segments of the game particularly satisfying.

The title features a few driving/flying segments as well and these change the pace of the game quite nicely. Unfortunately, framerate issues also became apparent in these parts of the game which made completing objectives unnecessarily difficult.

Medal of Honor's campaign, like most modern FPS titles, is quite short in length. There are 10 missions in all and playing on the medium difficulty level, you'll be done in less than eight hours if you're a reasonably good shot. That said, the game is quite challenging, enemies constantly move from cover-to-cover, will attempt to flank you where possible and when you're behind cover, will call in heavier weapons such as RPGs to destroy your cover.

The class-based multiplayer is brilliant and provides tons of replay value. Matches can feature up to 24 players and there are the usual game modes such as deathmatch, team-based deathmatches, sector control and more. Winning these multiplayer skirmishes helps you rank up your character's stats as well as giving you a variety of offensive and defensive abilities such as mortar strikes and radar jamming.

For: MOH rams home the chaos and intensity of battles. It really makes you think about what real soldiers go through in the heat of battle.
Against: Relatively short.
Verdict: Medal of Honor offers plenty of action in both its single- and multi-player modes. There are a few weak areas but there’s no denying it is a marked improvement over its predecessors.

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