Review by AvantLegion

Reviewed: 12/11/02 | Updated: 12/11/02

Interesting, but flawed

Bottom Line: Medal of Honor: Allied Assault is a decent World War II based first person shooter, but comes in well short of what it could have been.

Details: From the word ''go'', this game had me hooked. Unfortunately, it would slowly lose me over the course of the game. This single-player focused WWII shooter contains some wonderful locales, good core gameplay, and decent enough graphics (via the Quake III engine). However, a number of flaws prevent it from being an A+ title.

The game definitely loses steam as it progresses. The first half of the game is considerably better than the second half.

Let's examine some flaws in this game:

- The biggest flaw is a reliance on ''trial and error'' gameplay. Many sections of the game must be played and re-played before you can pass them. This completely destroys any sort of immersion in the World War II environments, as you spend too much time Quicksaving and loading because you run into a ''bang! you're dead!'' spot in the game every few minutes. It's one thing for a game to be unforgiving. It's another when the game forces you to make mistakes before you can understand how to succeed (particularly when you *die* for making those mistakes). My philosophy is that any gamer who is adequately skilled, patient, and can think on their feet should be able to pass any section of a given game on the first try (not easily, but successfully). Unfortunately, the developers of Medal of Honor think that you should just die a few times at every hard part. Lazy design, I think.

- Allied Assault cannot decide what sort of game it wants to be. Sometimes, the game requires you to be slow and methodical, a la Rainbow Six. Other times, you have to throw caution to the wind and run-and-gun. While this might sound like a nice blend of two different styles of gameplay, the reality is that the ''blend'' seems entirely arbitrary: some sections which would logically favor one approach may turn out to require the other, and so on.

- The game features what I consider to be an absolute cardinal sin: the use of ''infinite spawning enemies'' in certain areas. In some parts of the game, where you might want to take it slow (see last complaint), you will find that, no matter how many enemies you shoot, more enemies will ''spawn'' into existence and come running towards you. Of course, you don't actually *see* the enemy spawn into existence, but you're smart and can do the math - eventually, if you stand still long enough, you'll kill more people than Nazi Germany ever had. And they'll keep right on coming!

These flaws all come from the design front. They are all frustrating and make me want to reach for the throat of whomever was the lead designer of this project. The most frustrating part is that they heavily drag down an otherwise-good (perhaps even special) game.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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