Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Medal of Honor: Airborne

With the colossus that was Call of Duty 4 just around the corner this WWII shooter never really stood a chance of making much of an impact when it was released in 2007 but I was pleasantly surprised after picking the game up in a recent Steam sale to find that there is a very good shooter in there none the less.

The single player campaign is short with only six maps spread across Italy, France and Holland. Nevertheless the shooting action is first class with good enemy AI and plenty of nooks and crannies for enemies to hide in. These combine to make the game quite challenging so I expect most players will be able to squeeze at least a dozen hours of entertainment out of the game.

Innovative points:
-The game is somewhat non-linear because each map has a series of objectives that you can tackle in any order.
-At the start of each level and after every death you parachute in (you are airborne remember) so you can choose where you want to go next.
-Every weapon in the game has three levels of upgrades which you unlock by gaining kills with that weapon. The upgrades include things like increased accuracy or a larger clip and become very useful for the tougher encounters later in the game.


Bad points:
-The checkpoint save system is really painful. You only save when you achieve an objective. The non linear nature of the game and the general difficulty level means that you can easily lose half an hour of game play if you die when attempting certain objectives.
- Unskippable cut scenes at the start of every level. Given the overall difficulty level you will die  a lot so you will get to see these cut scenes over and over again.
- Inexplicable achievement system. The game awards stars for how well you do in every mission but nowhere in the game or in the manual does it tell you how to win or lose stars. It is probably something to do with kills and deaths but the question has led to several forum debates and one theory holds that the only way to get five stars in some missions is to deliberately die at a certain point.
- Multiplayer is predictably very quiet. I did spot about a dozen servers online with a handful of players on them but  you probably need to bring your own friends if you want to get much out of this in multiplayer.

Things that might annoy some folk but don't really bother me:
- There is no real storyline, the maps feel like recycled multiplayer maps. Nevertheless this suits the non linear nature of the game play and the complex nature of the terrain coupled with pretty good enemy AI means that you can still enjoy a challenging single player game.
- Historical accuracy be damned. Did you know that an MP40 could be upgraded with a 64 bullet clip, or that Hitler bred a race of gas mask wearing super soldiers who fire MG42's from the hip?

- Just about every plane you travel in gets shot down. This gets predictably tedious after a while and I can only assume this was some kind of running joke for the developers.
- Its yet another WWII game played from the US perspective, yawn. At least the game doesn't mention Carentan.




3 comments:

Jayedub said...

I hated this game soooooo much. But I do long for another WWII game.

mbp said...

What was the reason fro the hate Jayedub?

The awful checkpoint save system is the one thing that really annoyed me but once I accepted that I found I enjoyed the game otherwise.

Jayedub said...

It's been so long since I played the game that I can't remember exactly why I disliked the game.

I do remember that the game did not run well on my computer at the time. Maybe I should reinstall the game and give it another chance because all I remember was hating the game.