Following yesterday's GamesMaster Medal of Honor review, many CVG readers called for a more single-player-focused verdict on the EA shooter. Ever eager to please, here's our campaign verdict...
Like it or not, CoD has a choke-hold when it comes to the world of military-based FPS. Come Christmas, Black Ops is going to be at the top of everyone's list if it hasn't made it round the nation twice over already.
It wasn't always this way though. Once upon a time another first-person shooter stood at the top of Military Mount. It was called Medal of Honor and now, like an ageing pro-wrestler brought back for one last push, MoH is back in the picture looking for a title shot.
Except this war veteran isn't looking quite so old. That much is obvious right from the off as we slowly slide into a very cinematic opening title sequence. If you're screen were another 30 feet tall, you'd be excused for thinking you were watching something out of Hollywood as the game is "presented by EA" as "A Danger Close game".
The camera pans around the Earth from space as developers names emerge on the screen before we're sucked in-game.
The story, as you may have heard, is based on the current conflict in Afghanistan with the Taliban and the theme of this being a weighty, in many ways sombre "production" rather than a Daily Mail poking violent video game is consciously carried throughout... Not that it helped.
It does, however, characterise the game as a whole. Medal of Honor's campaign is shared between two groups; run of the mill military (not its official name) and the poster boys, the Tier 1 Operators.
These guys are the best. It's all very classified with a lot of CIA this and SOCOM that but basically, to get a feel for what Tier 1 is, take the commonly known daddies of the killing chain (The SAS, Commandos, Batman) and then add another level. That's where the hundred or so members of Tier 1 hang out.
Their sections make for a much quieter affair than Call of Duty with the main thread focusing on the quiet yet deadly efficient methods of a group of elite soldiers.
You're often paired up with another Tier 1 member (assisting cover star Dusty, for example) in strategic, "wait for it, wait for it" missions of stealth and precision killing.
It makes for a much slower pace than what you'd find in CoD and the whole thing is less about taking out waves and waves of soldiers in an assault on the senses as well as the enemy, and more scouting from above, working your way towards an objective and taking out a handful of Taliban members who are going about their business (not to sound glib) rather than charging at you with everything from machine guns to flame-throwers.
Sometimes the pace drops a little too far, usually at points where you're sitting in mountains with Dusty scouting out enemy soldiers. It's a classic case of scanning the mountains opposite with a sniper-rifle and piercing some skulls. That's all good fun - we've yet to be bored by a sniper level in any game ever.
The missions that do get a bit dull, however, are the ones where you're not even killing enemies, you're just tagging them. Same set-up as with the sniper rifle only this time a pull of the trigger rewards you with a "Ta very much" over the radio and an air-strike or bomb blast. It doesn't provide any real challenge and feels more like military admin than anything - We like to be fully responsible for the killing, not some middle-man.