1941, America goes to war
Our entry into the Second World War will take place first of all through in-depth training, which will allow us to understand how to best move within hostile territories, and which will give us the opportunity to acquire the basic notions on how to use of part of the paraphernalia with which we will have to interact during war operations.
All this will be possible thanks to the mandatory tutorial that we will have to face at the beginning of the game. Immediately after becoming familiar with the character controls we will be sent to our first operational mission, the objective of which will be explained to us inside the War Cabinets Rooms in Whitehall.
Each briefing will be punctuated by a voiceover who, with the help of various slides, will give us information both on the state of the conflict and on what the purposes and obstacles we will have to face to complete our tasks will be.
Once these notions have been acquired, we will be catapulted directly into the actual action or through an introductory movie made with the game engine or within a location from which the plot of our mission will then unfold.
Men in battle
The missions that we will have to face will often see us alongside other soldiers with whom we will have to collaborate in order to best succeed in our objectives.
In the first level, for example, we will be supported first by a group of American soldiers who will have the purpose of opening the way to the enemy buildings and then by an army officer (freed by us from German captivity) who will provide us with valuable information and further objectives to be achieved in order to allow us to finish the mission.
Fundamental, in order to finish the various tasks that will be gradually assigned to us, will be to move in synchrony with the rest of the group in order to cover each other's shoulders and advance as quickly and safely as possible: on more than one occasion the cover fire carried out by our allies will be decisive in order to advance in the game.
The missions that we will face will be of the most disparate: we will have to free prisoners, sabotage enemy war equipment, steal projects, eliminate people and participate in collective warfare, all within environments reconstructed with a novice of details and a care of the truly remarkable details.
The programmers have really given a lot of importance to the reconstruction of realistic environments in which to project our electronic alter ego. Noteworthy is the implementation of textures and the use of polygons and plays of light, which denote a truly intensive exploitation of the potential of the Quake III engine used to create the product.
The facial expressions of the protagonists are also well constructed, whether they are relevant or not, which, in some situations of the game, will change in real time based on what happens around us. An example among all is given by the sudden changes of mood to which the characters on the screen will be subjected during the assault on the bay of Omaha Beach, where there will be proposed expressions of triumph, terror, despair and pain according to the situation. that will see them involved.
Despite the excellent work done and the good interactivity that is given with the surrounding environment, it remains a bit "bitter in the mouth" in realizing that more could be done with regard to this aspect. After having been able to play with Max Payne where almost the entire environment in which it is projected is destructible, where every type of wall and material shatters with truly realistic effects, and where every single shell of our weapons bounces and remains on the ground. misses these things in Medal Of Honor.
It should be noted that thanks to this "reduction" of realism it will be possible to play Medal Of Honor in Multiplayer mode, which is not feasible in Max Payne because of the limitations to which the title is subject due to the superior environmental effects.
A soldier's best friend? His rifle.
In addition to the particular novice circles, it was also spent in the implementation of the weapons that we can use to clear away the obstacles that will appear in front of us on our path to glory.
At our disposal we will have over 21 weapons from the period of the Second World War reconstructed in a truly realistic way, including: Thompson semi-automatic rifles, Mark II grenades and machine guns of the time; almost every weapon will be present in two versions, one relating to the armament supplied to the American forces and one for the German ones. Note a peculiarity of the game that increases the realism of the simulation: the ammunition will not (obviously) be compatible between different types of similar weapons, that is an American machine gun will use bullets of a different caliber from the German one and therefore we will have to recover the right bullets to use it.
It seems strange that, in the face of such "meticulousness" of details, one finds oneself in possession, in some situations of the game, of stationary machine guns or similar equipped with infinite ammunition ... the motivation could lie in the hypothesis of having a continuous exchange of bullets but also in this case it is very out of place not to be called to replace the used bullet rolls with new ones; this also in the face of the often vital importance of having to waste time in the game to refill our gun with new cartridges.
In addition to the accurate reconstruction of the models of the weapons, the "physical" response to their use was also well implemented; firing bursts of machine guns we will be subjected to a certain recoil that will make us deviate the aim from the optimal position and the recharge times of the various war devices will be realistically different making it longer to insert a large caliber cartridge inside a sniper rifle rather than inserting the snap magazine of a submachine gun into place.
