Review by N3k74r

"A Total Blast to Play!"

1942 is a dangerous time in Europe, the Nazi's are everywhere. As a covert operative, it is your job to disrupt communications, destroy enemy supplies and vehicles, cause general havoc, and take out as many of the enemy as you can. Sometimes this task requires a blazing submachine gun, or a well placed explosive device, and sometimes it requires a good disguise and forged ID papers, either way, there is only one man for the job, and that man is you, Lt. Powell, U.S. Army Ranger.

Medal of Honor, Allied Assault is a game of uncommon stature. It will require the player to demonstrate courage, skill, cunning, an unflinching trigger finger and a keen targeting eye, all of which may win you a Medal of Honor.

MOHAA, which is run on the Quake 3 engine, will switch you from fast paced first person shooter to a slower covert ops and back again several times through out its 20+ levels which encompass 6 complete and extensive missions. These missions will set you right in the middle of the European Theater during W.W.II where you (Lt. Powell, 1st Battalion Rangers, United States Army) will engage in rescue, demolition, recon, and assault as the Allies fight for victory over the troops of Nazi Germany. The Gameplay is linear and progressive (you must complete each mission before moving on to the next) and follows a well scripted story line. Now I am not a big fan of progressive linear Gameplay, to me it always seemed that you had little to no control over the outcome of the mission, and while that does apply here, I have to say that MOHAA did change my mind, a little, getting to complete the mission requires some fast action and some thinking too, and while the mission is scripted, it flows exceptionally well. Heck, with all that is going on, you almost forget that there is a script at all, almost.

The default game controls work quite well (give them a try before you start resetting all the buttons) and for newcomers to the game, the very first thing you will do is Boot Camp. There you will learn all of your controls as well as weapons training with the basic weapons, Colt 1911A1 .45 caliber pistol, M1A1 .30 caliber Garand semi-auto rifle, '03 .30 caliber Springfield bolt action sniper rifle, .45 caliber Thompson submachine gun, Mark II Fragmentation grenade, and the M1919A4 .30 caliber mounted machine gun, all of which you will be using during play (as well as many others you will find on the battle field), some old timers may find the Basic Training a little boring but it does get you ready for combat and only lasts a few minutes.

Perhaps the most amazing things you will find in MOHAA are the little details that are always missing from the other games. Details such as swarms of bugs that collect around the searchlights, barrels of oil that have volume (by this I mean that if you shoot a barrel at the top it only leaks for a short time, but if you shoot it towards the bottom it will leak for a considerable amount of time), bullet holes that stay in the walls, dust poofs from bullets that strike bodies or dry patches of earth, spark showers from searchlights that get shot out, realistic smoke trails from weapons like the bazooka, and the list goes on and on. These are the kind of details that immerse you into the game. Perhaps the only thing missing from a game of this genre would be the blood splatter, this is almost unforgivable for a game of this caliber, however I found that I didn't really miss it, and without it the game receives a Teen Rating, meaning more console kids can buy the game to play on Dad's PC, and thus more people to play with on-line. The textures, uniforms, vehicles, and all the little details are so well done, of course the better the system you play it on the better these things will look. There are plenty of texture and video options available so that MOHAA can be optimized to your system. I have been playing using the default settings (medium textures and details) and the game looks wonderful, you can even read the serial number off my M1A1 Garand! PIII or IV processors backed with 32 meg or better Video cards should have no problems turning up the settings and getting all the details available.

Details are not always of a visual nature. MOHAA also tries to immerse you into the game with its sound package. And it does it to the extreme! I have never heard sound detail and quality like this in any other game, it is totally intense. While the music sets the overall tone for the mission, the detailed object sounds do wonders to fill in all the empty holes. Some of the noticeable effects are the distinctive "PING" when a M1A1 Garand ejects its spent clip, shell casings that rattle off walls and the floor, the sounds of tanks and other vehicles in the background (these are also variable depending on how far away you are from the object and which direction the object is heading) German soldiers that speak GERMAN!, each weapon has its own distinct firing and reloading sounds, and the sounds of aircraft as they buzz overhead are amazing, the boys at EA went all out with this one, superb visual and audio details at every level as well as some Gameplay that is well balanced and fun!

Multiplayer play is made available through both LAN connection and Internet play through Gamespy, and I have had the opportunity to try it, on line game play is very intense and unrestricted. This game may give Return to Castle Wolfenstein a run for the money.

