‘Medal of Honor’ returns to glory

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By Garth Pulen / Editor’s Assistant

By Garth Pulen / Editor’s Assistant

The “Medal of Honor” series sees a revival in it’s recently released revamp of the series, ironically entitled: “Medal of Honor.”

Aside from the name, the game doesn’t really push the boundaries of originality; but what it lacks in surprise, it more than makes up for in a solid multi-player experience.

With the last decade seeing the release of very competent and well-received military shooters, sales for the “Medal of Honor” franchise slowly took a back seat and eventually fell off the first-person shooter map.

Electronic Arts–the developer of the series–was running out of steam until, back in 2007, the project finally went dormant after the release of the ill-received “Medal of Honor: Airborne.”

However, shortly after production wrapped on the aforementioned title, Electronic Arts reached out for help.

What they found was a little development team known as DICE.

Any gamer familiar with PC shooters to an unhealthy extent, knows DICE was likely responsible for that compromising behavior in some way, shape or form.

They are the development team behind the critically praised “Battlefield” series, and after some swift negotiations with Electronic Arts, they agreed to devote a team to develop the multi-player component for the new “Medal of Honor.”

How this translates into the multi-player experience will be a relevant discussion for later.

For now, let’s take a moment to analyze the rich, cohesive canon of controversy that is the single-player campaign.

So maybe the campaign isn’t as reflective or as gutsy as Electronic Arts has advertised, but there is something to be discovered in its’ depiction of the true grit American warrior.

Neglecting the few tense and believable moments shared between the generic-looking characters you’re surrounded by throughout the story, this is another “Call of Duty” clone.

The real surprise here, it’s not a bad one. “Medal of Honor” serves up many uncontrollable situations with a bold stance on “less is more.”

Without interpreting a lack of butt-kick within the title, the care that was given to militaristic authenticity will have many vets of the field either genuinely appreciative, or downright uncomfortable.

Players start the campaign a spy of sorts.

The units’ directive: Act like the enemy; talk like the enemy; befriend the enemy; kill the enemy.

All of the missions are situated in Afghanistan, and as soon as the first chapter starts, there is an uneasy cloud about the environment that will definitely keep players on their toes.

Given the amount of staging and pure cinematic appeal the first few chapters evoke, it’s a real shame that the game-play and artificial intelligence don’t respond with the same polish.

In-fact, about halfway through the third chapter, everything that was engaging about the game takes an insane dive into awe-inspiring tedium.

Even with the campaigns’ innate ability to strip you of your own hair, you’ll probably breeze through much of the slop in roughly four hours.

When the hours are up, run to the nearest barber for a good once-over, then jump onto the multiplayer bandwagon and don’t look back!

There’s not much to say about the level-up system or the generic game modes because anyone reading this has already played it in any other military shooter to come out in the last five years.

“Medal of Honor’s” multiplayer is one part “Modern Warfare,” two parts “Battlefield” and three parts heart.

Electronic Arts has successfully revitalized one of its’ most popular franchises with sometimes stunning execution.

The only problem lies in the titles’ increasing competition.

Whatever the critique, “Medal of Honor” may not be the biggest dog in the room, but it’s got one heck of a distinctive bite.

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