Don't be scared by the wall of text, it won't eat you.
I like to review things, try to help people understand what, or what not to invest their time in. I don't dabble with a point based rating system. I either recommend things, or don't. Looking for critiques on my writing, if you have anything helpful to add please reply.
While in ventrilo the other day a friend of mine said "I can download Medal of Honor Beta? But I didn't pre-order it.
" Neither had I, but lo', amongst my library of games were the words "Medal of Honor Beta". After having installed the game and wasted some of my precious time playing it, here is my impression.
Let me begin by saying that this game has no artistic direction whatsoever. Imagine the movie "Black Hawk Down." Do you have that image in your head? Good, now take all the colors, turn them white, gray, and brown, and saturate the picture, and you have this game. It appears they even stole the music directly from the movie. They even took the loading screen background from the map "Crashed" in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (COD4). And don't get me started on the User Interface.
You load the game to developer logos. Nothing special, but I was jarred when the UI loaded and I couldn't figure it out. (I'll stop right here and warn you that the next paragraph is focused on the interface, which is tedious and unintuitive to use, like wading through a sea of bricks.) There were no "buttons" to be seen and no obvious direction. The game wanted me to log into my EA account, and I suppose these boxes are some stand in for real buttons because there were none to be had. After logging in I was brought to the menu. The list of options is common to what you'd see in any other shooter, but unlike in any other shooter you have to wade through contextual menus to get anything you want. So unlike in other shooters (like COD4), where you click "Join Game" and you wind up at the server browser, in MOH you must log in twice (just to get to the menu) then click play, followed by how you join a game (in this case "matchmake") followed by which game type, and find match. More time in the menus = less time in game. Wait a second, I thought using matchamking was supposed to make it EASIER for people to join games! If you have to navigate through so many contextual menus, why not just make server browsing your primary mode of gaming... It doesn't take nearly as long. At last! you've joined a game, lets get to the action... that is after you've been visually assaulted with a cluttered class selection screen.
In other games that have class selection (Team Fortress 2, Battlefield, etc) you're given VITAL INFORMATION about the different classes. In Team Fortress 2 you can tell just by looking at the pictures what their specialties are. (i.e Pyro
wears a chemical suit and holds a flamethrower, Heavy
is a hulking Russian with an enormous Gatling gun, and the Spy
is wearing a mask and a pinstripey suit.) Even if you haven't played the game before you can already guess what each class does. In MOH the only reason you know they're different classes is because they tell you're they're different. The class selection screen sure doesn't help differentiate between the classes, it shows you a map with no information but lots of moving peaces with no key to tell you what each graphic means, a weapon selection screen and a "Deploy in Base" box. This is my favorite, why do they give you the option to "Deploy in Base" if you can't spawn anywhere else? Why not just use the word "Ready
" or "Respawn
"? It is concise, and doesn't give the illusion of choice when in reality there is none.
Ah, FINALLY to the game play. You've waded through the menu's, you've waited through the loading screen, and you've selected your class and "Deployed in Base", now for some action!Or not. See, the point of a video game is to have fun, and years of game development have proven what parts of game play work and parts that don't. Things like level design, weapon balancing, spawn points, these are things that GOOD developers pay attention to. Though, it would seem DICE has left all these lessons learned in their other pants. Running through the game you can't help but wonder "did anyone design these levels or did they just hit a random map generator button" because there is no flow in this game. There are no contention points, no major thoroughfares, there aren't even any "bases" as they seem to move to wherever your team is. The weapons don't even operate properly, or it would seem that these soldiers live in a universe with no equal or opposite reactions because there is no recoil on any of the weapons. The weapons all sounds like someone with washer and bolt banging against a cardboard box in a makeshift sound studio, and reused sounds from Battlefield BC 2. Another point, why don't they ever charge their weapons?
Here's a little aside about a pet peeve of mine. In most shooters, when you reload you charge the weapon regardless of how many rounds you've fired, when in reality you don't have to charge if there's a round already in the chamber. Well in this game you don't ever have to charge the weapon, they just magically have rounds in them when you insert the magazine. Way to pay attention there game developer guy.
All that to say, I have never felt my time had been more efficiently wasted
than by playing this game. My recommendation? I'm going to have to wait and see how the actual game will play, but the beta is so embarrassing that I may not even buy the game. I've played a few beta's over my time, 2 of the most recent being Starcraft 2 beta and Battlefield Bad Company 2. Both of those games were playable and enjoyable even at that early stage of development. So far this has just been a waste of time.