Medal of Honor Airborne
Blah, blah, blah… there are too many WWII shooters on the market and the genre is just plain boring now. If you have played one WWII shooter, you have played them all. These are common complaints that are raised each time a new WWII shooter hits store shelves. This year EA has attempted to break the mold with Medal of Honor Airborne, but after the smoke clears we are left with just another decent first person shooter.
First, let’s talk game modes real quick. You pop Medal of Honor Airborne into your Xbox 360 and you arrive at the title screen. You now have two options. You can either play the single player campaign or head over to the online multiplayer side of things.
The campaign mode in Medal of Honor Airborne is a little short, but it does have its moments. The big selling point for this title over others in the genre is that instead of starting a level in a set position you get to pick your starting point by parachuting into the battlefield. This idea seems pretty cool on paper, but in reality it doesn’t offer as much variety as one would be led to believe. You can choose to land anywhere, but if you choose to land outside of the suggested landing zones, it is instant death as a shower of bullets greets you on the ground. EA drives this point home by shading the landing zones for the player. Green smoke signifies a good place to land and red smoke is bad. It’s far from the freedom that is advertised on the back of the box.
Medal of Honor Airborne also boasts a number of choices after you hit the ground. Once you drop into the fight you will have a series of objectives. You are given the choice of how to go about completing these objectives and also in what order you will do so. Again, this sounds like complete freedom, but it doesn’t exactly turn out that way in the game. During the missions you have initial objectives, such as taking out key targets or blowing up strategic locations. Once you complete the initial objectives you are then given follow up objectives to complete. This specific order is a key to making the game play flow, but again, not the decision making we were promised.
While the advertised freedom elements of the game may be missing slightly, most of the game play in Medal of Honor Airborne is enjoyable. Blasting away endless lines of Nazi’s can still be fun, but it does wear thin after long sittings with the game. A little more variety in the missions and locations would have been a welcome addition.
Most of the controls in Medal of Honor Airborne are familiar to anyone who has played a Medal of Honor game in the past, but a few tweaks have been made. By holding the left trigger you are now able to plant your feet and move from side to side or up and down. The left trigger also helps you aim more precisely and becomes the key to accurate shooting when ducking in and out of cover. These added features of the control system take some time to get the hang of, but they are useful and a big key to staying alive.
The guns in Medal of Honor have a realistic sense of weight and power to them. They also seem to aim very realistically as well. Some may see this as a good thing, but I find it rather frustrating. The guns have so much kick that you can unload entire clips without coming close to your mark. After further inspection it was hard for me to tell if the collision detection was crummy, or if the guns were out of control. Either way, it makes for a tough time in the trenches. I like realism in games, but when it takes away from the fun factor and goes from difficult to frustrating, I draw the line.
Another interesting aspect about the weapons in Medal of Honor Airborne is that they upgrade as you progress throughout the single player campaign. Each time you use a weapon you gain experience, which then leads to upgrades. The upgrades make the weapons perform better by adding things like larger clips and improved handles. I found this to be one of the coolest aspects of the game as it happens automatically and gives you incentive for mowing down the endless swarms of Nazi soldiers.The enemy AI in Medal of Honor Airborne is tough. Sometimes the enemy spawn locations seemed a little unfair, but overall it just made for a more cautious time when moving through the levels. Even on the normal setting I died a lot. While the enemy AI is pretty respectable, the friendly NPC soldier’s are completely worthless. They constantly get in your way and walk in front of your shots, not to mention they rarely ever hit anything when they fire their own weapons. Why even give these morons guns is a mystery to me.
The graphics in Medal of Honor Airborne are well done. The game has some great lighting, textures, and animations. Some of the cut scenes while you are in the plane waiting to jump are outstanding. On the downside, each mission location is similar in over all look and style. A lack of variety may turn some players off.
EA has produced good sound for Medal of Honor Airborne. Guns are loud and explosions will shake your surround sound woofer. EA almost never fails to spread a nice layer of production polish over their games. Medal of Honor Airborne is no exception.
I had a bit of a hard time with the Xbox live multiplayer portion of the game. While I was able to jump into games with ease, there was a serious lack of man power. Some matches had around three or four players in them, but most were being played one on one. These maps were designed for bigger battles. A couple of times I signed on to find less than 100 people playing the game online. This probably has something to do with a certain shooter from Microsoft, but it’s still disappointing for fans of multiplayer action.
The achievements in Medal of Honor Airborne are not very hard to come by in the beginning. You will start unlocking them literally seconds after you pick up the controller. You gain achievements for things like completing levels, upgrading your weapons and also completing different parachute landings. Most of the achievements offer only a small reward for your gamer score, so getting all 1000 points may take you awhile.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about Medal of Honor Airborne. At times the game was fun, but other times there wasn’t too much to hold my attention. The weapons upgrades were nice, but the difficulty of aiming the darn things made me frustrated. The graphics and sound were good, but the level design and settings were rather lack luster. The bottom line is that I would recommend renting this game before you take the $60 jump.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
I got attached to gaming at a pretty early age when I first played pong on my uncle's Atari. I have continued gaming ever since and play during most of my spare time. I am currently a working as a legal assistant for the man, but who knows about the future. A few of my other favorite things are comics, film, and music.
Some of my favorite games are Goldeneye, Metal Gear Solid, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, GTA, and Zelda: Twilight Princess.
My favorite comic books include Watchmen and Batman:Year One, but there are many others I love.
I enjoy all kinds of music, but a small sample is Joy Division, Gang of Four, The Beach Boys, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
As for films... I like a lot of these too, but a few include Batman Begins, Fight Club, Se7en, Pan's Labyrinth, Godfather, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Some times I am accused by my friends of being an elitist geek, but I don't think that is entirely true. After all, its not my fault I like cool stuff. View Profile