Developer: Danger Close, DICE
Release Date: 10/12/2010
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The Good: Captures the realism of war, great cinematic moments, decent multiplayer, Tier 1 mode is a challenge
The Bad: Bland multiplayer, two different game engines? single player looks outdated, the pacing is off, blah story
All the great World War II shooters are going away from that genre since it’s been beaten to death. Medal of Honor went the way for Call of Duty and adapted to modern warfare which works for this series. The single player campaign is nothing really too special, but it does showcase the realism of war and really makes you feel like a helpless nobody warrior in the middle of a Taliban shootout. It does this better than Modern Warfare, but not the multiplayer.
The single player campaign has you playing as four different parties from a regular soldier, a Navy SEAL, a pilot, and a Tier 1 operative. Like most war games you never get attached to the characters, but you do care for them enough towards the end. The game’s pacing is pretty good with you moving from night to day levels, and there is even an ATV level (why choose the loudest vehicle to do a night raid?), and the flying levels are pretty fun but extremely linear and limited in control. You can actually move the helicopter, but instead, just aim and shoot. There are some great moments like the Tier 1 sniping sections, and cinematic parts, but these are far and few between. Most of the game consists of moving cover to cover and shooting everything in sight. Sound familiar? Sure! Is it still fun? Why not! You seem to always be equipped with the right weapons and ammo is unlimited since you can just ask your fellow team mates. I never had to pick up a weapon off the ground, but it’s there for variety.
My favorite moment in the game has you playing as the army soldier Adams, and you and your squad are stuck on a hill inside a tiny little mud shack and Taliban are raining down on your from the mountain. You hear military chatter an awful lot, but it sounds more authentic and not just silly babble. Your team slowly runs dry on ammo and after the cinematic music plays, and almost all hope is lost in comes the helicopters! During this sequence, it seems it never ends, but the surrounding chatter makes the whole experience more intense and authentic to real life battle warfare, but the whole game isn’t like this. There are a lot of moments that seem more like the rest of the shooters, so the pacing is off a bit, but it doesn’t fall apart.
You’ll mainly come back for multiplayer which is your standard military shooter affair. There are only three classes, a few maps, and that’s pretty much it. It’s fun since DICE (Battlefield: Bad Company) makes it, but it’s no Modern Warfare. You have your usual three classes of ranger, sniper, and specialist, so everyone is pretty much the same person. It basically shoots whatever moves and racks up a score. There is an objective based type of game mode, but it’s essentially the same.
The game also does one of the weirdest things, and that uses two different game engines. The single player uses an outdated version of the Unreal engine, and it’s obvious that it looks outdated due to low-resolution textures, and some low models. It uses the Airborne engine which was a poor move on Danger Close’s part. The multiplayer uses the Frostbite engine that’s used in Bad Company 2 and it looks great! Why the weird design choices? I don’t know, but I hope MoH2 changes their engine. Is the game worth a purchase? Not really, but maybe a weekend rental. After about five or six hours of multiplayer you’ll be bored, and probably just switch back to a better shooter. If you get bored you can go into the Tier 1 mode which disables everything and times you. Yes, health restores slowly, no ammo refills, no reticle, nothing. So enjoy the super hard mode.