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We love
The sense of progression and timer mode
We hate
Feels completely divorced from the single player campaign
Not quite as comprehensive as its stable mate, Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Launch Price
5 Pages

Medal of Honor review: Online multiplayer

Although Medal of Honor may have gained column inches for its Taliban/Talibanned controversy, what’s really worth talking about is the game’s excellent multiplayer mode, produced by Battlefield veterans DICE. However, the arena is notoriously competitive – especially with Halo Reach on sale and Call of Duty Black Ops on the horizon – so does Medal of Honor make the online grade? Read on to find out in this part of our Medal of Honor review.

Read the rest of our Medal of Honor review now
Medal of Honor review
Medal of Honor review: Is including the Taliban tasteful?

You almost get the impression that Medal of Honor has been designed as a multiplayer game first, with the likeable (but rather underwhelming) solo campaign merely tacked on as an afterthought. This viewpoint is given some validity by the fact that the two sections have been coded independently by different teams. Danger Close took the single player duties while the famous DICE – responsible for the much-loved Battlefield series – was drafted in for online detail.

However, before you dismiss the solo campaign out of hand, it’s worth noting that Danger Close has included a rather nifty “Tier 1” option, which allows you to get competitive with your mates. Although Tier 1 is essentially a solitary experience – where you replay existing campaign missions with massively increased difficulty – it requires an net connection because your performance is recorded online and compared with other players.

This section of Medal of Honor adopts a similar system to Sega’s ambitious but commercially unsuccessful FPS blaster The Club – you’re looking to finish each mission in the quickest time possible, with certain kills freezing the timer for a couple of seconds. The game therefore plays out like an intriguing hybrid of FPS and racing title, with you rushing around each stage in an effort to clean up the enemy and get to the end with a record-breaking time.

As interesting as this mode is, Medal of Honor’s real draw is the DICE-developed portion of the game. Produced using the company’s own proprietary Frostbite game engine – which puts to the shame the visuals seen in the aforementioned single-player portion – it allows up to 24 players to compete simultaneously, participating in urban and desert warfare as either Coalition or Opposing Forces soldiers.

Urban maps can sometimes feel like shooting fish in a barrel. Except you're usually the fish.

There are three classes to pick from in Medal of Honor’s online mode – rifleman, special operations and sniper. Like DICE’s previous titles, there’s a progression system in place which lends a bit of purpose to the carnage. Kills earn you points, medals and ribbons, all of which go towards boosting your ranking in each class. It’s only when you’ve levelled up that you’re able to get your grubby mitts on some of the more advanced weaponry. For example, a rookie sniper isn’t even equipped with a proper scope for their rifle to begin with – this has to be earned by increasing rank.

Staying alive in Medal of Honor’s online mode isn’t easy, especially when you’re on a crowded map. However, the rewards for keeping your pulse going are immense. Should you successfully kill several enemies without biting the bullet yourself, you activate a kill streak bonus. This allows you to call in artillery and air strikes, or boost your team’s armour and resilience.

Of course, the multiplayer mode is also the part of Medal of Honor which generated such a stir in the media recently. The term “Opposing Forces” is used as a replacement moniker for Taliban, and many sectors of the mainstream press were up in arms about the fact that the game effectively allows you to slay allied troops as an insurgent. EA bowed to pressure and repealed the decision just a few weeks before the game went into production, but aside from that alteration the rest of the online component remains untouched.

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In addition to this absurd name-changing, Medal of Honor’s online mode is also hamstring slightly by EA’s insistence on including its Online Pass functionality. Using the code found within the box, players can unlock additional features and weapons. The drawback is that once the code is used by one player, another needs to be purchased should the game find its way into someone else’s hands – say, via the pre-owned section of your local video gaming emporium. It’s a thinly-veiled attempt by EA to undermine the second hand market, but at least the firm stopped short of depriving pre-owned gamers the ability to go online at all.

Like Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Medal of Honor’s online features are impressive. The superb Frostbite game engine holds up brilliantly and the sense of development is tangible, encouraging you to fight through those disappointing initial skirmishes in order to boost your weapons and gain more experience. You can even customise your equipment load-up, applying scopes, red dot sights and other items.

However, Medal of Honor is noticeably inferior to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in several departments. Because it’s just one section of a much larger overall game, it lacks many of the killer elements that made Bad Company 2 so compelling. Environments are only partially destructible, and some of the maps – such as the war-torn city of Kabul – are quite small, turning especially busy matches into chaotic death-traps where no player survives for more than a few seconds.

Despite its shortcomings, Medal of Honor’s online mode manages to comfortably overshadow the single-player experience, not only in graphical terms, but in satisfaction and playability. It’s not as robust as Halo Reach and one could argue that Bad Company 2 owners already have a superior game on their shelf, but that shouldn’t detract from the sterling job achieved by DICE.

Read the rest of our Medal of Honor review now
Medal of Honor review
Medal of Honor review: Is including the Taliban tasteful?

