Medal of Honor – Second Opinion

Pretender. Wanna-be. Unoriginal. When I heard people comparing Medal of Honor (MoH) to GoldenEye 007 I was ready to toss all the slurs its way. But after a few honest rounds during the game I found that I was judging it too quickly and harshly. Like Chi I agree that for the most part, it is deserving of the comparison and holds up pretty well but I can't get past the fact that GoldenEye is an old game and MoH having been so recently released is not even an improvement. The three things I take issue with are the graphics, control and multi-player modes. To start with the graphics are really unimpressive. When I booted it up and saw the FMV and the well done menu screens I had high hopes for the game but as soon as I got to the first level, I was shocked to see the pixelated, low-res mess that I'd have to spend hours playing through. It's probably for this reason that so many levels take place at night or in deep dark cavernous areas. This seems to be an old trick used in the industry to mask pop-up, pixelization and other graphical deficiencies that appear in the game.

The second shortcoming is the control. Chi only touched on it but I think it is deserving of more attention. GoldenEye benefited from having six face buttons and a Z-trigger. MoH lacks both so they resorted to using the L and R buttons. This isn't the fault of the developer because there were no other options but during intense action having to reach for the L1 to crouch, R2 to fire, or whatever essential actions are assigned to these hard to reach buttons, can cause a lot of mistakes. All in all it's the fact that the PlayStation analog controller is perfect for maneuvering an "Ape Collector" across a landscape but is ill-suited for a first-person-shooter. Having said that I feel for anyone without a Dual Shock controller because everything gets even more complicated with fewer buttons and joysticks at your disposal.

The third and final misstep is the multi-player mode. This is what got GoldenEye on Blockbuster's top rental list up to a year after it's release and makes it one of the best selling games to date. MoH stumbles big time by not having a four-player mode and falters further with such a mediocre two-player mode. The dark graphics (again to hide graphical shortcomings) are not the best for fast paced multi-player action. Half the time I couldn't even see Chi or Chi couldn't see me until we were right on top of each other. That made for a lot of walking around searching for each other while trying not to get lost in the darkness. It just was not fun to do any of that and to be honest that should have been a major concern to the developer. MoH is not horrible but everything in the game has been done and done better might I add, years ago. As authentically as they get the WWII era, DreamWorks was off target in the gameplay department, hence the lower score. Rating: 7.5 out of 10