Medal of Honor Frontline (Xbox)

Review

posted 12/22/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: Xbox
World War II was an event that had perhaps the most profound impact on the lives of each and every individual who happened to come in contact with it. Growing up in these United States I’m sure that you’ve been on the receiving end of countless stories told over and over by your Grandparents on the subject, and if you’re like me, you sat there intently with your eyes closed, trying your best to replicate the images in your mind. There’s something special about World War II, it had this special ability to bring people from different backgrounds together in order to fight for a common goal. It had to ability to unite the nation and save it from the powerful clutches of the Great Depression, the result of a failing economy.

While today we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, there are a few select individuals who choose to never forget those who gave their lives so that we could enjoy the liberties that we have come to know and cherish. Electronic Arts has decided to support that cause by releasing their latest World War II themed shooter, Medal of Honor: Frontline, a beautiful work of art and a masterpiece that will have the ability to transcend the test of time. Matched only by it’s PC cousin (Medal of Honor: Allied Assault) in historical accuracy and significance, Frontline is a beautiful depiction of what the brave souls of the United States army had to endure in order to preserve the freedom that many people have taken for granted.

Although countless movies and documentaries have been created on the subject matter, nothing comes close to being as engulfing as a video gaming experience. While Dreamworks’ masterpiece Saving Private Ryan did an admirable job of showing exactly what those brave soldiers were up against, nothing quite matches the feeling of being able to experience and face it for yourself. There’s a distinctly enormous experience in watching a group of actors run up the beaches of Omaha as opposed to running up the shores at your own discretion. And this is what EA does beautifully, it recreates an experience that makes you feel like you’re actually controlling the action instead of standing idly by and watching it unfold. You’ll feel like you’re a real soldier in the U.S. army, not some passerby who happened to spot the action on a curbside television set.

While Frontline shares the same name as a few other titles, it has little or nothing to do with the other entries in the series. It has some ties to the first two PSOne titles and absolutely no ties to the PC version of the game. While the PC version followed the tale of Lt. Powell, the Xbox version features Jimmy Patterson, the same character that appeared in the first two console versions. Contrary to the impression that many may have received about the game, Frontline is it’s own separate entity in the award winning series.

What makes this game so special is its ability to accurately recreate and replicate the feeling of being a soldier that has been placed behind enemy lines. This isn’t the type of game where you can succeed by charging head first into a swarm of incoming enemy fire. Instead, you’ll find yourself ducking behind boxes, hiding around corners and crouching behind any other available cover in an effort to avoid getting hit. It’s so damn exciting and the adrenaline rush that it provides ranks among the best this genre has to offer.

Mission variety is the key to a great first person shooter and it is in this aspect that Frontline delivers in spades. Right from the start you’ll be thrown onto the unforgiving shores of Normandy as you desperately fight to make your way to the shore. As hails of machinegun fire soar over your head you’re flanked on the sides by and endless barrage of mortal shells. As you look to your left a medic works desperately to revive a fallen comrade, on your right a well-timed shell decimates five of your fellow compatriots. It should also be noted that all of this happens within the first five minutes of the game; multiply that number by a hundred and you’ll have a great idea of just how exhilarating this game is.
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