  • Murdamax

    basically the game is enjoyable. but some of the maps are unplayable in the sense of what you said in the whole death trap seen not to mention how players can sneak into your base and kill you as you spawn (completely defenseless)

    • Epoch501

      I think the online for this game is terrible. You can have auto-aim on which makes everyone else automatically better at the game, and you only survive for a few seconds. This is a major step back for DICE in my opinion compared to Battlefield's online experience… This is like a crappy Modern Warfare online experience… Not impressed. I thought the campaign though was epic, and extremely enjoyable. The graphics are nice, the characters likable, and the story is interesting and varied compared to most fps stories these days….

      • Ironstomachmckenzie

        I am trying to enjoy this multi but some maps especially the snow map with the chinook are terrible. It seems like anyone who does not go a sniper gets shot in seconds. When you blow someone up theres a delay between the explosion and death where they can still shoot. Far to sniper happy for me Objective Raids on hanger level are its only saving grace.

      • Connor

        i completely agree with you online was fun but i am back on battlefield and do not even think of putting mod in its a real shame because it could have been something special but the campaign was brilliant i was sucked in straight away and some missions not mentioning that huge sniper rifle were brilliant. excuse my spelling i am dislexic

  • Contactmehere888

    I think the game has potential. Alot of the smaller maps are stupid tho cause you get killed at spawn points and the bomb/mortar/missile thing is ridiculous. Once you get one, you get credit for all the kills and it gives you next strike and so on…knowing the spawn points u just bomb them over and over and you get crazy kill numbers…stupid part of the game… I think they got real close with this one but make it too easy and fast with no requirement for skill or tactics..and of course as always with any of these games..the knife is better then a machine gun?? really? Why is that always such a moronic part of these games??!?!?! Sadly tho after playing it for a few’s all the same and those that learn the spawn points and play like …. well I can’t say that word here … thrive

  • Cody

    This online shit totally fails. They merged the hell out of the sniper rifles. I shot a guy 3 times and he killed me with his stupid ass m16. Then I get killed from across the map as I spawn by an idiot using a smg. I honestly hated bfbc's online mode because to me it seemed sluggish as hell. It's nearly impossible to find people to kill because everyone blends in perfectly. Not to mention how over powered the shotgun is from long distances. This online mode is just trash, bring me black ops.

    • Cody

      God damned iPhone. I meant to say nerfed not merged.

    • Eq

      you obviously cant play online games like battlefield wich you can see people on and requires tactics unlike cod turn your brightness up jeeze

  • tommino

    Online is good but you can't go prone and it's a game for campers. It is full of nerds hiding with sniper rifles, when you go special ops you get hamered because your the only one moving and when you resporn you get wacket at the respawn point. Other than that it is fun but gets anoying very quickly I now understand why so many people are reselling it on ebay.
    Black ops is coming soon :)

  • Willmac

    spawn sniping is simply inexcusable in any online game, its shockingly bad, and you will see at the end of most games there is guy who is on about 26 – 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 maybe, this game seems clearly to encourage camping sniping and well thats it, i loved bad company 2 and i love black ops but i will be trading in my medal of honor for half price assasins creed as soon as possible, why because medal just doesnt know where it is, its half way between bad company and CoD and it doesnt work

  • Guest

    After playing the online for a while the one thing i have noticed is that you are forced to play more 'realistically' per se ad in you have to hang back and work as a team to avoid the kill zones and death traps. All in all an online experience for the more patient player.

    • Bogside

      Campaign mode is awsome but seems too short, online though fails miserably….im trading it in for black ops this week, only had it a week and its boring after tier 1 mode is completed.

  • KEV-76


  • EastneyChief

    I think MOH online mode blows all the competition out of the water – it is a challenge and every game feels different, you always feel part of a team when your playing and although like any game there are some tweaks I’d love to have put in for me the guys at DICE have nailed it. Indeed if they could just reduce the size of the maps in B:BC2 I’d be on that like a shot…it’s failing is that the maps are just way too big for 12 player matches. So MOH rest assured you beat COD Black Ops hands down in my book – thanks for hours of entertainment.

  • Nolan

    Campaign – Brilliant. Danger Close did an outstanding job with graphics and game play
    Multiplayer – It’s okay. I am disappointed at DICE. Maps were too small, sniping was overpowered on objective based games and not even that good in Team Assault, pistols were best if you have already shot someones health down a good bit or if you get the drop on someone, the list could go a bit further. Graphics were good like usual, but I have to say the game could have been postponed a couple of months or even I would say a year for thinking things over on multiplayer. Honestly, Danger Close should have been the only one participating in creating this game. If the campaign is better than the multiplayer, then something should be clicking in everyone’s mind like “Hey…Danger Close did a very good job with the campaign then they should have just done the multiplayer themselves. Don’t get me wrong DICE is very good at what they do when it comes to making Battlefield games, its just that they made a, i would have to say, a big mistake with multiplayer. RECAP: Danger Close should make their own games, because they proved themselves way beyond worthy to make another MoH, and DICE, sorry to say but you guys need to stick to BF series, sorry. Cant wait for BF3 though. Thanks for reading and happy gaming.

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