Review by DandyQuackShot
"Hey Guys! What do you get when you cross a Nazi with a cockroach?"
The Medal of Honor series attempts another unique World War Two game based on the 82nd Airborne and some of the actual Operations in which the airborne troops participated. You play as PFC Boyd Travers, a soldier who finds himself like most of the characters you play in the Medal of Honor series, alone and soon to be without any of the squad mates he begins with. Medal of Honor also has a good, but disappointing multiplayer. It is fun to play online, but as with a lot of Xbox 360 games the online community is hard to come by and there are not that many people that get on and play.
The game begins you with a quick tutorial on how to get out of an airplane and on the ground in one piece. All you really have to do is move the control stick around and guide Travers to wherever you want to land in the mission. There are various skill drop locations throughout the game and you will have to learn how to successfully land. There will not be any Blood on the Risers except in the online play, and botched landings will have your guy slowly push himself off the ground and stand up. The weapons are fun to shoot with the old iron crosshairs and a realistic glass scope on your sniper rifles. Aiming also lets you be able to lean out to the right and left from cover and you can sprint from cover to cover, which in the hardest difficulties comes in very handy. The missions are variable, but you will go through pretty much the same thing each time as you begin from a drop and can land anywhere you want in the map. Your fellow allies will not be of much help and usually just run out and get killed if they make it off the plane. The enemy AI is very good and they will try to run around and flank you and shoot at you from any direction no matter what difficulty you play on. A radar and some invisible radio will guide you to your next objective so you will know where to go once you hit the ground. The objectives are usually applying some explosive to take out flak guns, radars, and other installations and capturing various other locations.
It is relatively easy to get in on an unranked match in multiplayer, but as of today I could not get into a ranked game. The online community exists, but it is also very small. So it will be extremely difficult to get the multiplayer achievements without the help of friends. Online is enjoyable though. The Allies will parachute in with the Axis beginning in a certain spawn point in the map. The Allies get the distinct advantage of being able to drop in on the Axis if they aren't keeping their eyes in the sky and you will also be able to find a nice sniping location to drop down on. The Axis have the advantage of maneuverability and it is easy to take out the snipers that drop in on top of the buildings.
I really hate to bash a game that I liked. However, it just appears that some game developer was sitting around watching the Band of Brothers series and thought that there should be a videogame about it. Either that or they just wanted to capitalize on the success of the Band of Brothers series because there is no originality to this game. Even the missions have some quote of a veteran and start off with some title to the mission. Story is very important, especially in games like these because either it's just going to be a first person shooter in a historical themed game, or the game is going to have stereotypical characters with laughable or no developmental reason to be in the game. All of the soldiers you see in the game have absolutely no relation to you other than being the next NPC to be shot, but all of them seem to know who you are so you can go take care of all the objectives by yourself. And that brings me to the discussion of the missions. Most are representations of actual Airborne operations and they all begin with mission briefings and a gear up screen. Toward the end of the game it gets a little far out. The last mission focuses on taking out this huge Axis tower and features a bunch of these supposedly elite troops that lug around MG42s. Otherwise there are no characters in this game to feel for when they die and Airborne lacks a lot of story development that makes other war games soar with success.
The maps in Medal of Honor Airborne are very detailed and realistic. These maps can be very expansive and the detail in bombed out cities or catching a view of the Navy warships preparing to rain shot and shell on the Normandy beaches is quite appealing. Characters are detailed to a degree and everything is to historical accuracy, for the most part.
The sound is very good. The weapon and sound effects are really effective. There is a lot of bullets whizzing by and I think the best experience for the sound effects are on the online multiplayer. If you have played any of the Medal of Honor games before then you will know what the music is going to be like in this game.
Play Time/Replayability 8
Airborne is a great game to go back and play. The achievement points are variable and divided in half between the campaign mode and the multiplayer. Airborne takes a day or two to get through, but that all depends on the difficulty you play on. There is a weapons collection list and plenty of skill drop locations to find. Multiplayer is fun to play on as the games are very balanced and if you can find a ranked match then there are plenty of achievement points to go for. The missions are fun, but there isn't anything outstanding about them that would make you want to go back and play through them again.
Final Recommendation 7.5/10
Medal of Honor Airborne is definitely a good rental. It is a great game and fun to play, but the lack of a decent story line and small online community makes it a game that wouldn't be worth buying unless you are a fan of the World War Two or Medal of Honor series. The concept is great, but you just can't help but come away from this game thinking that it was inspired by the Band of Brothers TV series as with some of the other games in the Medal of Honor series. Sometimes I wonder why they even call it Medal of Honor because there isn't much about this game that centers on the most prestigious war medal in the United States military.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/28/08
Game Release: Medal of Honor: Airborne (US, 09/04/07)
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