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Medal of Honor XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 8.0
Graphics 7.5
Sound 9.0
Value 8.5
Distributor: EA
Review Date:
October 2010
Edwin Millheim


Medal of Honor

Reboots some times work wonders; sometimes they fall flat on their faces. A lot of what is offered may be seen in other games, it is almost impossible really to bring something very new to the table. The reboot for the media watched Medal of Honor become an intense game with fire fights that are a roller coaster ride of action and suspense.

Most of our readers know about the controversy behind the game. Military bases banned the game for a time when in multiplayer, players would be able to play as the Taliban. Whatever side of the coin you may have been on for this is beside the point. The military had a concern, EA addressed it and now in multiplayer instead of playing as Taliban, players can be the opposing force. It should also be known that EA’s LA studio, Danger Close created the single player portion of the game, and Swedish Battlefield developer DICE created the multiplayer part of the game.

I like the game, as is the case with most of these adventures the single player part of it feels a bit short. However, for your hard-earned money, what is really the standard if anything, when it comes to length and number of levels for a game? Medal of Honor is about what is the norm these days for a game of this type. Which is not a bad thing; I can say that for the thrill of the missions, when it finally all comes to an end you really wish it had not.

Game play and structure of the way the story plays out is eerily similar to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare style of presentation. However, with the subject matter it is perhaps very difficult not compare the two. There are sequences between the standard ground fighting that stand out and break the monotony of the gun battle, gun battle and more gun battle sequences. Such as the race in dark of night via an all terrain vehicle (Do this with a snow mobile and the similarities start cropping up). Though in this game it’s not a chase or running from anyone in the ATV, it’s getting from one mission point to another. It is just as exciting with the extreme drop off and jumps involved, and moments when you have to come to a stop and go lights out so a patrol does not pick you up. Now the gun battles are intense fire fights with seemingly endless waves of enemy, they are exciting sequences, but it is nice that this is broken up with different situations and action.

Other particularly cool moments are as a gunner in an apache gunship. Flying low and fast over the inhospitable terrain, spotting and engaging targets with either guns rockets or hellfire missiles are all engaging with out the added stress of trying to fly the craft yourself. Call of Duty does stand on its own, and rather spectacularly so. During the single player campaign, the players find themselves back and forth playing different characters. Either as “Rabbit” or “Deuce” they are a pair of special ops guys, the ones that are there but not…if you get the meaning. Then also as Spc. Dante Adams, a U.S Army Ranger, and then as Capt. Brad “Hawk” Hawkins a Apache helicopter gunner, each jump in the story and characters intermix and cross paths during the campaign in one way or the other.

The jumps are welcome and break the game up in various nail biting at times missions. From doing your best to be stealthy, to fire fights that rain rounds all around you, to raining down the hurt yourself from the gunner seat of an apaches chopper. Then onto sniping with a heavy sniper rifle, assisted by a spotter the player hunts for targets on the side of a mountain using different optics on the rifle.

Your teammates that are AI run are useful. They not only take care of themselves but even cover your butt too. The enemies at times are tough; at times, the bullets and Rocket Propelled Grenades heading your way make you think, WTF? Some times, an enemy down range looks confused and is aiming in another direction giving you the perfect chance to put them down. During game-play instead of health points or a health bar, there is recharging health of sorts. Getting wounded the screen turns tinges of red. As you avoid damage, health returns.

Speaking of the heavy similarities to Call of Duty…not to worry though concerning how similar the game play and lay out is, Medal of Honor stands on its own. On the graphic front, it has its moments where it does shine, and then there are moments that cause the frame rates to drop and the graphics drop into a pixel mess in some areas during explosions. Minor anomalies pop up, such as a fellow soldier’s belt kit and pouches, being half drawn and half missing. These are not a major problem, but they where enough to pull me out of the moment ever so briefly.

The story and the emotions that they invoke are deep at times, as fellow soldiers are in the line of fire and even killed. These men and women of the military go through things like this in the real world counter parts. From whatever country military they are in. Danger Close did a spectacular job with the story, the single player experience, and the cut scenes that move things along. Through out the game there are different environments from villages and small city, to valleys and mountains, getting high up the environment becomes more snow and wind blown. It all has a good look to it

Then there is the frantic pace of the multiplayer I had just as much fun blasting opponents as I had at being blasted by them. Thankfully, each weapons use in multiplayer feels unique and balanced in the game, the play to make the experience worth your time. There are weapons for close up and room clearing such as shotguns, long guns for sniping, and machine guns for laying down a rain of cover for your mates to move forward. Multiplayer you can play with friends in quick play. There are of course several game modes to choose. You can jump into “Any Game” dropping you into a multiplayer game that needs a player giving you a more randomized experience.

Players can be U.S soldiers or operatives (Coalition), and they can play as the opposing force. DICE has enabled a full unlock system in the game. Advancing in multiplayer, players are able to unlock new weapons, accessories for the guns, barrel types, and clips. Multiplayer is a very solid piece of this game, though first person shooter fans will be pleased with the single player experience. Reviews are opinionated, as we all know, I am hard pressed to choose single player over multiplayer, though the multiplayer experience does seem to edge out the single player experience just a bit here.

With the Medal of Honor franchise being out of action for the last several years, the reboot perhaps did not please everyone. It is a solid step in the right direction. It has actions, it has suspense, and it has solid experiences that bring awe as the bullets are flying. The graphic anomalies take a bit away, but you cannot help but root for this game, and the definite heart felt honor it seems to want to present to the men and women in the military.

Have fun, play games…get into the fight.
Edwin Millheim
United States Editor Impulse Gamer


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