Medal of Honor: Single Player Review

Okay, so The Bionic Ankle is back, and he is here to let you know that there is a war raging this very minute, and almost every man between the ages of 13-45 is fighting in it.  The shocking thing about this war is that most people are unaware it is being waged, but do not doubt that it is.  It’s being fought in the suburbs, in big cities, in the ghettos, in the boondocks, and anywhere someone has a flat screen TV and a next-gen console.  This is the war of Call of Duty vs. Battlefield, but now a third challenger approaches using some tricks from Battlefield, and that challenger is Medal of Honor.

The war was a simple one-on-one affair until 2007 when Call of Duty launched its Modern Warfare series and Medal of Honor sputtered out with Medal of Honor: Airborne for PS3 and Xbox 360 and Medal of Honor: Heroes for the Wii.  Both titles were WWII FPS’s and both, quite frankly, sucked and could not compete with the real world drama Modern Warfare presented.  Then in 2008 Battlefield: Bad Company showed up and took Medal of Honor’s place as MW‘s rival- the Red Sox to MW‘s Yankees so to speak.  So, time passed and Modern Warfare got bigger and bigger, Battlefield acquired a strong following, and Medal of Honor was forgotten, assumed dead forever and not a threat to MW or BF.  Then, at Spike TV’s 2009 video game awards, a trailer was shown for a new MoH and everyone got antsy in the pantsy.  To make a long story short, they basically say, “Hey, MW.  Yeah, you bitch.  We are coming for ya.  We are gonna be fighting the Taliban using real info and Special Ops Tier 1 Soldiers and Battlefield‘s DICE engine to run multiplayer.  BOO YA BITCH! HOW YA LIKE ME NOW?” Or at least that’s what I like to interpret the new setting and multi-player as.  Anyhoo, I am not here to talk about online; I am here to discuss the single player mode.

So, the single player is a pretty simple story arc where you switch between three elite US special forces four-man squads. The gist of the plot is that you are special forces fighting the Taliban.  The stuffed shirts in Washington a few thousand miles away think they know how to run the operation better than the men in the sand.  Of course there is conflict, they fuck it up and then it becomes about trying to get the special forces to do as much damage as they can to prevent the stuffed shirts wrong call from fucking up too much.  But of course they can’t be perfect and end up losing two of their own and must go back to get them, which ties all three teams together in the final mission.  The squads you will switch between are: The AFO Neptune Squad of Mother, Joker, Preacher and the character you control, Rabbit; the AFO Wolfpack Squad of Dusty (side note: Dusty is the most noticeable character in the game, seeing as how he is on the cover and all loading screens and all the Gamestop ads on TV), Panther, Vegas and the character you control, Deuce; the final squad is a group of Army Rangers consisting of Sgt. Preston, Tech Sgt. Yabara, Cpl. Hernandez and your character, Army Ranger Specialist Dante Adams.  There is also a brief mission where you control an Apache piloted by Brad “Hawk” Hawkins. Okay, now that we know who the players are, let’s get on with this bitch…

The first thing you must do when playing this game is to remember THIS ISN’T MODERN WARFARE!!!  Okay?  Got it?  Good. Let me start with what this game does right before i get into what it does wrong.  This game honestly makes you feel like you are in a war zone.  I turned off my lights, put on my Turtlebeach headphones and was sucked in from the machine gun clatter in the distance, to the debris flying in the air when a shot just missed me, to the stunning landscapes.  Now, when I say landscapes, let me point out that the night missions are okay, but it’s the missions in the desert during the day that make this game beautiful.  My favorite mission was the first one as Dante, where you had to fight through a sun soaked valley, and the glare from the sun made the level that much harder.  I dunno, it just tickled my fancy.  Another plus is the ammo system.  I rarely found myself dropping my gun to pick another up because mine worked fine, and if I ran out of ammo I just had to look at a teammate, hit “X” and I was restocked.  And, sadly, that’s the only place I think the game did great on.  Your squad’s AI was okay; they never took over a situation but you also never had to worry about them getting themselves killed, not because they were smart but because the game wouldn’t let them even if an enemy shot them twelve times and hit them directly with a grenade.  The enemy AI was standard.  Every now and then they would flank you and switch to better cover, but for the most part they served their role as a nice cozy home for my bullets.  The story was good and the single player campaign was short, but that’s to be expected with the next generation of shooters and it fit the story well.  The only change to the story I would make would be to let me know my squad mates better so that I could care if they die or not.  And, hey, once in a while when it looks like all hope is lost, let all hope be lost.  I hate to go to it, but in MW and MW2 when something big and tragic happened in the middle of the story, it made me wanna kill the bad guys even more.  In MoH I was always saved by something, and when it came to caring about my squad mates in AOF Neptune, I could only tell ’em apart by the icon above their heads.  In AFO wolfpack I didn’t even have a mission where I was with the whole squad; it was just me and Dusty.  So, if that could be changed, awesome.  The guns in the game are your standard fare.  You will spend most your time using an M4 and various sniper rifles.  Nothing too fancy, but nothing too shabby either.  Now, onto the bad…

Every game has negatives, and this game has a few glaring ones I have to point out.  First of all, the aiming for the most part was fine, but there were sections in the game where I don’t know if the game did it on purpose or if it was just that bad, but I would be locked dead red onto an enemy fire and the round would go wild, and this would happen shot after shot after shot.  This would happen throughout the game no matter the moment, big or small, and the most glaring came at the end of the first mission as Dante Adams, where you and your squad are pinned down in a hut as enemies come flooding down a mountainside from all around you and you look screwed towards the end of the level three.  Guys would appear with RPG’s; they would spawn in the same spot every time you played the mission. They also came out one by one to the same spot after the guy before them fired a rocket.  Now, the first guy I killed every time, no problem. I would kill the second guy right after he fired the rocket, and the third guy I couldn’t shoot if he was sitting at the end of my gun.  Mind you, this sequence happened seven times in a row as I kept dying from eating a rocket to the face until I just gave up and ducked.  So, yea, a lot of times you would miss when you were locked on.  Another pain in the ass was when you would hit the guy with an entire clip and he would only stumble for a second, stand up straight and hit you with two shots and drop ya.  Yea, that didn’t get annoying the ninety thousand times that happened.  There are also times when you shoot a guy, he goes down, doesn’t move and ya move onto the next target just to see the guy rise like a zombie and kill you.  Now, I know what you guys are thinking: “But Bionic, why dont you just frag these guys?”  Well, clever T1GN Reader, the answer is simple: Frag grenades in this game are useless.  Out of all the grenades I threw in the game, I think I got four kills from them  They are just hard to aim and dont do enough damage.  My final peev with this game is that the AI could be horrible at times.  There were times where my squad mates where firing out a door while an enemy was standing right outside and to the left or right of said door and they were firing in a completely different direction than the action.  Also, my AI squad mates would praise me on killing enemies that they themselves had killed.

So, let’s break it down: Modern Warfare, this game is not, but on single player alone can it match up to MW? You bet your ass it can.  A few bugs in the system that hopefully getting fixed and making me care about squad mates some more, and I think this game could have MW beat on the single player front.  Now, on the multiplayer front?  That’s a different story that maybe I or another T1GN writer will get into, because we haven’t had time to sit down as a team and frag noobs.

Here is the Multi-player Review.

Final Verdict for Medal of Honor Single Player:

4 out of 5