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Medal of Honour: Beta Review

The Medal of Honour series is one that has suffered from the success of other franchises such as the Call of Duty and Battlefield series in the more recent generation of gaming, at the forefront of the FPS genre back in the day, Medal of Honour will always hold a place in the hearts of PS1 owners and with EA’s latest release for the new generation of consoles it would appear they are returning to their gritty routes rather than attempting to appeal to the average teenage audience of the Call of Duty series.

With this game being only in its Beta stages currently, it is hard to judge it by its graphics, although upon first impressions they look rather good, with environments looking exactly how you would imagine them to. The two maps on offer in the Beta show the best of both worlds, A desert warfare style map on a huge scale for a ‘Conquest’ style ‘Mission’ mode, and a more confined close quarters map for the regular team deathmatch style of play. Both of these have interesting environments and a god amount of atmosphere about them, for example, in the Team Deathmatch map, called, ‘Kabul City Ruins’ there are planes flying into buildings in the background, explosions, things falling down and dogfights in the air, whereas the larger ‘Helmand’ map has more of a focus towards the players rushing the various objectives to create it’s atmosphere, with desperate shouts from characters, explosions, screams and the sound of bullets flying past your head, it’s as immersive and chaotic as a scripted single player game, and this is something that I find excellent.

Speaking of rushing objectives, this is pretty much what the ‘Mission’ mode consists of, and it plays out very much like Battlefield: Bad Company’s Conquest mode, which is to be expected as the online of both of these games was created by Dice, this is where Medal of Honour could slip up…

Personally, I enjoyed Battlefield and preferred it to Call of Duty by a mile, however, I know that many people will automatically dismiss anything that isn’t Call of Duty and so Medal Of Honour could flop, however, once again, I think that EA have created a game that’s better than Call Of Duty and have clearly picked a good way of selling the game.

As Medal of Honour is set in the present day (which is often preferred to the historical setting) and Call of Duty is releasing it’s ‘Historical’ release due to their year on year off agreement they share with Treyarch, I think that despite the hatred for Battlefield, this game will still sell well.

Gameplay wise, it’s standard, it’s an FPS and there’s nothing new at all. There is however a killstreak system where you are given a choice between an offensive and a defensive streak, for example, after 40 points (you gain around 10 points per kill and 15 if it’s a headshot) you can choose from either a Mortar strike or a UAV, this adds an extra layer of tactics to the gameplay and helps to splice things up if you are defending a position, but chances are players will almost always go for the Mortar Strike. There is a weapon customization feature which is pulled off quite nicely and you can (much like in Battlefield) create a class whilst playing a game, allowing a sense of versatility whilst on the battlefield, with various attachments and weapons to be picked from, players can use this to their advantage, for example, when defending a position one might want to change to a sniping class rather than an all out close quarters assault class.

Overall Medal of Honour is shaping up to be a strong contender against the Call of Duty series, although I haven’t played any of the single player, if it’s anywhere near as immersive and atmospheric as the online play, it should be a winner.

- Dean Case

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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
Medal of Honour: Beta Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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