Now for the down side of things. While the game is quite good and I would recommend it to veterans and newcomers alike, there are a few points that I felt could have used a little more attention. First is the enemy AI, at times those Nazi troops have the eyes of eagles and can pick you out sneaking through heavy cover at distances that are a little unbelievable, it kinda makes it nearly impossible to sneak up on them, during sniper sessions it also makes them snipers from hell as they can hit you before you even know where they are! At other times you can unload a whole clip of ammo inside a warehouse door with a guard right outside in plain view and he never raises an alarm or comes to investigate. It seems that at times the enemy AI is way too sensitive, while at other times it is almost nonexistent. The other thing that bothered me a bit was the way the weapons are aimed. You can see the weapon in firing position but instead of sighting the weapon with the sights, you are given a crosshair slightly raised and to the left of the weapon. I would rather have had to shoulder the weapon and used the sights as in the Infiltration Mod for Unreal Tournament, that would have lent more realism to the game. And the last item of contention is the positions that you can get into, you are limited to standing and crouching, while the enemy forces are allowed both of those as well as a prone position which makes him harder to hit.

All things considered, I think the guys over at EA did a very fine job of putting this game together, they took a wonderful shooter, added all the goodies, and made it fun to play. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of first person shooters, W.W.II sims, Military games, and similar genres.

Installation: Easy (though a bit long, two discs)

Gameplay: 9.5
Gameplay in MOHAA is very very good, there are plenty of opportunities to show the enemy who's the boss! Well, scripted progression make it easy to keep on track and complete your missions. Period weapons are all very realistic in view, use, and sound as are the uniforms, vehicles, and settings. MOHAA grabs hold of you, drags you in, and only the cramps in your legs let you know how many hours you have spent sitting there playing. Once you have completed the game, you can go back to your saved files and replay your favorite parts, giving the game some replay value as well. Want to make things even more interesting? Go get the cheat codes for your replays! WOW! ( I suggest you play the first round through without the cheats, if you really want a feel for the game)

Graphics: 9.7
Some of the ground graphics were fairly average, but the rest of the graphics are TOP NOTCH! Amazing detail in every item, weapon, uniform, vehicle, and building. As with most of the new games, the better the system the better results you will get, this game requires a fairly upscale system with a recommended 700 MHz processor and 32 mg video card. It will run on 500 MHz and 16 mg but you won't have all the details. I run the game on my system at the default medium settings and am still amazed at the detail I get, I did crank it up and the resulting details in the graphics are truly wonderful. The game also gives you a full array of video options to tweak this game to get optimal results on your system.

Sounds: 10
The sound quality in MOHAA is second to none. All of the sounds are very authentic and fit in right where they should be, each and every weapon and vehicle has it own distinctive sound. Background noises are a very nice addition that many games lack. Even the music suits the scene's well and is unobtrusive. Top Notch effort in the noise department!

Difficulty: 9.2
This game is full of difficult tasks, and many of them will take you multiple attempts before you get through them. The enemy AI at times is hyper sensitive making it very hard to sneak up on them. Add to this the fact that right in the middle of a fire-fight your clip goes dry and you have to reload subjecting your self to undefended incoming fire, and you have a game that is quite challenging. And when you get through it all then go back and set it to medium or hard (if your suicidal) and try it again!

Concept: 9.5
While the W.W.II first person shooter isn't a new concept, it does fit in with the huge resurgence of interest by the public, (Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor, U571, and many other popular movies) and even though there are a few other games out there in the same genre, they will have a hard time getting over on this one. The fierce first person Gameplay, well scripted story line, and historical settings, backed by the best graphics and sound out there make for a very formable package.

Multiplayer: 9.8
LAN connection games ROCK! Totally unrestricted by a script with the freedom to choose your weapons and team mates on special maps designed just for multiplayer where did the last six hours go?!!! There is also Gamespy connection for Internet play as well......move over Wolfenstien, there's a new guy on the net and he wears a MEDAL OF HONOR!

Overall: 9.8
This is by far one of the best games I have come across, it is beautiful to look at, fantastic to listen to, and a TOTAL BLAST to play! Yes, it does have some flaws, but all games do, it's for you to decide if the few flaws it does have are going to keep you from enjoying this fantastic shooter.

This one may stay on top of my game pile for a long long time.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 04/15/05

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