Medal of Honor multiplayer beta impressions

There's a gunfight raging in our heads. One side of the battle is certain that the Medal of Honor beta shows off an FPS multiplayer achievement as important as the Battlefield series, or the first Modern Warfare, or the great Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. The other side is shooting wildly into the air, confused and uncertain. We just don't know what to think yet...

How it plays

DICE may be applying their experience with the Battlefield series, but if you're expecting it to be like Bad Company 2, you'll be disappointed. The controls are different (mostly referring to consoles), the classes are different (no medic), and it's much more focused on straight-up shooting than it is interacting with teammates (though strategy is still important). It's much easier to make the comparison to Modern Warfare - the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series, are, of course, much more similar to each other than either is to the Battlefield series.

Like Modern Warfare, Medal of Honor is fast, and, well, modern. You'll see familiar-looking weapons and attachments. You'll die a lot. Its control scheme is similar, and it feels roughly the same to move around, aim, and shoot. But where Modern Warfare 2 fails, Medal of Honor succeeds - it's balanced through simplification, it rewards skill, and it requires strategies that feel like war strategies, not just "game strategies" (taking advantage of the mechanics).

One of the maps available in the beta, Helmand Valley, is fairly spacious, and encourages organized group attacks. Despite its size, however, we were spawn killed often. It was frustrating, but it made sense - our goal on the map was to attack or defend high ground, and when defending, it's a non-stop sequence of die, respawn, fight, die, respawn, fight...

Of the three available classes, we chose the sniper for this map. It was tough, because having not unlocked a scope yet, we had to use a red dot sight, and the only instant kill was a headshot. Body shots pretty consistently took two to three hits to a kill. In its defense, our gun - the first available for snipers - wasn't a straight-up sniper rifle, it was a single-fire assault rifle.

When it came to planning our movements and scoring kills, Medal of Honor was infinitely more fun than MW2. Finding a battle is much easier, as you have a small radar which displays nearby enemies. Realistic? No, but it makes the game work better, and discourages camping. On top of that, muzzle flashes are BRIGHT. You can see them half way across the map, which means that every enemy shot gives away a position, and every shot you take gives away yours. And sweetening things more, the deformable environment not only looks cool, but can be shot away to give you a clear line of fire, which makes for some very fun kills.

The other available map, Kabul City Ruins, is tighter, but involves the same kind of play. Cover is everything, and "running and gunning" is pretty futile.


E3 E3 2010


  • AnarchyBurger94 - July 9, 2010 5:22 a.m.

    Medal Of Honor returns to (hopefully) remind us that it's still the beast. I do love playing COD, but there's only so much same-ish gameplay and money grabbing you can stand..
  • Cleanser247 - June 22, 2010 9:01 p.m.

    Looks like it is going to be pretty good. I think I'll watch lots of gameplay if I decide to get it though.
  • lovinmyps3 - June 22, 2010 7:52 p.m.

    I was so disappointed when I found out this was for pre-orders only. I want to try the game before I pre-order it dammit!!!
  • EnragedTortoise1 - June 22, 2010 4:42 p.m.

    Oh, my GOD I hope this is rated T. But according to gameplay I've seen, looks pretty M-ish to me. Can someone confirm that it's pretty M-ish or not?
  • killerrpgfan - June 22, 2010 3:50 p.m.

    @avantguardian MW2 does recieve a lot of hate. But it is because it deserves it. I played it sucked at it then i played BC2 and loved it. I come in first almost every time in BC2 and when i went back to MW2 it sucked but i didn't. I then came in first almost every time in that game also. MW2 is complete rubish and i regret buying it. Also the campaign was to easy. I beat it on veteran in two day with still having to work, so i only got to play for about two hours a day. So hope fully this is better then MW2 because that game sucked after about two days of it. Sorry for the long pst.
  • CH3BURASHKA - June 22, 2010 3:42 p.m.

    I don't like that EA is purposely changing (or perverting) a known and beloved franchise just to have it compete with MoH.
  • MailMan - June 22, 2010 3:34 p.m.

