Review by Father Chaos

"World War II comes home."

The track record for Medal of Honor has been a very successful one, and even though I had not played even a single version of it before this one, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised when I brought this bad boy home. Medal of Honor: Frontline has some of the best aspects of first-person shooters, while also introducing new elements into the mix. For those of you who are Halo, Halflife, and Deus Ex fans, Medal of Honor: Frontline is right up your alley.

When you first start with Medal of Honor, you feel like you're actually part of the action. The opening scene is the beach landing on Normandy in France, where Axis troops prepared for the mass land invasion by the Allied armies. As soon as you get to the shoreline, the intensity of combat begins, and you feel as though you're actually part of WWII history. From that point on, realistic backgrounds, sound effects, uniforms, weapons, and equipment bring history alive in this epic first-person shooter.

The actual controls may be difficult for some gamers on this one. The set up (default) is to have your L3 stick be your move forward and strafe, while the R3 stick is your turning radius. Weapon switch, action, and jump are all the keys set up on the pad, while the shoulder buttons control firing, reloading, ducking, and aiming. But after some practice, these shouldn't be a problem anymore. The game itself is fairly fun to play, as you whip out a variety of weapons to shoot down Nazi troops. But the missions aren't just brainless killing fests like other FPS's; instead, you have to interact with small puzzles and other characters in the game to progress with the missions. Also, you have a main objective that needs to be completed at the end, but smaller parameters will ensure that you don't just dart for the end of the level.

The storyline of MoH: Frontline is not very complicated by any stretch of means, but it's enough to keep you interested in what's going in. As opposed to FPS's like Doom or Quake, there is something else going on besides hordes of beasties coming after you. Your character, Jim Patterson, turns out to be one of the most valued soldiers in the American army, and for that reason he is sent on high-risk missions they feel he is the only one qualified to do. Plus, there is an underlying story that will encompass all missions you are sent on.

Though graphics cards for PC's are continually outshining console games, the graphics on MoH: Frontline will not disappoint you. Characters during game play will move their mouthes correctly when speaking to you. The high detail of how the uniforms, weapons, and backgrounds appear realistic and lifelike. The sound effects are very realistic, even down to the carbine rifles. Nazi soldiers speak German as though they were Germans, and the musical score is phenomenal.

After you've gone though the missions of MoH: Frontline and have successfully completed it, chances are you're going to want to go back though it to get all the Medals. These are special rewards you can get for completing missions within a defined series of parameters. It may not be one of those games you'll want to jump right back into after completing it, but after a few months of playing other titles, and playing games online, you'll come across it again and want to pop it in for some more WWII heroism.

For those of you who aren't very fond of FPS's, I suggest a rental. For those of you who live for the FPS action, this title's a definite buy. Don't even bother shelling out $5 for a rental; save that for when you've got the entire $49.95 to purchase it. I can almost guarantee you won't be disappointed.

This is not one of those easy games you can just fly through. Careful eyes and good reaction times will be a necessity in the later levels of the game, as well as knowledge of how weapons work. The earlier stages of MoH: Frontline can be difficult, depending on what difficulty setting you're using, but not nearly as much as those later on.

Of course, no game is without flaw. Even the best of games, like Grand Theft Auto III and Final Fantasy X have their aspects that don't please everyone. For MoH: Frontline, I don't like the restarts. Instead of dying, and spending a ''life,'' you are restarted at the beginning of a level. This can get extremely frustrating after you've played a mission five, six, or even ten times in a row, only to start back at the beginning again. The AI is a little disappointing at times; I mean, how hard is it to push open a door, whip around a corner, and fire at someone? Some of the enemy soldiers will open a door, then simply stand there blankly as though nothing were wrong.

Overall, though, MoH: Frontline is one of those PS2 titles you're bound to enjoy. Grab a copy today, and get to having a lot of fun.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/20/02, Updated 06/20/02

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