I don’t envy the position of any online FPS. The competition that any game faces, whether it is MAG or the Call of Duty series, is stiff. So when you’re no longer the hot IP, how do you survive?
In EA’s case, the answer is to make the old new with a completely new approach to a beloved series, Medal of Honor. And while a lot of questions about the single player remain unanswered, I got some answers for myself today about the DICE-developed multiplayer at the 24-player team assault (deathmatch) Medal of Honor setup here at E3. They weren’t quite the ones I was hoping to find.
The match I played took place in a city, which I found to be designed fairly similarly to the maps in Modern Warfare 2 in that it is made for quick spawning and fighting rather than open-map traveling as in the Battlefield series. It had some fairly interesting design attributes, such as a variety of multi-level buildings with boards set up allowing you to traverse the rooftops fairly easily. Still, the map is quite small and easy to learn.
The beta contained three classes, two of which actually felt really similar to me. There’s a very typical assault class, which gives the player an assault rifle and grenade launcher, and in the demo I found this to be the most useful class. There’s a spec ops class that comes with a very similar assault rifle to the assault class, though an RPG is included in this case instead of the grenade launcher. There’s also a sniper class, which includes a scoped semi-automatic rifle. It wasn’t quite as useful in the demo, as the map simply wasn’t set up well for sniping.
For me, the problem is simply that the game’s combat feels rather loose and imprecise, even compared to DICE’s own Bad Company 2. It appears to be going for a feel more like the Modern Warfare series, where it is important to know the maps extremely well and stay on the move, and where deaths can come quickly and suddenly. But movement and control just aren’t as strong; melee, for instance, felt extremely awkward, and simply doesn’t work as well as in the other previously mentioned games.
The same issue is present with the game’s graphics, which simply didn’t impress. The game has been made to look so similar to Modern Warfare 2 that it honestly suffers for it. Playing it simply reminded me of Modern Warfare 2 the entire time, no matter how much I tried to force that image out of my mind. And, sadly, it just doesn’t work for me. I’d much rather play a game that looked and felt different than one that attempts to emulate the biggest FPS out there.
While the final game will have vehicle combat as well, this demo did not, which ended up making the whole experience just feel a little empty to me. There really didn’t seem to be anything to set the game apart at the stage, as much of the promised functionality wasn’t included. The game will have weapon unlocks, kill streak rewards, vehicles, and even beard customization, so there’s plenty of reason to keep an eye on this game. I just hope it does more to set itself apart after the upcoming beta, which begins on June 21st and lasts for about a month. If you’re interested in the beta, you can land yourself a spot by preordering the game from select retailers.