Medal of Honor Frontline - PS2 review

Medal of Honor was one of the best selling games on the PlayStation, so good in fact, that it had a sequel, Underground, and a PC version, Allied Assault (with expansion pack, Spearhead). The acronym has become synonymous with the military world, so it was no surprise that Medal of Honor soon became MOH and MOHU, MOHAA, MOHF (and no, these aren't the ramblings of a drunken fool). Anyway, I digress. Medal of Honor Frontline sees Lt. Jimmy Paterson, head back into battle against the German Nazi machine, this time, on the PS2. The influence of Saving Private Ryan is immediately obvious in the opening levels of the game - in fact, they're identical (the D-Day beaches). Well, what better way to get into action?

The controls are the same as before, generally they take a bit of time to get used to so you can co-ordinate all your actions at the same time. Be warned - should you choose to play another control heavy first person shooter, you'll probably forget all the quirky little controls. Not that you would play anything else - MOHF is highly addictive. One of the great features of the original game was the awesome sound quality, and MOHF retains that. The interspersed video footage adds realism to the WWII setting, and the graphics are good but remain above average. There's nothing wrong with them, but at the same time the visuals don't leap out at you - unlike the sound, which does. There has been a recent trend for talking about AI - the reactions of the enemy. I have to say, it is strange. It is best to attack the enemy on sight, otherwise they will trigger the alarm. They also have this strange penchant for sidestepping. Or standing at the bottom of the stairs, slowly taking shots at you. Overall, they are not the smartest soldiers, but still very tough.

The storyline is the special operative style, doing lots of little critical missions to change the course of the war, and help out your allies on the way. The game has a sense of humour - there are various little things that raise a smile - especially towards the end. And things stay true to the cause - it isn't a Wolfenstein 3D 'Hitler is a robot' (if you saw that, you know what I mean). But here is the crux: MOHF is easy enough to suck you in, but after a while, it gets hard, and when it gets hard you try harder. Some levels are long, and if you die, you're back to the start of the level to lengthen the game's life. It draws you in and ensnares you, so you have to keep playing.

Verdict

Overall it's a cut above MOH and MOHU as you'd expect from the more powerful platform. Yes, the atmosphere is great, the game has a good GI feel to it. The video, briefings and plot make it authentic, realistic and great fun. The only criticism I might have, is that it can't really do open country, most paths you have to follow, rather than the more dynamic free ranging maps of the PCs Operation Flashpoint. All in all, a good realistic wholesome FPS. But the story doesn't end there. MOHRS (Medal of Honor Rising Sun) is the next installment for the MOH party, which should appear in Autumn 2003.