Review Roundup: 'Medal of Honor' Not So Controversial After All
Critics are divided on the quality of the game-play, but most agree that all the bickering over name changes was much ado about nothing. Unlike the occasionally uncomfortable "Call of Duty" series, this game wasn't trying to deliver a message more complicated than "America is awesome" (or, in the coarser words of Matt Parker and Trey Stone's "Team America" ...)
Kotaku: Upon retrospect I realized that there wasn't a scene I would cut, a level that annoyed me, or any backtracking to speak of. This is a fat-free experience, it's pure engagement packed with spikes of cleverly crafted crescendos.
Despite the hoopla over modern settings and the inclusion of enemy Taliban, there are no deep messages in "Medal of Honor" beyond one of the effectiveness of the U.S. military in the Middle East.
IGN: Danger Close generally plays it light on the character development outside of letting us know that Rangers joke with each other, and that Spec-Ops personnel are "bad motherf**kers."
EA and Danger Close have stressed how closely they've worked with service members to ensure accuracy in the way that Rangers and Tier 1 personnel operate, and the manner in which in-game characters take down doors and move right and left while clearing rooms may be perfectly accurate. However, the action in the game frequently devolves into action movie cliches like giant explosions, hundreds of enemy combatants to kill, and scripted death sequences of American soldiers.
It would be easier to look past that if the game did interesting things elsewhere, but Medal of Honor feels several years behind its shooter competition.
Eurogamer: As a game about the Afghanistan war that does its absolute utmost to avoid being about the Afghanistan war, Medal of Honor is arguably just a shooting gallery spliced with a fairground ride and a solid multiplayer accessory which owes a lot to Bad Company 2. It certainly does little to advance the theory that videogames are responsible enough to tell stories within sensitive contexts -- it's compelling and enjoyable to play on a visceral level, but it's a shame it lacks the creative bravery to match the courage of the heroes it so reveres. Having set out to prove that there is another way of doing a first-person shooter set within a contemporary conflict, however, it can lay claim to qualified success as an interesting vertical slice of the U.S. military machine.
GamesRadar: It's funny that there was ever any controversy over Medal of Honor's treatment of American soldiers, because one mission into Danger Close's campaign and it's clear that this is the game version of God Bless the USA ("Where at least I know I'm freeeee!").
The campaign is loosely based on real battles, but takes place in a fictional Afghanistan where the Coalition consists only of America (excepting a brief cut scene cameo by the Afghan National Army), and the mission is clear: kill as many Taliban soldiers as possible.
The Canadian Press: The solo gameplay is at its best with sustained firefight scenarios that are realistic enough for a Ken Burns war documentary yet exhilarating enough for a Michael Bay blockbuster.
"Medal of Honor" doesn't quite reinvigorate the series the way "Modern Warfare" did for "Call of Duty." Die-hard military shooter fans will no doubt need a taste of the solo campaign's unapologetic authenticity and the multiplayer mode's breakneck skirmishes, but everyone else should wait until "Black Ops" is served. Two out of four stars.
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