SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$44.99

DEVELOPER
DreamWorks

PUBLISHER
Electronic Arts

RELEASE
11/99

Medal Of Honor Review

By: John Doe


While most first person shooters these days take place in the future, allowing the player to arm himself with out of this world weapon technology, Medal of Honor dares to be different. You'll have to fight human enemies with real-world weapons during the very real WWII. DreamWorks has done a great job creating a game worthy enough to be called "The PlayStation's GoldenEye."


Highs:
Lows:

It is said that Steven Spielberg got the idea for this game while filming Saving Private Ryan. His development company DreamWorks Interactive then started work on the project. At first glance Medal of Honor looks to be nothing more than a run of the mill FPS (first person shooter), but give it a chance; there is brilliance here. Maybe it's the WWII setting that gives this game life. After all, this horrible event did happen and chances are you know someone who was affected by it. This game succeeds by placing you into situations that you know could have taken place during the war. Crouching in a bush you see the glint of a gun barrel ahead of you as you hear the Nazi's warn each other in German, and at that moment, you are back in time.

As far as gameplay goes, your O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services) member will have to accomplish many mission objectives if he wants to succeed. He'll need to infiltrate enemy bases, destroy equipment, steal information, impersonate the enemy and take out some Nazi scum while he's at it. Due to the subtlety of mission objectives, running around like Rambo will get you killed faster than you can "Shwein-hund". You'll need to take the indirect approach on certain missions and go undercover to give a good screwing over to Adolph and his puppets. It's challenges like this that give Medal of Honor it's charm and set it above the usual mindless gameplay of other PlayStation FPS.

Graphically, MoH doesn't look all that sharp. The graphics are grainy and the framerate is a little on the slow side. Sometimes enemy soldiers will magically appear where you least expect them because the screen has refreshed and now they've just popped in to view. The animations of the enemies are excellent though. They react realistically to the situation and will hightail it if they see you've brought a bazooka to their rifle party. The collision detection is equally well done, providing different animations for head shots, leg shots etc. A nice metallic clank will let you know you've just shot some poor guys helmet off. Sometimes those shots will kill them, sometimes not. Aside from leaving bullet marks in walls I found it unfortunate that the surroundings themselves weren't all that interactive. It would have been a nice touch to be able to shoot lights out, and sneak up on enemies in the dark.

Special mention goes to the AI of your enemies. These are some pretty crafty dudes. Who says Nazi's are all dumb like Shultz from Hogan's Heroes? These guys will take cover, dodge, duck, roll and even play possum so that they can see the look on your face when you get close enough for them to take a clean shot at your head. If they hear gunshots or explosions they'll check it out cautiously. They aren't being Rambo either. Nor will they turn around and forget about you if you go into hiding. They want you dead, because you just turned their best friend into Swiss cheese.

Controlling James Patterson (your hero) is decent but you might want to change some aspects of the control in the Options mode. The Fast Aim option is definitely necessary, but the Auto Aim and the Zoom Aim seem to hardly make a difference. The Zoom allows you to zoom in only about 12 inches ahead of where you are, and the auto-aim is useless; you'll have to do all of your aiming with the gunsight. Once you get out on the field, you'll notice that James seems to get a little stuck on walls and boxes, but for the most part, maneuvering him isn't a problem. Crawling around is great way to get to places you couldn't on foot, so be sure to use it.

Musically this game is amazing. How does a 70 piece orchestra sound to you? The soundtrack adds to the whole package giving you that feeling of taking part in your very own war movie. The sound effects are equally excellent. Nice throaty booms from the rifles and thundering explosions from your bazooka will certainly let the German's you mean beeswax. Overall the whole presentation of the game is AAA. From the newsreel presentations right down to the fonts; everything screams WWII. Even the DreamWorks logo gets into the act at the start of the game.

Once you add in all of the levels, missions, weapons and medals you have one find game that is high on replayability. The two-player game is a little weak when compared to the Deathmatches of GoldenEye or Quake II, but it will be fun for awhile. This game has some rough edges but on the whole you won't find a deeper FPS on the PlayStation. This takes the good old Castle Wolfenstein theme and breaks entirely new ground. For those thinking that Tomorrow Never Dies is gonna fulfill your GoldenEye dreams, forget it. Medal of Honor is the one. Highly recommended!

OVERALL
8.5

GRAPHICS
7.0

CONTROL
7.0

MUSIC/FX
10.0

FRUSTRATION
5.0

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