Review by Scottie theNerd
"An excellent change of pace from previous MoHs..."
The Medal of Honor series originally appeared on the Playstation. The first Medal of Honor took further steps in AI and featured a completely mindblowing music score, and Medal of Honor: Underground continued this standard to an extent. Now, Medal of Honor continues on, on the Playstation 2 and PC.
At a glance, the two games, Medal of Honor: Frontline and Medal of Honor: Allied Assault are quite similar. However, after a few minutes of playing, the differences are evident and both are unique in many ways.
Unlike Frontline, Allied Assault is side-story. The protagonist is not Lt. Jimmy Paterson from the original Medal of Honor and Frontline, but a new face: Lt. Mike Powell. Like Paterson, Powell must fight through the European theatre, both in frontline battles and covert ops. Like previous Medal of Honor games, Allied Assault features both intense battles and undercover espionage that is familiar to Medal of Honor fans, and keeps up the standard.
Unlike the console versions, however, Allied Assault has a much faster feel. Being on PC, there are more control options and customisation than Frontline, and PC FPS players will immediately get used to the standard WASD configuration. Rather than exploration, this faster pace concentrates more on firefights and actual combat, giving Allied Assault more action than Frontline. It is now easier to control your gun using the mouse rather than leaving the recoil to get out of hand. New innovations include the ability to either throw or toss a grenade, and how far you throw/toss it.
The arsenal of WWII weapons is excellent. We see old favourites such as the M1 Garand, Thompson and MP40, but with more realistic recoil and firing rates. There is a new interface for equipment, which divides your current weapons into Pistols, Rifles, SMGs, Machine Guns and Heavy Weapons, each type being selectable using the # keys. The animations for each gun are highly detailed, even down to reloading.
The character models are also very well presented. Enemies have to reload just like you, and voice-acting is superb. The lip-synch is not as good as Frontline, but this does not effect the game much.
The music score in Allied Assault is somewhat lacking compared to the other games, but what's there is still top notch and classic. The sound effects of individual guns can easily be identified.
The levels in Allied Assault are quite different from those of previous games. Missions are now more objective-based and there is a lot more squad-based missions than Frontline. Being a PC game, Allied Assault can display more characters on screen at one time than Frontline, hence, instead of just having one other team member, you can have a up to 5 guys following you and providing supporting fire. The sheer power of the graphics is clearly shown off on the much-hyped D-Day level on Omaha Beach. In Frontline, it truly had the movie atmosphere, but the beach only had around 5 soldiers on it at one time and the beach itself was only a few meters long. The Allied Assault beach is almost 5 times as long, and you have to hide behind obstacles and wait until the machinegunners have stopped firing on you until you can move on. When you reach the German bunker and look out to sea, you can make out dozens of soldiers storming the beach. This level of detail can never be achieved by the PS2. Fans of Saving Private Ryan will recognise many similar scenes in Allied Assault.
Of course, there are bad points to this game. One of the most annoying is the enemy's hit animations. Usually when an enemy is hit but not killed, they get stunned. However, during this stun animation, sometimes they do not respond to further damage until the animation is over. Occasionally they do die from following hits, but when your standing there getting shot by several Germans, and the one guy you're aiming for isn't dying from direct hits, you just have to wonder what the hell is going on. There is also a lack of features, such as the History lessons or Extras found in previous games. However, there is a multiplayer mode for online gaming, a feature lacking in Frontline for various reasons.
Overall, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault is an instant classic that lives up to the Medal of Honor name.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/31/02, Updated 08/31/02
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