Man, lots of long days testing here in Damage Labs lately. I’ve not had much to say since I’ve been working so hard, but we do have some good things coming up very soon.
One thing I stopped to do after the Radeon HD 6800-series review was play through the single player campaign in Medal of Honor. I talked about this in the podcast, but in case you missed it, I enjoyed the game quite a bit more than I expected after reading the initial reviews.
If I were a professional game reviewer, I suppose I’d be bound to score down the game on various fronts, such as lack of innovation or not living up to the promise of greater realism implied by the marketing. As a consumer, I should probably be upset about the multiple scripting bugs that forced me to replay levels or endure other forms of ridiculousness, adding an unwanted puzzle element to the core game experience. As a hardware reviewer, I was a little dismayed to see my FPS counter locked at 62 FPS almost throughout the entire game on a Radeon HD 6870 at 2560×1600 with the IQ options maxed. This will not be a particularly helpful addition to our benchmark suite; most any modern card should run it fine at 1920×1080 or whatever.
As a gamer, however, I simply had quite a bit of fun playing Medal of Honor.
Although the focus on working with special-ops soldiers may not have produced fine-tuned new gameplay mechanics, what it has produced is a decent quality script with immensely believable lingo and interactions that feel much more authentic than other games, whether they are or not (and I have no real clue there). The voice acting generally works, too, and sometimes really sells it. Combine those things with very good visuals (even if they don’t require a hoss GPU), and you have a happily immersive experience.
The gameplay mechanics may be nothing new, but I happen to like shooters. And here, the fundamentals are quite well executed. Fluid and precise aiming is paired with a wonderfully fun headshot icon that pops up, well, constantly, if you play like I do, attempting to conserve every possible round while killing all the bad guys through the noggin.
Yeah, it was too short, the story didn’t make any real sense, and the incompetent, hothead American general character was a cardboard cutout of a cliche. Still, most of the time, more than Modern Warfare 2 or Bad Company 2, MoH captures the frantic feel of a good war movie where things inevitably and continually go wrong, as they often do in real wars. Escaping with your life and moving the story along by puncturing wave after wave of enemies through the forehead? Sure seemed fun to me.