Nov 28, 2007
With only one thumbstick, pulling off a first-person shooter on the PSP has always been a tricky proposition. And by "tricky," we mean "doomed." Which, in a weird way, makes reviewing this portable Medal Of Honor rather easy: if you've liked other FPS games on the PSP, especially the first Medal Of Honor Heroes, then you'll like this; if you didn't, and it's because you hated the controls, then don't bother with the sequel.
As with other FPS games on the PSP (World War II or otherwise) Heroes 2's controls - which have you using the front icon buttons as a defacto thumb stick - takes a bit of getting used to, and not the most accurate in a pinch. Get yourself into a particularly squirrelly firefight early on and you'll end up looking like a piece of swiss cheese. But once you've gotten the hang of them, (probably by the end of the first mission), you should be okay, especially since the game compensates for its own shortcomings by including an "aim assist" option, which we recommend to all but the most sadistic of players.
From there, though, Heroes 2 is a pretty standard Medal of Honor game. Armed with historically accurate weapons and a not-so-historically-accurate way of being able to single-handedly take out entire garrisons of German soldiers, you play as OSS Operative John Berg, who slips behind enemy lines and infiltrates Normandy to undermine and ultimately undo the German army. Which is a long-winded way of saying you run around and shoot people while grabbing things and blowing stuff up. It's not always that simple - strangely, Germans don't like being shot, and while the levels are linear, they're at least varied enough to keep you from feeling like you're running around in circles.
The game also offers the standard issue multiplayer modes of Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture The Flag (called Infiltration). And while these aren't anything new, they do work well here, especially in the thirty-two player Infrastructure matches.
But while the game isn't anything we haven't seen before (for the most part), there are some little touches that might surprise WWII FPS vets. At one point, for example, you'll see a safe. Instead of making you crack it via some puzzle minigame, you just toss a grenade under it to blow off it's door and reveal the sweetness inside. Which is something we've tried to do in just about every game that's ever made us try to crack a safe - it just never worked before. It was kind of nice.
Ultimately, Heroes 2 is just a typical, solid World War II first-person shooter; a good one, sure, but a typical one nonetheless. If you dig that sort of thing, Heroes 2 offers plenty of challenge, level variety and enough Nazi shooting to satisfy anyone who can deal with the controls of an FPS on a PSP. And if you don't like them, this isn't going to be the game that converts you.