Posted by: 101antuk | July 23, 2010

First Impressions – Medal of Honor Multiplayer

(Beta, Xbox 360)

Having had a chance to play the multiplayer beta from Medal of Honor I thought I would give my thoughts on the game as it is so far.

First things first, it is basically a ground up remake of Bad Company 2. Dice have taken the engine, the controls, the movement and remodelled for Medal of Honor however, that’s where the similarities end. One of the first things that will strike you, and this will most likely be more prevalent in the single player, is the realism given to the locations, characters and objects used. Playing as a Taliban soldier you will use mobile phones to trigger I.E.D’s (as I experienced trotting into a capture point) and the maps are modelled on real locations, the two available to play were Helmand Valley and Kabul City Ruins. This stark presentation of war in Afghanistan is something no game has done before and it’s something I’m sure will make the single player experience stand out.

Although there will be much more variation in the full release the two maps available did not appear to be well designed. Helmand Valley is a long expanse of sandy tracks with the odd derelict wall. The same for Kabul, there were no defined areas, just a series of buildings you could go in and climb the stairs. Perhaps this is a drawback of modelling on real locations, the game seems to be missing the clever design and minute details of maps such as Favela from Modern Warfare 2, which were designed with the player and game play in mind. The two game modes were the usual capture the point (Mission mode) and team death match. Mission mode requires you to stand in a certain area until the point is yours, much like Domination from COD.

The destructive engine has virtually been removed, leaving the odd pile of bricks here and the there to be knocked over. Which is a shame as this would of added to the realistic element of the game. Speaking of realism though the sound design definitely helps in that respect, with booming explosions and flying bullets which make you feel right in the action.

As in Battlefield there are vehicles to take control of, the tanks on Helmand Valley proved quite pesky, requiring a player with an RPG to take out. Which brings me on to the classes, there are three to choose from Rifleman, Special Ops or Sniper. This may seem like a small selection but it covers the basics and the upgradeable unlocks will create more variation. There will be 14 levels of unlocks available which will most likely include red dot sights, scopes and the like. It does seem however that the level of customisation will be pretty limited and not what we’ve become used to from recent titles.

Discarding the obvious beta induced errors such as missing textures, lag and the most annoying, shooting at someone a hundred times and they don’t die! The multiplayer aspect of Medal of Honor looks like it could compete with the other major releases. There are problems, such as the rag doll physics which produce some odd dying poses, frustrating kills which happen suddenly with no indication of what happened or who killed you. It’s also very hard to distinguish between your own team and the enemy players as the icons tend to disappear from time to time. These are all issues I hope will be solved by the time the game is released.

One thing the game will be stuck with is the general game play and speed, which is much less slower and not as frantic or exciting as Modern Warfare. If EA hadn’t have gone with DICE and decided to build a fresh multiplayer from scratch we might of had a new and maybe better alternative on our hands. As it stands however the Medal of Honor multiplayer will no doubt be a solid and fun experience, just not one I believe people will prefer.

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