Medal of Honor Vanguard drops in on the PS2 and brings with it the arsenal of intensity that we’ve grown to love, (again and again). From the moment that you first land as Corporal Keegan on a beach in Sicily in Operation Husky, until the end of Operation Varsity, Vanguard ’s rifle may jam once or twice, but its clip never runs dry.
In Vanguard you take up your Garand again, this time as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, one of America’s first airborne units. EA is one of the originators of the WWII shooter (anyone remember the first Medal of Honor on the PS1?). Everything you come to expect form the series is here: realistically modeled and sounding weapons, dramatic Saving Private Ryan moments, Germans spouting… German, and combat that might give you flashbacks. While EA has included everything that it got its stripes for, we can’t help but feel like it’s just another history class.
Above: Just one of the intense battle moments.
This series has always been very linear, following a tried-and-true formula: storm an area, clear it, reach the checkpoint and repeat. It seems that EA loves this formula so much that it refuses to differ from it, to the point that this feels dated.
The developer manages to capture the fear of war throughout the game. From the danger of parachuting into enemy fire early on to the silent tension of the extensive counter sniper mission toward the end - which had us paranoidly gazing into our sniper scope - the mood of this war never lets up. It's during these firefights that it would have been nice to have the option to save anytime between floods of troops, rather than have to wait for the next checkpoint. This series has always been tough though, so most potential buyers will probably be prepared for it.