LB Review: 5
Platforms: PS2, Wii
EA's latest entry in its classic WWII shooter series is the same glitchy and graphically unimpressive 'Medal of Honor' you played four years ago, without the online capability. Sure, it has its fun moments. Sure, it has its challenging battles. And, sure, it is being sold as the stripped down version of the soon-to-be-released 'Medal of Honor: Airborne' for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. But, with all of that being said, there's little excuse in 2007 for such a piss poor (and short) production from a powerhouse developer and publisher, even if that developer and publisher is EA.
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Honestly, graphics are never a deal breaker for me. Many fantastic games have less than impressive graphics, and many beautiful games are atrocious in the gameplay department. With that being said, the game's bad graphics serve only as the gravy for this problematic package. So, we can just walk away from that department knowing that the graphics are equal to those found in Medal of Honor: European Assault
, Medal of Honor: Frontline
, and Medal of Honor: Rising Sun
. Do with that what you will.
The sign of a poorly put together game is that of a high glitch factor. And by "glitch" I don't mean the kind that forces you to restart a level because a certain door won't open (MOH: Rising Sun
, I'm looking at you). To Vanguard's
credit, I didn't experience one of those glitches.
No, by "glitch" I mean furniture that randomly disappears, although the bullet holes shot into said furniture remains, leaving the appearance of floating bullet holes. I mean a soldier who is left completely dysfunctional when you take his pre-programmed position in the field, forcing him to actually crawl on top of you and remaining in that position even when you move away (another floater, if you will). By "glitch" I mean bullets that don't do any harm if they are shot too close to the corner you're peering around. And these were all glitches noted in the first campaign.
There was no AI to speak of in the game. Of course, since this was an EA production, I wasn't expecting anything more than the facade of AI, but it soon because painfully obvious that the only action that affected your enemy was whether or not you put a bullet in them...and, sometimes, that didn't even register.
Perhaps the best thing that can be said about this game is that it is very, very short. Four campaigns, each with 2 -3 mission, makes for an eight to ten hour gaming experience. After reading the above criticisms this probably sounds like a harsh statement. It's not meant to be, because, when it comes down to it, this is still a Medal of Honor
game, which means, despite it's many, many flaws, it's still fairly fun. And, because the game is only eight to ten hours, it's enough time to enjoy the fun and not get too annoyed by the many, many faults.
You play through the game as Frank Keegan, a paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne, and your job is to fight Nazis. If you're a slow and steady gamer, as I am, you'll find yourself using your rifle most often, although you have the opportunity to get your hands on various SMGs, grenades, and a bazooka.
While the game does brag of four locations: Germany, France, Italy and The Netherlands, the lack of artistry put into the game makes it nearly impossible to distinguish between the countries. Again, this is no big deal. Just don't be fooled by the hype.
Your missions "vary", from destroying AA guns to grabbing enemy intel to destroying enemy tanks. However, these things are only accomplished by successfully fighting your way through the enemies. Sure, you place the occasional charge on something, but it's a game of survival, not one of real strategy, outside of maintaining a strategy to survive. And, yes, that can be difficult, particularly near the end where you much clear the area of snipers and survive being holed up in various buildings.
It is for these reasons that I gave "Medal of Honor: Vanguard" a 5/10. It's a fairly crappy production, but it will keep you somewhat entertained for the eight hours it steals of your time. Whatever you do, don't purchase this one. Rent it. And rent it if you have nothing better to rent.
P.S. I played the PS2 version of the game. From comments received and research done, the Wii version is no better, and is, possibly, more disappointing, as the controls aren't really Wii-ified.
LB Medal of Honor: Vanguard Game Guide