Import review: When Medal Of Honor first appeared, at around the same time as Steven Spielberg's gritty Saving Private Ryan, it was an eye-opener. War had never looked so realistic on big screen or small, and having seen the dirty gore of the movie, we could fill in the blanks left by the sanitised, bloodlessness of the game.
These days, WW2 is just another videogame cliché, and Medal Of Honor has long since slipped into self-parody. We don't expect these things to be anything more than shooting galleries, with pre-scripted events triggering fresh waves of German soldiers to hide behind their designated crates.
And that's exactly what MoH Heroes 2 is. The solo mode is poorly designed, with limited restart points that chuck you back through huge chunks of the uninspired levels each time you die, but it definitely gets something very right indeed - and that's the controls.
This is my rifle
As far as handling goes, it's everything we always hoped a Wii FPS would be. It's so quick and responsive, you'll forget you're holding a controller at all. The game seems hardwired into your hands, in fact.
To achieve this spontaneity, they've had to sacrifice an awful lot of visual detail. If it wasn't for the fact that it never drops below 60fps, even in multiplayer, we might say it looks terrible - slain soldiers vanish before they've had time to crumple to the blurrily textured ground. As it is, the lightning speed provides a level of immersion that almost overrides the low-fi graphics.
The AI is equally basic, causing soldiers to face the wrong way while fighting and fail to shoot one another despite standing less than a metre apart. It's possible to disconnect the nunchuk and play with just the remote, in which case the enemy stupidity isn't so noticeable, but it isn't a great experience.
Of course, the redeeming feature has to be the multiplayer. It's online only, and will let you browse a list of games and jump right into any that have free slots. That's right, no friend codes. The inability to talk to anyone renders the team mode a little redundant but as a deathmatch it's fast, frantic and makes great use of those silky controls.
So while we can't recommend it as a solo game, there's a lot to be said for the skill-based killage to be had with something that handles this well online. One for Wi-Fi users only.
Totally rough as a solo game and not exactly packed with multiplayer modes, but the number of players and the smoothness of the controls make it worth investigating.