Review by Scottie theNerd
"Still a classic game..."
Medal of Honor: Frontline is a World War 2 shooter, first released for the Playstation 2 sometime before the GameCube and Xbox versions. It was an epic continuation of the previous Medal of Honor titles and was definitely a classic game. Because of its popularity, Frontline has been ported over to the GameCube and Xbox and remained more or less true, with a few additions.
As with the PS2 version, the story remains the same. You play the role of Lt. Jimmy Patterson. You're back in action on board a Higgins boat, taking part in Operation Overlord: the mission to invade France and start an Eastern Front against the German war machine. The game starts off by throwing you straight into the action: the D-Day landings on Omaha Beach. Immediately, you will feel the atmosphere of the war around you, as your comrades struggle up the beach against machine gun nests and bunkers opening fire on them. The level of detail is simply awesome to behold.
The game then takes various turns, placing you at various locations with different objectives. You will be all-out battles, squad-based missions and espionage. To aid you in your missions, you are given a large variety of authentic World War 2 weapons, including the Thompson sub-machinegun, MP40, StG44, BAR and even the Bazooka. Frontline takes a step up from the first Medal of Honor games by researching into the characteristics of each weapon and modelling the game to replicate each of these characteristics. For example, weapons have realistic firing rates and recoils. The Thompson can be emptied in a few second, the MP40 is actually difficult to control on full automatic and the BAR no longer has an insane rate of fire. At the end of each level, you are graded on your performance and given a rank of either Gold, Silver or Bronze, and by getting all Golds in a mission you are rewarded with Medals to acknowledge your achievement.
The graphics are outstanding. Character models are smooth and detailed, as are the weapon models and level design. However, the most striking feature is the perfect lipsynch. The voice acting matches perfectly with the character models. On the audio side, the soundtrack is unmatched. The orchestra adds to the emotional atmosphere, especially the vocals. The background music varies from suspense while walking through the streets at night, to soothing vocals while walking through the Dutch countryside, to a sorrowful theme fighting in the streets of Arnhem with comrades dying alongside you.
Of course, there was quite a lot of hype concerning two areas of the game: the D-Day Landings and Operation Market Garden, two major events in World War 2. These are featured in Frontline and are executed in an excellent manner, leaving nothing more to be desired.
The controls of the GameCube version is slightly more awkward than the PS2 version. However, after a while it settles in and plays perfectly, allowing maximum combat effectiveness in terms of firepower and mobility.
Unfortunately, the history sections and movies have been cut out from the GameCube version. In its place is a Multiplayer mode. Although it is quite fun and an enjoyable change of pace, it is quite limited, as it only has a few maps based on the Single player campaign. To make up for this though, there is a decent degree of customization regarding character skins, weapon sets and even background music. You could be shooting each other with Shotguns only, to the music of Arnhem Knights. Also, there have been some minor additions to levels. For example, in the opening D-Day mission, it was quite difficult for a first-gamer to locate the soldiers of your squad in the PS2 version. In the GameCube version, there are flares that mark their position, allowing an easier learning curve.
Although the vast majority of the game is perfect, there are a few gripes. The AI, although good, isn't much more advanced than the previous titles and is not as impressive. There is also a small amount of unrealism when it comes to anti-tank weaponry. A Panzerfaust has great difficulty to even scratch a tank, while the MG42 knocks out a tank in a few seconds. Also, the endurance of soldiers surprisingly increases in later games. A soldier tends to stand back up after you shoot him three times in the chest with a sniper rifle in later levels, while at the start they easily fall in one.
Medal of Honor Frontline is definitely a classic title, regardless of system. Epic soundtrack, excellent graphics and gameplay.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/14/03, Updated 04/14/03
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