Review by KasketDarkfyre
"Invading Normandy...one version at a time."
Throughout the years, I’ve been able to play through the Medal of Honor series and not really had much of a complaint in the way that it has depicted the struggles of World War II. While most of the games have ranged from marginally difficult to advanced, I’ve finally found one in the series that had a degree of difficulty that I just can’t seem to place. In a continuation of the Medal of Honor series, Frontline gives you the role of a soldier in the midst of the actual invasion of Normandy and the subsequent missions of causing the downfall of Nazi Germany.
The difference between this version and the others is very little aside from the fact that the visuals just don’t stack up against the X-Box. While this is a minimal difference between the games, I really haven’t seen too much from any of the versions on the X-Box and the Game Cube that sets it apart from the Play Station 2 version. Control is user friendly due to the parallel analog sticks, and the shoulder buttons are comfortable to use when in the middle of a heavy battle. If there is a version to have, then this one would be it based on the easier difficulty in control.
One More Soldier…
Frontline attempts to recreate the actual events of World War II with a variety of missions and goals that you have to complete in order to move onto the next stage. With the variety that you have at your disposal, it might take a little time in order to really get things accomplished because the game moves at a slow pace whether you’re in the midst of battle or you’re looking to travel from one place to the next. Enemies come at you in all different types and sizes, usually ranging from the standard foot soldier to the nasty machine gun nest. Once you’ve found your way through the stages, the challenge really begins because you’re set on a path that you have to complete flawlessly in order to get a good ranking.
The ranking portion of the game is where the challenge really comes in because you’re scored based on what you do during the game and what you can accomplish in the different missions. Shooting your enemies at different points on their bodies helps to up this score, but time is a factor as is the amount of health you have at the end of every stage. While this might not be something you think about, you might have to return to the stage constantly in order to get the desired medal and have it placed in the unlocked section in the options. The more you unlock, the more options you’ll have with the multiplayer modes and otherwise.
Different weapons have different effects and you’ll have to learn how to use the weapons effectively in order to get the desired effect. While the hand pistol works for close range combat, you might find that the sniper rifle in later stages is perfect for setting up your path to the end of the stage. Most of the weapons are picked up when you kill off an enemy and they tend to go for extended periods of time as long as you’re not looking to lay into the firing button. On the flipside, you might run into stages where the armament is just too simple and too light for you to have any real chance against the horde of Nazi’s gunning for your head.
Control in Frontline is something that you’ll have to get used to, because there are three settings that you’re allowed to use at any point. One of the settings allows you to have a “classic” configuration that gives you complete control with the analog sticks and then firing with the shoulder buttons as well as weapon selection. The other two configurations are a little easier on the gamer, though the custom configuration will make it easier to battle the Germans because you have a more sensible control. If you’re still having trouble, it would be within your best interests to play through the first stage a couple of times and get your bearings.
War Is Hell…
Visually, Frontline has plenty of things going for it in terms of the theme and ambiance that you might want from a war filled movie. There are tons of explosions, effects and bodies that crumple to the floor when you knock off the enemy. The locations are detailed and nearly authentic, though you might find that there is too much going on for your own good and that some of the finer details are just not clear. While this doesn’t kill the experience, it does draw it back a little because the battle sequences that you have just don’t seem to have enough action going on and watching cookie cutter soldiers go flying into the air only works the first few times.
Drums Of War…
The music in Frontline is just what you’d expect from games that represent this era and the different scores of music are both haunting and beautiful to listen to. You’ll find that some of the best work is done with the voice effects in the music, giving off a beautiful melody that echoes dramatic effects. The sound effects on the same token are what you’ll expect from a war game, with plenty of gunfire effects and huge explosions that really rock the walls when put through a surround sound system. You’ll find that the enemy voices have authentic German qualities and actually are phrases if you know how to translate them.
Assembly Of Bullets…
Frontline doesn’t offer up anything that you haven’t seen before except for the fact that the game takes place on the beaches of Normandy and storms you through France and different German installations. You’ll find that the visuals are sufficient though lacking extreme action, but the audio is just downright beautiful to listen to if you’re into the symphonic sounds that accompany the game. While the game play is your standard goal oriented stuff, there is plenty of death and killing for anyone who likes the first person shooting game genre. If you’re into the genre, then you’ll find this to be a worthy rental and if you’re a World War II nut, then this is the game for you. However, if you’re looking for aliens, laser blasters and futuristic landscapes, you might want to look towards the Time Splitters series.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/23/03, Updated 02/23/03
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