Medal of Honor Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Medal of Honor box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Danger Close/DICE 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Electronic Arts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 12, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-24 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Given the developers’ insistence on setting Medal of Honor in Afghanistan to begin with, it becomes hard to disassociate yourself from this viewpoint. To Danger Close’s credit, the gameplay is solid and polished, with varied styles of play and top-notch production values, thanks to a heavily modified Unreal engine.

Medal of Honor screenshot

From a mechanical perspective, feels like a hybrid of Modern Warfare and EA’s own Battlefield: Bad Company series, though Danger Close has made a couple of tweaks that should be used in more FPSes. The first, leaning out of cover, has been used in PC-shooters for ages, but for some reason is rarely seen in console games (regardless, it’s invaluable). Medal of Honor’s campaign also uses a sprint-to-slide mechanic that lets you reach cover quickly and efficiently. Although both of these mechanics take some getting used to, once you’ve grown accustomed to them it will give you quite an edge in battle. I don’t generally make note of this, but the game’s environmental effects and level design are also worth mentioning. It’s surprisingly rare to find any FPS that actually incorporates sand and dust into attack strategy, but there are times in Medal of Honor where these natural elements are more than just atmospheric wisps only present to create texture within an environment, and can actually obscure your vision. Similarly, given that much of the Taliban forces are entrenched in mountainous regions, it should be noted that Danger Close has done a great job making your enemies hard to see when hiding among boulders on large ridgeback hills.

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The amount of hard work and dedication that went into the creation of Medal of Honor is pretty evident. The game shines from a technical standpoint, and it plays as well as you would expect from high-polish production like this one. The limited vehicle use, arcade shooting, and stealth segments also help break up the pacing, so you don’t get too burnt out on simply shooting everything in sight for hours on end. Technically, these elements all make Medal of Honor a good game, but it’s still one that suffers to some degree from a lack of purpose. Paying tribute to our brave men and women in uniform—who often go through situations that are unimaginable to all of us sitting at home with controllers in our hands—is a great thing. The step that EA has taken towards establishing a precedent for exploring topical subject matter in a video game may be a small one, but it’s still important. But almost everything else about Medal of Honor, while enjoyable, makes it hard to shake the feeling of playing just another military shooter.

By Steve Haske
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Medal of Honor is a good-looking game that runs at a steady clip. Of particular note are the game’s textures, lighting, and effects, though you may see an occasional animation glitch.
4.0
Control
It takes a little adjustment to get used to aiming and shooting (though this, along with the ability to go prone, are absent in DICE’s multiplayer), but once you do the control scheme works well.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Voicework is well done, though you’ll get lost in the endless military jargon that goes hand-in-hand with real spec ops. The soundtrack has some pretty stirring moments.
3.7
Play Value
Medal of Honor is a pretty good game, if one that wastes its topical potential throughout the six-to-eight hour single player campaign. The lack of the sprint slide and leaning aim in multiplayer create a slightly uneven feel, though the lack of Taliban names in multiplayer makes no difference whatsoever.
3.9
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • A reboot of the classic series, now taking place in modern-day Afghanistan
  • Tier 1 Mode lets you challenge your friends to compete for best times and scores in the single-player campaign
  • 12-on-12 multiplayer matches


  • Screenshots / Images
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