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Aspyr Media
Release Date
June 2002

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
May 10, 2002 | Andy Largent

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These various scenes aren't there for you to simply bulldoze your way through with a machine gun, though. The gameplay switches often from standard solo soldier work to moving through areas with one or more teammates. Many of the most exciting levels require you to show off your sniping skills or adopt disguises to infiltrate enemy areas. You also get to take control of objects in the surrounding area like turret guns. Even vehicles like a truck and a tank are at your disposal if you're smart enough to track them down.

Looks aren't everything. Except when they are.
Like other recent First-Person Shooters, Medal of Honor pushes the Quake 3 engine to its limit. The graphics in Medal of Honor are both fantastic in their production as well as unremarkable in that they just look real. The environments are very large, yet immersive enough to make you feel a part of the action. Whether you're stalking an enemy from tree to tree or making a run for the next building to avoid sniper fire, you're sure to get sucked in to your surroundings.

The characters themselves are all well modeled and animated. While there aren't any Naxi vixens to speak of, you will find a decent variety of enemies to track down. Enemy animations are impressively smooth as they transition between scripted events like smoking a cigarette on their patrol to fighting against you. The textures look great and there aren't too many jarring or tearing points in the joints.

The models themselves can also reflect locational damaged from the fighting. For example, your compatriots will slowly start limping as they take on more enemy fire. This encourages you to back them up, as the more injured they are the slower you can move as a team.

Death animations are appropriate to the situation. A character can go flying through the air in an explosion or sadly crumple to the ground from a sniper's bullet. There is the occasional clipping problem at times with dead characters moving too far into the ground, but nothing to get too concerned about. The blood and gibs seems to have been purposefully kept to a minimum.

Particle effects are very well used, especially for explosions. If you're lucky enough to get missed by a mortar round, you'll still be able to see and hear the dust and dirt settle all around. Bullet holes will track towards you in the sand on the beach of Normandy; a gentle reminder to go find cover now.

The music and sound are used frugally to enhance the mood without being overpowering. The Germans actually speak German too, which is a nice touch. The voice acting is done well, without a hint of schlock, over-the-top accents.

The user interface helps you navigate through the levels with a compass pointing towards your next destination. While this may not be completely realistic, it is a very handy feature for when you get turned around in an area and don't want to waste your time backtracking. I'm no fan of the main menu screen, which is just a war room with different mouseover highlights to get to the different options. I find this to be a slightly tired and non-intuitive solution, but once you figure out where things are, it's not a problem.


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