Thursday, October 14, 2010

Medal of Honor... the short SHORT version

So, after about 8 hours of gameplay, INCLUDING mission restarts etc (and there were plenty of those)... I finished the single player campaign mode of the new Medal of Honor game a couple hours ago and have started playing through "Tier 1 mode"; which is single player, against the clock, with accuracy bonuses and trophies, against the rest of the world. I haven't tried the true multiplayer mode yet.

It's a pretty decent game, but as usual there are some common irritations. Concealment/cover mechanics are crap. Damage modeling is poor (gee theres a shock). Aim modeling is poor (again, all games do this).

That said, overall, I like the gameplay, and the graphics are great.

Also, this has to be the first combat sim I've seen that showed AFSOC (PJ, CCT) personnel deployed as integral team members with other special operations ground forces. Unfortunately, your only playable characters (at least in single player)are a SEAL and a Ranger, but hey, it's a start.

My biggest problem though, is that the single player campaign is stupidly short. For $60 I expect a lot more single player content.

I don't really see tier 1 mode as much of an enhancement to the concept; unless they offer a bunch of DLC later (which I think is likely).

There is a limited selection of weapons, but the ones they do give you are generally useful; and they are VERY well modeled cosmetically.

Unfortunately, they are not well modeled for recoil or other shooting characteristics (they get optics laughably bad for example, though still better than most other games), or for damage.

For example, there are five weapons in the game that fire 7.62x51 (the M-14 EBR, M110, the G3, and the M60-E3). All have similar barrel lengths, and will fire the same NATO spec ammo (though the M-14 is probably firing the 168gr smk load). Ammo is not interchangeable (some justification for that in that you aren't going to unload G3 mags and reload the single rounds into M14 mags in the middle of a firefight), and does WILDLY different damage, even in single shot mode, at the same range, to the same target etc... etc...

The same goes for the two guns that shoot 7.62x54r. The Dragunov is a one shot instant kill, the PKM isn't. Same round, same range, same barrel length...

Apparently, according to this game, 5.56 nato has the same damage characteristics as an undercharged BB gun, unless you use it for head shots when it becomes a death laser. At least ALL the 5.56 weapons damage modeling sucks equally, and they are all relatively accurate.

The MOST irritating damage mechanic to me is that I can hit someone multiple times center chest with a 5.56 or even a 7.62, they'll fall, and then a few seconds later they will get back up and keep fighting. Sometimes I can do this three or four times before they finally decide to die... But amazingly, they don't do this when I take them down with a 9mm pistol (admittedly it takes 4-6 shots to do so).

In this game, the only sure kills (except with the .50 which kills if you hit their toenail), are center head. Eventually, you figure out to only go for headshots, or use snapshot burst fire with the reticle.

Ammo is irritatingly rare for pickup weapons. The whole point of a pickup weapon is that you have unlimited resupply based on your kills. You can walk over to a dozen guys you just killed, and none of them have any ammo (though you can see their G3s with mags RIGHT THERE).

Also, as is almost always the case, there is no weapon malfunction mechanic.

All that said, these are flaws common to most games in the genre. You have to balance gameplay, game mechanics, and fun, with realism.

Overall, not yet having tried multiplayer, I'd say its a good, fun game; but too expensive.

If multi-player proves to be spectacular, great. However, given my past experiences with the majority of people who play multiplayer combat simulations (i.e. Douchebags and 14 year olds)... I'm not exactly optimistic.

If they offer a lot of good DLC, that might also make up for it.

That said, for $60 I got a solid 8 hours of entertainment in the single player campaign, and I'll probably get another 40 out of Tier 1 mode just as stress relief... Better bang for buck than a couple of movies.