Review by airliner
"An average shooter."
Getting right into it, Medal of Honor: European Assault is a good First Person Shooter and a good World War II simulator, but it is not without its share of misgivings.
Graphics. The graphics are very nice and add to the drama of the the game. Blown up houses and churches, crumbling concrete and splintered wood; it all looks very nice and helps immerse you in the game.
Sound. The sound is good, but good have been better. Guns and explosions all sound real, but they all sound recycled. It sounds as if they used the same clip for for missiles, bazooka rounds, grenades, and other explosions. The music very good, an dramatic. It has a very cinematic feel, and it just feels pretty cool when you get ordered to defend your position and an epic score accompanies the wave of enemies that rush you.
Everyone praises the same parts of this game, so I'm going to be very specific with what was wrong.
COLLISION DETECTION. This game has terrible collision detection. I'm talking bullets-to-enemies here. It rarely registers head-shots. An enemy crouched behind a tombstone is almost impossible to kill until he decides to pop up and fire, even if his body is right in your scopes. Helmets stick out from their cover, but when you shoot at it, nothing happens. It's as if there are invisible walls, and even though you've got his head right between your sights, you still miss, or you hit his shoulder or something. You can't even shot between chain-linked fences.
NEMESIS. These "mini-bosses" are meant to add an extra challenge, but they don't. It's very easy to just exploit cover and repeatedly snipe the boss in the head until he dies. Or, you can just use a burst of adrenaline and kill him with one machine gun magazine.
AI. The AI is pretty bad. For enemies and allies. You can order your allies to a certain position by putting your targeting reticle over it and clicking the left thumb-stick, but they hardly listen. They're very slow and are usually several rooms behind you, so when you actually do want them to engage the enemy, you have to wait for them to catch up, and by that time the game has already registered you position and the scripted onslaught has begun.
They're terrible at clearing out rooms because they just don't act like you would. Even without a burst of adrenaline, you can rush into a room of three or four baddies and clear them out with a few burst of machine gun fire, but if you order your allies in to clear the room, they'll run in, take up positions first, then fire two shots at the enemy, pause for a moment, fire some more shots, pause, fire, repeat until someone dies. In some levels, you'll have ten AI-controlled allies helping you kill wave after wave of baddies, but they don't really do anything. If the game script spawned ten bad guys in the graveyard, there will be ten bad guys in the graveyard until YOU kill them, even if you have five AI buddies stationed at mounted machine guns!
They're also terrible at taking cover. They know how to take cover, but once they find it, they stick with it, even if they're getting hit. They don't bother to find a new piece of debris to hide behind, they just sit there. Sometimes they just stand in the open, right in front of a mounted machine gun. Just stand there. Doing nothing.
There's really no reason to waste med-kits on your allies, because all you get for them keeping them alive is, depending on how many survived, up to a whopping three extra med-kits to start the next level with. They don't affect your mission rating and they don't divert enemy fire. They don't help with killing nemeses (like you need it), and when there's a tank astir, they just run around getting hit. They don't even use grenades.
OTHER NUANCES. There are various small, level-exclusive problems, that in the big picture, seem insignificant, but when you actually have to deal with them, are hell. In some levels, like the Stalingrad church one, you're charged with defending the position you just secured. There's a mounted machine-gun in the window, but it doesn't even pivot far enough in any direction to kill the soldiers that are firing at you! In some levels, you get a sniper rifle, but the fog is so bad, even in levels without fog (Africa, for instance) that unless you're at a certain, really close distance, you can't even see what your trying to snipe. And by the time you get to a close enough distance, you can easily just snipe then with your bolt-action.
In conclusion, it's a good enough game, but very short and with enough noticeable problems to frustrate you. A great rental, but only buy it if it's on sale, or for the novelty of owning all the World War II games.
I'd give it more like a 6.7 if Game FAQs permitted that.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 05/10/06
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