Medal of Honor: Frontline

Medal of Honor: Frontline
Developer: EA
Publisher: EA
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-4
Words By:

You again get to play as master-of-all-trades soldier Jimmy Patterson in this GameCube conversion of the highly rated PS2 FPS game. Jimmy is quite a guy - capable of all kinds of military skills, which of course means that EA can throw you into some of the most notable battles and locations of World War 2.

You've more than likely heard tell of the amazing opening sequence (a level that closely apes the Omaha Beach landing scenes from Saving Private Ryan) and goes some way to portraying the violence and mayhem that the real soldiers must have gone through, but little of the sheer horror, as strangely the game is completely gore-free.

   

The game uses what is now virtually the standard control method for FPS console games and plays in a similar way to the other FPS on the Cube (Left stick for movement and the R stick to look/aim). The scenery, whilst superbly modeled and coloured, is rather lacking in detail, and the PS2 origins of the game are never less than obvious, with textures that look great from a certain distance but degrade into a less than impressive blur as you get closer. Non-player characters are detailed and lip-synched, but sometimes clip through scenery, and disappointingly, dead bodies melt away.

As with the PS2 original, the game captures you from the off with its amazing sound and atmosphere (and some wonderfully haunting music by Michael Giacchino). Even with some of the unbelievably daft mission objectives, less than cutting-edge graphics, and levels that are at times little more than a simple matter of walking from A to B whlst shooting everything in sight, we couldn't help enjoying it all over again. Although you feel that the Gamecube is never made to work hard, the game sometimes exhibits slowdown, and consequential jerky control and aiming.

Several of the more interesting levels offer good sniping opportunities over great distances, and the well-animated enemies die in several imaginative and satisfying ways. Battles can change from sniping to close-quarters in seconds, and the game supplies some seriously exciting moments.

One thing that'll hit you straight away if you've been used to the Dooms, Quakes and Unreals of this world are the weapons, all of which have authentically small magazines and realistically slow reload times. The primitive weapons mean that no matter how careful you are, sometimes you'll get caught short of ammo - but the game is realistic enough that now and then enemies will be caught mid-reload as well, and sometimes it's better to run up and kill with a melee attack rather than wait for the gun to be reloaded or waste time changing weapons…

   

Progression through the game is awarded with medals, and totally bossing a level (finishing with 95% kills and 75% or more health) means a gold medal and unlocked DVD style extras.

The whole WWII experience is bulked out by an new multiplayer mode (that the PS2 version didn't have) which offers several slightly cut-down versions of the levels used in the main game. The multiplayer is playable, but as with the main game sometimes suffers from jerkiness of aiming and frame rate problems which spoil things. Four player games can be tactical or hectic affairs depending on the choice of level or weapon set and better players can be handicapped by cutting their health bars down.

All in all, a competent (if slightly disappointing) conversion of a classic PS2 game. MOHF still provides some seriously atmospheric and exciting gaming, and is simply unmissable if you've never played the earlier versions.


Good Points

- Amazingly atmospheric sound.
- New multiplayer mode.
- It's WWIItastic!!

Bad Points

- Unsubtle aiming and occasional frame rate problems.
- Too linear for its own good.


by: Sloppy Sneak