    I think a nod towards the sound qaulity is due, DICE have obviously brought across their superb sound sklls, to hear the localised sound adapt to changing environment is fantastic.
  • BlackKraken - June 22, 2010 3:30 p.m.

    Hmm, I'm unsure of this one. It does look like its just something thats been done a million times before, but if it does that really well.... Then it might be worth a look. Though tbh, there are so many other games vying for attention when this comes out being "worth a look" means nothing next to "must buy".
  • HitmanSB07 - June 22, 2010 1:09 p.m.

    aren't you guys forgetting the god awful freezing that occurs half of the time when you get a 3 kill streak? or did you guys not play it long enough? makes the beta almost literally unplayable at the moment, i've had to unplug my ps3 around 10 times already because i've gotten a 3 kill streak it's ridiculous...i know it's a beta and all but it's the most f**ked up one i've had the pleasure of playing.
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  • avantguardian - June 22, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    i can't really understand all the hate mw2 will notice a certain trend where those who diss it strongly are either garbage at it or haven't played it but just like to pile on (i'm sure tyler isn't in either camp:) does what it sets out to do very well, and as an avid player of both mw2 and bc2 i would say that mw2 requires MUCH more skill to be successful...the reliance on teammates, medics, vehicles, etc. in bc2 makes the game a more social experience, sure, and for that i love it; but playing alone in that game isn't even worth your time...and for balance, bc2 needs something to counter the attack choppers...a good pilot is balls tough... i only play mw2 alone, and i love outsmarting people in that game, because, as my first ever online fps experience, my twitch skills can't stand up to the best...silencers, deft use of cover and the map, love that shit...and only domination, the perfect mix of rushing and camping... MOH just needs to find that niche right in between the space and flexibility of bc2 and the tight controls and gunplay of mw2...with no nukes please :) one thing confuses me though, to quote: "makes the game work better, and discourages camping"..."but involves the same kind of play"..."running and gunning is pretty futile"..well, how do you..?
  • BigBoss - June 22, 2010 9:53 a.m.

    First piece I've read about the beta, good write up Mr. Wilde. The article is automatically good simply by the use of the word 'pizazz'.
  • markwiglesworth - June 22, 2010 8:16 a.m.

    Just hurry up and get to the 360, about time Medal of Honour retook its place as the big daddy of FPS's
  • LizarDAZZLE - June 22, 2010 7:41 a.m.

    Are the animations good? I'm an animator and notice any flaws and awkward moments in animations that make games annoying to me.
  • Evil_AppleJuice - June 22, 2010 7:10 a.m.

    Though i dont play CODMW2, i might be interested in getting this one. Not sure why, it just seems appealing and not so... popular
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - June 22, 2010 5:33 a.m.

    Modern Warfare 2 : BURNED
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - June 22, 2010 3:33 a.m.

    @Doctalen I think I said that more about Modern Warfare than Modern Warfare 2. But I can't lie, I said things about MW2 that didn't turn out to be as much the case as I thought they would. All the bells and whistles in MW2 did give you the opportunity for lots of individual strategizing, but as a team? It just didn't work out like it seemed it would, and everything ended up being exploited. It got too complicated, and lost balance. I think I can say pretty confidently that MoH is simpler and more balanced, and emphasizes team strategy more. It's not as flashy, doesn't give you as many toys, but as a result, it's a much more serious "my skill vs yours" sort of affair. But I do have problems with MoH so far, as I pointed out... I want to play more to get a better idea of how well it works.
  • RebornKusabi - June 22, 2010 2:48 a.m.

    Considering I grew sick of Modern Warfare 2's bull**** around the time that people started breaking the game a day at a time with glitches and hacking the game... and charging $15 dollars for three new maps and 2 maps from the original MW, I really hope this game is amazing. I want a new modern online FPS so here's to hoping : )
  • Doctalen - June 22, 2010 2:41 a.m.

    Cool though didn't you say something similar about Modern Warfare's multiplayer, that is needed a little strategy? Game looks good and I am sure those little bugs will be fixed at release.

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