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.

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    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    Another great game in a year that’ll be $5-$10. Wait, as usualg{<.<}g

    • south side sammy
    • 9 years ago

    The game sucked. I will say that EA and some other game makers sure do make good movies. Perhaps that’s what they should produce. Too many disappointments from EA in the FPS genre…. MOH Airborne + Pacific Assault were also disappointing.

    • Prospero424
    • 9 years ago

    The single-player campaign was decent aside from the final level and ending and the helicopter missions. Not great, but decent.

    I don’t want to get into any sort of spoiler situation, but I’ll say that the final level(s), for me, redefined the word “underwhelming” and the ending just had me asking “that’s it? That’s the game? What the hell!?”

    Yes, I understand why they did what they did. I understand what they were trying to say about True Heroes ™ and the sacrifices they make. It. Didn’t. Work.

    I really and truly don’t have a problem with on-rails shooters in and of themselves. It’s a legitimate way to control the narrative and force the player into a “cinematic” (for lack of a better term) perspective that can have a lot of emotional impact.

    But if you’re going to force the player to run through what amounts to the video game version of a carnival funhouse ride, it NEEDS to be something special. It needs to pull you in, get you invested in the events being depicted, and KEEP you there. It needs to be genuinely innovative with environments/settings and storytelling mechanics. Call of Duty and a handful of others were able to do this. Medal of Honor and countless others were not.

    But honestly, I would still have come away from the experience calling it a “good game” if it hadn’t been for the final level(s) and the ending. The paramount of your gaming experience should not be a generic series of what resemble mid-level Gears of War map retreads. It’s tired, it’s boring, and it just makes you walk away thinking of how it could have been so much better.

    • montiac
    • 9 years ago

    I really enjoyed Medal of Honor. The story is loosely based on actual events which happened on Takur Ghar. There is a large chapter at the end of the book Night Stalkers by Michael Durant that chronicles the events that took place there. I was impressed by the radio chatter in the game, they got a lot of things right. The Apache mission was kind of bogus – shooting rockets and 30mm that close to each other and that close to the ground just doesn’t happen. They did get a lot of the sounds right, though. I was running a FARP pad during the aerial gunnery my unit was doing when EA came out to record 30mm and rocket fire, as well as listen to radio calls. It was kind of cool seeing my old unit get their 15 minutes – 1st Battalion (Attack), 2nd Aviation Regiment “Gunfighters”

    I haven’t played the multiplayer yet, but I really did enjoy the campaign.

    • PenGun
    • 9 years ago

    I got a laugh out of the trailer. The elite warriors are up against women and children it seems.

    You put an expert Duty squad from Stalker, 4 guys, in there and they would murder everyone of those elite warriors. Step around the corner with your wolfish grin and get your head blown off. We had a guy who plays single player Stalker all the time join some half life 2 multiplayer and got accused of cheating. As he said single player Stalker is much harder.

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago


        • PenGun
        • 9 years ago

        He said HL2 multi … I dunno. I’ve played lots of Q3 in my day so I have some appreciation for your point of view.

        Stalker on master is very deadly. You often die from a headshot from some NPC sniper several hundred yards away and it’s not always obvious where he is. It makes you very cautious about exposing anything to fire. Run and gun will just get you killed quickly. At the same time the only real defense you have is to shoot the guy shooting at you. You become very accurate and at the same time staying in cover.

        I think those characteristics are what molded our Wookie into an unintentionally good multiplayer player.

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    Let’s be honest. The reason this game was scored so poorly is because all of those reviewers who gave Modern Warfare 2 super reviews–while in the Activision Camp of Reviews where they let reviewers play on their specially built, specially collected machines in a special hotel at a special time under the watchful eye of Activision reps–finally took it out on the Call of Duty MW game that did everything EXCEPT call itself Call of Duty.

    This is the Nintendo Effect at work. Nintendo started this crap. If a game is by Nintendo, it gets a higher rating than the same game with the same mechanics by any other company. In this case, because it’s called Call of Duty, the gameplay is awesome, great, fantastic, linearly awesome. Shortly rockin’.

    When it is Medal of Honor, it is short, linear, buggy, and unrealistic. All words I would have used last year for MW2 at launch. In fact, I think the story in MoH is better than the mess that was jammed into MW2 which seemed like a Michael Bay movie of set pieces versus a coherent story.

    I take an action game like I take an action movie. Toss aside logic, buckle down, and put both feet on the ground. As long as people accept Call of Duty MW2 for the limitations, it is still a great experience. I think the same is easily true for the latest Medal of Honor. If you want to criticize MoH for its problems, then you should be one of those who was raking MW2 over the coals, too.

    • yogibbear
    • 9 years ago

    I actually also found the SP campaign very very good (despite the length). So yeah…. i think the reviewers got this one wrong. Though i can understand how some people would say the market is oversaturated and it’s not unique in any way and it’s too short and there’s other game out there etc. etc. but it was still a very good game for me. MP is also good if you like BFBC2 without the emphasis on vehicles as much.

    Though at the moment i’m playing Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia and i’d have to say i’m having more fun playing that on my DS. This either means it’s a sad year for FPS’s or i’m just in my Castlevania/Metroid/Contra nostalgia mode.

    • Krogoth
    • 9 years ago

    Damage, your expectations for console ports are too high. 😉

    Modern GPUS should have no problem handling 4 Megapixel gaming with console ports.

    • thanatos355
    • 9 years ago

    l[<...not living up to the promise of greater realism implied by the marketing...<]l The greater level of realism was the single highest selling point for me in this game. I remain extremely impressed with the product that they delivered. The game as a whole was an incredibly enjoyable, albeit unconscionably short, experience.

    • burntham77
    • 9 years ago


    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    I haven’t even had enough time to start up my home PC in the past 8 days 😐

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    I love just about any game that I get to kill something. If Barbie Dream Designer or Bambi’s Coloring Adventure let me mow down people with a chain gun or incinerate them with a flame thrower, I’d be first on line to buy them.

      • ClickClick5
      • 9 years ago

      Bambi 2: Bambi Takes A Slug

        • bdwilcox
        • 9 years ago

        Cabela’s presents Bambi 3: Field Dressin’ and Grillin’

          • eitje
          • 9 years ago

          The original Bambi had grilling in it.

    • WalkCMD
    • 9 years ago

    I had a gut feeling not to get this game and I should’ve listened to it. I will say it was fun at parts but for me, it was too cinematic, too scripted and way too short. The multiplayer is decent and I enjoyed the destructible enviroments in comparison to MW2 but it quickly becomes boring.

    Its stay in my house has been short – about 2 weeks – I am trading it in for some store credit at Gamestop after work today.

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