Familiar, yet satisfying.
Since the days of Wolfenstein and Doom, first-person shooters have been one of the more popular genres and they have come a long way. Titles like Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 dominate the online realm of shooter heaven, setting the standards that any future shooters will need to meet to be anywhere close to successful.
[image1]The upcoming and highly anticipated shooter Medal of Honor steps out of its World War II roots and dives right into present day Afghanistan. Could Medal of Honor, a reboot of a popular franchise with years of experience, be the next shooter to define what shooters are today? Well, so far, it’s looking good.
For starters, DICE has been working on the multiplayer part of Medal of Honor, which is the same company that made the Bad Company series, so the multiplayer is in good hands. So far, I was able to get my hands on the multiplayer beta with two maps: Kabul City Ruins and Helmand Valley.
Kabul City Ruins features Team Assault, which is just another name for team deathmatch. It’s a medium-sized map that is great for close-quarters combat, but is also home to open rooftops where snipers can set up camp. Shipping containers, buildings with holes, mounds of rubble, crates, and damaged cars are used for cover and sometimes an opportunity to flank. And of course since DICE is behind the multiplayer, there are even a few destructible environments. At one point, I was able to noob-tube a wall where an opposing enemy was peeking through a hole, and well, I made a bigger hole that exposed his cover.
The other map, Helmand Valley, featured Mission which is an objective-based game type. The coalition must get through checkpoints while fighting the insurgents in order to win. You have to arm each checkpoint and defend it until it blows. However, the insurgents can disarm it at anytime, so teamwork is critical. Checkpoints are not far from each other, so you’re constantly in the middle of combat. There are two places where most of the battle occurs, separated by a road suitable for the coalition's handy tank. Each side has a couple of buildings as well as trees and boulders surrounding it. Once again, you can also take trees out for a clearer view if you choose to scope the opposition from across the map.
[image2]If you're out in the open, though, chances of survival are slim especially since it only takes a couple of shots to kill a player, so taking cover is key. You also won’t have to worry about taking awhile to spawn – it only takes a few seconds – unless you want to take the time to change your class and weapon loadout.
Scoring is similar to Modern Warfare 2 where you get more points for headshots and revenge kills. You are also credited for a kill assist and saving your teammate. As you rank up, you unlock more weapons as well as scopes, additional ammo, suppressors, and the like. The more you unlock, the more options you have to dress up your primary weapon.
You’re also given Score Chain rewards – not called killstreaks, mind you – which means once you reach a certain number of points without dying, you immediately have access to certain gear and weapons depending on how many points you have gained so far. The first tier offers a mortar strike or the option to use a UAV. You can only use one or the other, so you should use the mortar strike for offense and the UAV for defense. The last tier of rewards definitely motivates you further: It offers players double the amount of points until they die, which is great since you already level up quickly in the game. The more points earned, the better it gets.
Even though the gameplay and features may run along the lines of familiar territory, Medal of Honor feels enough like its own individual shooter to the point where it could draw in shooter fanatics from other titles. I only had a glimpse of what Medal of Honor’s multiplayer offered, and I'm already looking forward to seeing what else is in store when it reaches shelves this October.