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Medal of Honor (PlayStation) artwork

Medal of Honor (PlayStation) review

"''omg itz liek a savving privut ryen vidao gam!!1!1'' "

''omg itz liek a savving privut ryen vidao gam!!1!1''

That's what many people ridiculously claim Medal of Honor is - a video game version of Saving Private Ryan. I don't know where people get that idea, as the two are quite different. Their only similarity is that both take place during World War II. That's it. They are VERRRRRY different from each other.

Medal of Honor is a first person shooter (FPS) in which you play the role of Jimmy Patterson. Patterson is a 24 year old member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which is basically a WWII-era version of the CIA. It is your duty to do whatever the OSS asks of you, whether it be blowing up ships, infiltrating an enemy fortress, or anything else. You have a ton of ability, so a lot is asked of you.

There are seven missions that you will participate in, with 24 total levels. You are usually given 3-4 orders per level, and they are different for each one. For example, in the first level, you are briefed about a downed plane. Your orders include locating the downed plane, finding the pilot's log book, and entering the next town. And while the orders are always different in each level, some are quite similar to others. For instance, finding the pilot's log book is not very different from say, finding the captain's orders. Finding the (somewhat) same items over and over again could get tiring, but thankfully EA threw in something to offer a nice change of pace.

You see, every now and then you get to play through some stealth missions. In these, you are dressed up in a German uniform and go around sneaking into areas you're not supposed to. Guards of lower ranking than you (in your uniform) will salute you, but you'll have to show guards of higher rankings your papers to get to new areas. If they see your papers and still won't let you in, you'll just have to put a bullet between his eyes to convince him. You can't make much noise though, because if you do, another German guard will set off the alarm. In turn, more guards will come after you. The stealth missions are tricky, to be sure, and they are definitely a lot of fun to play.

Medal of Honor strives to be realistic, and it definitely is in some areas. The weaponry is great, everything in the game was used in World War II. There are snipers, shotguns, potato mashers, rifles, and machine guns, and there are different variations of most of them. The environments also look realistic, especially the battle-scarred towns. Many of the buildings are absolutely demolished and are barely still standing. It feels like a horrible place to be, which is what you would expect from a war.

However, even though the weapons and environments are realistic, Jimmy Patterson himself is not. I find it hard to believe that a guy could go through so many different areas alone without getting killed. There are well over 50 Nazi's in each level; it would be impossible to get past them all in real life without getting killed or held prisoner. The only reason Patterson can do so in the game is because the Nazi's are just downright stupid. They are so dim-witted that you can take on five of them at one time with minimal damage. Granted, they do get a little more intelligent as the game progresses (they start hiding behind corners and shooting, and they will throw your grenades back at you), but for the most part they are pushovers. As a result of their stupidity, Medal of Honor isn't really that difficult. You should be able to breeze through the game in a few days.

The game's control setup is very well done, so you should have no problem jumping right into the heat of battle. Every button on the controller is utilized, with just about every function you would expect from a FPS having its own button. Need to crawl through that tunnel? Press L2. Need to jump on top of that desk? R2 will do the trick. Once again, the controls are great and fit the game perfectly.

One of Medal of Honor's most gaping flaws is its poor visuals. While MoH does look like your typical Playstation game, it does have some horrible graphical glitches. I found myself getting stuck on corners quite often, causing the screen to flicker rapidly. There are several glitches just like that - they can literally make you sick. Everything is blocky as well. I will give the game credit for its animations, as they are superb. Shoot a Nazi on a balcony and they will fall to the ground. Shoot a Nazi in the groin and they will reach for their gonads while in a noticeable amount of pain. Unfortunately, the animations are the only bright spot in the otherwise very ugly visuals.

The game's sound is surprisingly very good. The music is incredible. It sounds like it belongs in a movie, not a video game. The music fits the war theme very well. The sound effects are just as good. You'll hear bullets whiz by your head, guards walking past, and Nazi's talking to each other in German. The sound is definitely a treat for your ears.

All in all, Medal of Honor is a solid game, easily one of the Playstation's best FPS's. There is plenty of good to mention (the historically accurate weapons and environments, the fun stealth missions, and the great audio), but there is also plenty of bad (somewhat repetitive missions, the dull enemy AI, and the awful graphical glitches). It's still worth playing, as long as you realize its problems. Just don't expect it to be a Saving Private Ryan video game. It's not.

Best Feature - Stealth missions.
Worst Feature - Nasty graphical glitches.

shady's avatar
Community review by shady (November 29, 2003)

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