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Aspyr Media
Release Date
June 2002

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

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Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer (to the barrel end of your gun)
The enemies in Medal of Honor are ruthless. Even on a normal setting, you'll be hard pressed to make it through certain levels. Sometimes the best strategy is to high-tail it through a sticky situation, though you can usually clear a level completely before moving on.

The artificial intelligence seems well done, but that could be a result of good scripting and level design. Medal of Honor doesn't position enemies without cover or any logical reason to be where they are. For the most part, a firefight ensues only after you rudely interrupt a card game or sneak your way behind a guard station. Either way, the situations are plausible and seem like they would be there in real life. Too often, games will place enemies on a high ledge without any way of getting up or down (much less a place to relieve themselves). Medal of Honor's use of realistic environments that have a reason to be there makes it much more believable when you stumble upon a hornet's nest of baddies. It also gives you a chance to see the character 'react' to your presence.

Enemies will surprise you as well. Playing through a level multiple times will reveal how clever they can be. One time you may kill a guard in a certain spot, only to find him sneaking up behind you a different time through. It's not always easy to pick out patterns of the AI, which I would attribute as a sign of good design.

As you move through the game, you will get some backup occasionally. Though there are no explicit ways to control other NPCs on your side, they do a good job of letting you lead them through the levels. They will shout out a warning about a sniper, and they are usually capable of finding cover for themselves. If you're patient you should be able to keep many of them alive, which comes in handy as the number of enemies increases.

Happiness is a warm bazooka
The weaponry under your control should appease the more historically picky, but even to a know-nothing like me, the guns all look and feel solid. Medal of Honor is one of those games where you don't get two hundred weapons to choose from, but you will make use of all of the ones you get. Each of the guns and grenades has its applicable situation, and even the bazooka has to get pulled out from time to time to take out a particularly nasty baddie.

One of my favorite weapons has to be the Springfield '03 Sniper rifle. The kickback feels appropriate, the reloading time is agonizingly slow, but taking down one enemy after the other in your sights feels great. The vehicle weapons are also very fun. Hearing your tank shell reload just in time as you plow towards a Tiger tank is very exhilarating.

I have to say there have been at least two dramatic episodes in Medal of Honor that changed the way I thought about the game. The first was playing through a shell of a town with maybe three or four companions as backup. After making it through this area of intense gunfighting, amazingly accurate snipers, and trying to help keep my fellows alive (which was very similar to the final scene in Saving Private Ryan), I actually needed a break to relax and take a little breather.

The Normandy beach scene only solidified this feeling. As you work your way up the beach and see the other Allieds doing the same with you, I gained a true sense of pride and accomplishment upon reaching the other side. Of course, that was only the beginning, but the pacing of the whole level was excellent. This could be about as realistic as I'd ever want a game to feel. I'm positive I don't want any more immersion into a war than this.


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