Review by PeanutButter112
"Good, but by no means extraordinary."
The Medal Honor series has always been a relatively big hit. Since it had it's first coming on the PS1, it has had a bit of a big following and a devoted fanbase. There's a good reason for this fanbase, as all the games released so far in the series are excellent, and Medal of Honor Frontline is just as good as the past games. The sound is great for an FPS, the graphics very good considering it's for the PS2 and the date it came out, and the gameplay is above average.
The story of Medal of Honor Frontline is much like the other games in the franchise. You are Lieutenant Jimmy Patterson, and you were a pilot shot down over Normandy on D-Day. You make it back to the shore just in time for the big invasion, and the game throws you into the landings at Omaha Beach. the first mission is utterly beautiful, everything fits perfectly. Bullets fly toward you, your buddies rush up to the beach, some being cut down in a hail of gunfire; sometimes, it's hard to complete objectives with the great atmosphere around you, you just want to watch the world go 'round.
The rest of the story involves you going around and completing missions for the Allied High Command. These range from sabotaging a U-Boat to infiltrating a high level German military function. However, of course, the game suffers from trying to do a little bit of everything. Some missions want you to infiltrate...but there's just no way to really do it, because every weapon is a noisy automatic and the mechanics of the games simply don't go for stealth.
The gameplay gets by even with the fault of trying to do too much. In fact, it is definitely one of the better FPS experiences available for the PS2. The game's AI is not to intelligent but on the harder diffilculties they present a challenge. You can use tons of weapons to get the point across that you hate Nazis, from close range submachine guns to sniper rifles. The arsenal is varied and fun to use, especially the semiautomatic German sniper rifle.
You can use grenades, but this is not one of the game's strongpoints. Grenades serve a tactical purpose, but you can't use a separate button to throw grenades. This means using grenades has to be a planned out chore rather than an improvised moment of fun. However, you can "cook" of grenades, meaning you can decide when to throw and this effects the amount of time it takes to explode.
The controls are sketchy and the first few missions may be very difficultas the controls have a large learning curve. The sensitivity of the analog sticks cannot be adjusted and this means that aiming can be, at times, tedious. Still though, the shoulder buttons work like a charm, and for the most switching weapons is easy. After you get the controls down, they are relatively easy and aiming only takes a little practice.
The graphics...well, let's just say the graphics are very good, and they push the PS2. Everything is well detailed, and the textures look very nice. The guns look realistic and foilage is done well, although it's still in the 2D realm. However, your environment can't really be interacted with, and of course this means that a realistic physics system is not employed for this game. Even so, the environments are breathtaking. The bombed out city in the third or fourth level is indeed one of the best interpretations of a bombed out town I have seen, and it beats out Allied Assault's bombed out French town.
The sound is equally as good as the graphics. Medal of Honor is known for it's great music, and the EA team that assembled the music comes through yet again for us. The sound only adds to the already nearly perfect atmosphere, and the other sounds don't disappoint as well. Voice acting has been done better in other games but none the less I feel that for a first person shooter, one has to congratulate the EA team that set up the voice and music department. they assemble a good group of people for the job.
Now, the weapon sounds are good. Machine guns, rifles, and submachine guns sound very realistic, but shotguns, bazookas, and grenades seemed a bit toned down. However, every other weapon and it's noise was well done.
There's nothing really innovative about Frontline. The game doesn't break through any barriers but that of having great graphics. The gameplay is certainly average in some areas, and there is no doubt in my mind that the game has it's downfalls. The biggest downfall is the lack of multiplayer.
Admittedly, the Medal of Honor series has always been a single player franchise over a multiplayer one, but certainly there could've been something. A deathmatch, a cooperative...in fact, Frontline would have been perfect for a cooperative mode, but EA must have just forgot. This is really sad, and I hope next time that EA makes a Medal of Honor game, they will incorporate multiplayer. Until later, however, us MOH fans will just have to stick to the PC Medal of Honor Allied Assault for multiplayer.
EA, however, knows that a first person shooter needs some replay value, and at least EA has give us a reason to play through maybe twice. In what way, you ask? Well, there are medals you can collect, and you get a grading for each level you finish. I don't know if you can eventually unlock some special stuff, but I know there are cheats.
Also, EA really let's you actually choose what you want to do. Most major problems in the game usually have two individual ways to solve them; shoot the gas can, or sneak past the guards and light the cloth on fire which will start a chain reaction and create the former explosion? It's really all up to you.
Overall, Medal of Honor: Frontline is a good game, and now that it's a Greatest Hit game, it's worth $20. The lack of multiplayer is disappointing, but a good long single player with multiple ways of solving puzzles makes up for it. The graphics and sounds are some of the best out there, so Medal of Honor comes recommended.
Just don't expect too much out of it.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/03/04
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