In addition to the weapons of the time we will also have to deal with the vehicles used during the Second World War, both in order to sabotage them and by finding ourselves driving them or using the weapons made available. Among the various we mention the Sherman M4 tank, the M3 armored vehicle and various jeeps.
The success of a war? Matter of Intelligence
The artificial intelligence of the enemies we will encounter settles on medium-high levels giving moments of high realism interspersed with flaws that it is necessary to detect. There is nothing to complain about the combat tactics and the reactions to our blows that the members of the opposing army will have as the German soldiers have been "trained" to react optimally to the various situations they face, managing to make the best use of the objects present in the environment as a cover for our shots, lying on the ground to be less visible, using all the armament made available to them and alternating discharges of machine guns with launching grenades and acting in synchrony in order to create cover for their companions during combined actions.
But there are two not very appreciable characteristics attributable to the Germanic patriots, namely a poor spirit of observation and a very high lack of hearing.
In fact, on almost all occasions the presence of a corpse in a corridor will not in the least alert the soldier passing by and, even worse, no action will be taken upon hearing machine gun discharges and screams of pain; these flaws that appear even more evident in the face of the excellent implementation of the rest of the game's AI.
Worth noting is the valuable presence of moments in which the enemy folds back or seeks cover in order to reload their weapons or when, seeing an opponent who shoots madly, tends to flee in panic or simply overwhelmed by the survival instinct. .
In the final analysis, and hoping for the resolution of these "inaccuracies" in some patch, we must give a very positive vote to the realism of the actions and behavior of our opponents.
The noise of battle
Like any self-respecting battle, a good soundtrack is required in order to underline the crucial moments and enhance the actions taken by the soldiers who take part in it. In this respect, while not achieving anything innovative or sublime, Medal Of Honor performs well by giving off the right musical background and never invasive or frustrating.
Remaining therefore in the average under the aspect of the sound track, the title gives the best of itself as regards the sound effects. The reproduction of the noises emitted by the various weapons is remarkable and also the speech (viewed in the American version) is worthy of praise. Very beautiful are the moments in which you can listen to radio communications or speeches made by enemies unaware of our lethal presence. The sensations that are experienced during mass war actions and those totally alone in the middle of the silence of expanses of snow where the only audible noise is that of the white trampled ground, of the explosion of firearms, should be pointed out as topical. and the screams of downed opponents.
A mass conflict
As already mentioned above, Medal Of Honor contemplates, in addition to an excellent single-player mode, also the always valuable and interesting possibility to play in multiplayer; form, among other things, with which the playable demo of the product has been provided.
The longevity and fun of the game are therefore also extended to the possibility of facing adversaries in flesh and blood in battles to the death, challenging them in numerous and varied maps. Not being Medal Of Honor an extreme simulation product like Counter-Strike but being deliberately centered on a more action and immediate game mode in the network game, the classic death match and cooperative modes to which the various Quake have accustomed us are currently used. where the primary purpose of the challenge is to eliminate as many enemies as possible in the allotted time.
1945, end of the war
In conclusion, we can only recommend Medal Of Honor to all lovers of first-person games or action products in general; the title is very pleasant both to play and to see, giving moments of great entertainment and involvement.
In terms of difficulty, which can be selected from among 4 possibilities, the game is neither too easy nor frustrating, able to be attractive and playable both by the inveterate shooter and to those approaching a product of this type for the first time. .
PS: The review above refers to the US version of the game, tested on an imported final product. In a few days we will be able to offer you the review of the Spanish version of the game, that is the final product that you will find from February 15th in stores: we are particularly curious to be able to evaluate the quality of the localization, considering that the title has been translated, text and spoken, completely in our language. A little more patience, so ...
1939, the beginning of the conflict.
It was the distant (speaking of the videogame era) 1999 when the first Medal of Honor appeared in the world of electronic games, and it was immediately a success
Four years later, a sequel to that title reappears on the screens of our computers, and this time we will find ourselves in the role of Lieutenant Mike Powell, a member of the 1st Ranger Battalion recruited by the OSS and the background of our adventures will be that of the hardest years of the war, between 1942 and 1945.
In the succession of missions that we will face we will be called to carry out war actions in the lands of Normandy, we will find ourselves projected into the assault of Arzew, we will have to better manage a meeting with the Resistance outside the village of St. Lo, and we will try to groped to cross the highly controlled German border to take the bridge at Remagen ... and this is just a taste of the 20 levels that must be completed before our war is over.