Another year, another “modern” take on the war-based First Person Shooters. Medal of Honor, a game series originally praised, then panned, is now praised again with the release of their newest title which scraps World War II entirely and shifts to…a conflict in Afghanistan. Oh goodie. I can hardly contain my excitement for another breath of fresh air from this genre. Okay, okay, enough mealy-mouthed complaints, you want to know what makes Metal of Honor new and original? I’ll tell you exactly what makes it so new and original.
There is nothing new or original from Medal of Honor. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with it, but everything it brings to the table has already been brought to the table by someone else, mainly Modern Warfare. The controls are even 1-to-1 between the two games. It does everything just as competently as previous entries in the quickly crowding “wars that are currently happening or could happen very soon” market, but there’s nothing new to speak of. I could just copy/paste paragraphs from reviews of Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and you’d have a review of Medal of Honor, though that’s not surprising since the two teams that make up the developers for Medal of Honor previously worked on Modern Warfare and Battlefield: Bad Company.
So if there isn’t anything worth talking about, what should I really say? The game looks good, sounds good, plays good, and is, for lack of a more original word, good. I just don’t care. The multiplayer mode, the aspect that anyone will really care about (and you’ll have to since the single player campaign is under six hours long and amazingly easy), is also exactly like a bunch of other multiplayer modes, meaning you might as well stick with the game you currently have and still play all the time.
I’m only half way through this review and I’m out of things to say, so let’s talk about the whole Taliban controversy nonsense thing, huh? While the Taliban are still in the game as obviously evil bad guys (stupid bad guys that will do everything short of painting a target on their heads to allow you the simplest kills possible), they are no longer playable in the multiplayer mode. They WERE initially in the multiplayer as one of the two playable sides, but because so many people spoke up about it, they’ve been removed. Or rather, they’ve been renamed “The Opposing Forces,” which is about as half-assed of a fix as you can get. They might as well have just replaced the Taliban with Spartans for how little they seemed to care on the basic level. EA should have stuck to its guns and just kept the Taliban named “The Taliban” in multiplayer. Who cares? We all know who they’re supposed to be at this point, so it doesn’t make a difference. It’s like if EA had programmed a character who runs around in overalls and a red hat shouting “Let’s a-go” but decided that calling him “Overalls Man” was enough of a change and anyone who called him Mario was wrong. That’s what this feels like.
Anyway, Medal of Honor isn’t going to offend you any more than all the other games where the entire point can be boiled down to “Justifiable Genocide.” It’s not even going to be a title you’ll remember a few years down the road. It’s just there. It’s a really well-made sandwich that you’ll eat, enjoy, and then pass before moving on to another sandwich that tastes roughly the same and performs the same function of giving you a hunger fix. Even I love sandwiches, but I get tired of eating the same sandwich for every meal. That’s what Medal of Honor is. It is a delicious sandwich made by employees from Subway and Quiznos but not actually sold at either Subway or Quiznos. And now I want a sandwich, so please excuse me.
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