But since Medal of Honor speaks a more accessible run-and-gun language, this a far easier game type to dip in and out of, opening to the masses a Deathmatch variant that has a sense of progression and drama that you don't always see in shooters of this ilk. Call of Duty stick-in-the- muds owe it to themselves to try it.
SO TIER AND YET SO FAR
So we've fallen big time for Medal of Honor's multiplayer, but as far as the single-player campaign goes? Well, we don't want to say it's a game of two halves... but in truth, it really is. The story mode, which divides its attentions between the adventures of a close-knit team of Tier 1 Operatives working behind enemy lines and the 'everyman' tales of the standard army forces on the frontline, never quite comes together as we hoped it might.
It's hard to pin down why exactly, because the only area of the game that is noticeably substandard is the AI, and even this can be turned around to your enjoyment (breaking cover to plunge a knife into an insurgent's throat from 20 yards away is a particularly irresistible head rush).
Perhaps it's the Afghan setting, which delivers more variety than you'd credit it for, but ultimately makes for a lacklustre theatre of war in FPS terms.
The wide-open landscapes mean that many fights take place at a disengagingly large distance, and this makes it difficult for Medal of Honor to get any sense of tension rolling.
TIERS FOR FEARS
But there are moments where Medal of Honor lets its hair down and delivers the kind of thrills and spills we've come to expect from the genre. The Tier 1 Operative stages see Danger Close at
their most creative, with death-defying raids on enemy settlements that bring to mind classic levels such as Call of Duty 4's Ghillies In The Mist.
But although it often sets up interesting scenarios, in our opinion the game doesn't take the Tier 1 set-up far enough. Pre-release, we were told of these elite soldiers' ability to improvise their gameplan in the face of adversity, but this doesn't translate into any kind of gameplay mechanic.
Levels remain linear and scripted, and it's disappointing that there aren't more opportunities to think outside the box. A spot of co-op would also have been welcome too - perhaps that's one for the sequel, though.
Like Battlefield before it, Medal of Honor is an engrossing online shooter with an above-average campaign mode bolted on. As a result, it's a purchase you should only seriously consider if your console is hooked up to the intarwebs. On a wider scale though, this reboot thrusts Medal of Honor back into the spotlight, and for the first time in ages we can't wait to see where EA take the series next.
It's not on Call of Duty's level yet, but it's a positive step forward, and small victories eventually win big wars.
A credible shooter that's more realistic than CoD, with multiplayer that sees DICE on top form.