Review by Gruel

"Kick, Wham, Stunner!"

The Game

World War II will probably go down as one of the most famous wars in history. It will also go down as a classic setting for, books, movies, and video games. WWII is the setting for the latest edition in the Medal of Honor franchise, Frontline. Most movies that circle around World War II manage to be amazing, simply because of the atmosphere it is set in. Movies such as Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, and Enemy at the Gates all managed to garner rave reviews, and some awards to go along with them. Let’s see if the same can go with video games.

The Story

This edition of the Medal of Honor series takes place right as you land in Normandy on D-Day. What an ironic choice of starting the game at. You actually get a feeling of being in the game with the first person perspective. As you progress through the game, you find out your objective is to take down a crazed Nazi leader. No, not Hitler because we all know what happened to him, but how cool it could’ve been if it was!

Graphics

EA sure did set the tone with graphics in this game. All the characters models are well done. The models look like they came out of Timesplitters, but with a more realistic look to them. The developers sure did their research, because the American soldiers look like they actually did come from the 1940’s in this game. They have the classic United States flag on their shoulder, and everything else you saw from the movies. You can easily make out the Nazi troops, complete with Swastikas. The weapons in the game are actually based off their real life counterparts. They also have authentic reloading animations for each weapon as well. The more simple, and less effective weapon have shorter reloading times, while others have drastically long ones.

The stage designs are also well done. The various levels in the game range from the beach of Normandy to your average ranch in the valleys of Germany. All the little details are in here, and they add to the atmosphere in the game. In between missions, you are sometimes treated to mission briefings, which include actual footage and photos from World War II. As you progress through the game you can unlock more, and view them whenever you want.

Sound

The audio is very well done in Medal of Honor. The background music has that classic war feeling to it, and you have a different theme for each level! The soundtrack is so good, that Electronic Arts released a soundtrack for the game. The voice acting from your comrades and enemies is also done well. When the Nazi troops yell at you, they actually speak in German! If you get close enough to soldiers having a conversation without them seeing you, you get subtitles of what they’re saying! The sound effects for gunfire, explosions, footsteps, and nearly everything else in the game sounds the way it should. If you’re lucky enough to have your gaming room equipped with surround sound, then this game is Dolby compatible. This adds on tons to the atmosphere, where you can actually hear what direction people are talking, walking, and shooting from you.

Game play

I heard people complaining that this game didn’t have USB support for the Mouse & Keyboard. People loved playing the game that way in the PC version, but you’ll be forced to play with the PS2 controller only in this version. Medal of Honor has two main control schemes to pick from. One of them is the classic scheme used in previous games, and the other is optimized for the PS2 controller. Both of them aren’t the greatest set ups in the world, although I find the latter works better for me. It’s a lot like the scheme for Timesplitters, where you use one of the analog stick to move, and the other to turn and strafe. It’s not that easy to adapt to, but you’ll be forced to. Too bad you can’t customize the controls in the game.

There are over a dozen levels for you to progress through in MoH: Frontline. You’ll find yourself using various tactics to get through these stages. Some of them range from the classic run ‘n gun we’re use to from classic titles such as Quake, and Doom, but these parts of the game are few and far between. You’ll have to use stealth and strategy to outsmart your opponents for the most part. If there are trees or other objects nearby, you’ll see the computer taking cover with them as soon as you rush in. Don’t be surprised to find yourself doing the same when you need to reload. The computer AI will surprise you at some points. For example, I threw a stick grenade in the middle of a bunch of Nazis. I was assuming it’ll demolish the whole group, but instead the computer kicked the grenade right back in my direction! While some computer opponents will try to outsmart you, others will just stand there being virtually dumb as a box of rocks.

Replay Value

If you beat certain missions with specific stats such as time and accuracy, then you are rewarded with medals, and other hidden extras like classic WWII footage. You can spend forever beating the game over and over to just unlock everything. Unfortunately, this game only took me a good fifteen hours to complete it on my first time through. With a game that takes so short of time to complete, you’d be hoping for some sort of multi player mode to be tacked in for added play. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case here, and it’s a damn shame too. Just imagine this game with a four player split screen mode. Yeah, it would’ve rocked.

In Brief

+: Outstanding graphics & sound, the game captures the feel of WWII

-: No multi player modes, no customizable controls, the game can be beaten within 15 hours

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 9.2
Sound: 9.4
Game play: 8.5
Replay Value: 5.6

Overall: 8.1

Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8

Comments

Medal of Honor: Frontline is a game that has some major advantages and disadvantages for it. On the plus side, the graphics and audio in the game are so good, that they make you feel that you’re actually a part of the game. On the opposite end, the game can easily be completed in a couple of days, and there are no extra multi player modes. If there was a multi player mode, I would’ve easily recommended this game, but since there isn’t I recommend that you only rent this game. In that five day period you have the game, you can probably beat it twice, and have as much fun the game can offer.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/18/02, Updated 08/18/02


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