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MOH Beta

An Epic Fail

21
July
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Well after a month long delay the Medal of Honor beta is finally out for the Xbox 360, and despite my article the other day I still had high expectations for the upcoming title. As soon as the beta finished downloading I jumped into a team objective game and Let me tell you, I haven't been so disappointed with such an anticipated title since MAG.

Let's start with the game controls. The controller layout follows more of a Call of Duty format then Bad Company. The 'B' button controls whether you are kneeling or standing, down on the right stick is now the knife button, and left bumper let's you access your classes unique perk. I have been playing a lot of Bad Company 2 and it was a little difficult to go from down on the right stick to the 'B' button for kneeling. However, after a few minutes I got used to the new configuration, but I would argue that DICE's decision to change the controller layout is based on an attempt to accommodate COD players who are looking to make a change. I personally enjoy games where the right stick is crouch i.e Halo, Rainbow Six, Bad Company, etc. However, this preference obviously changes with the gamer.

The games flow is definitely faster then Bad Company, but slower then the slicked up feel of Call of Duty. This in-between style just feels a little off. It's like DICE was fighting to keep the speed of Bad Company, but is being pressured to conform to the COD style. This will definitely need to be tweaked before release. My recommendation is stick to the speed you know.

Finally, the most important part of the beta, it's gameplay. The Medal of Honor experience (so far) has been a major step backwards from Bad Company. The first problem I had was that the Frostbite engine wasn't the same. A great feature about Bad Company is the destructible environments. If you have an annoying camper sitting in a house just break out the Gustav and blow his cover away. Sure, MOH allowed you to break some wooden crates, but you couldn't blow up walls and expose an enemy location. Another problem I had with the game was the extreme delay when you die. I would be running and see a hit marker, not be able to move, and then the screen would show my body just lying there. I'm sure this glitch will be worked out before the games release, but right now it's frustrating. The 'radar' system they implemented is very familiar to COD, which is another huge disappointment. I really liked the unique spotting system they had in Bad Company, even if you couldn't kill an enemy you could spot them for a teammate. I also felt the game didn't do an adequate job of letting you know when you were being hit. I think it was a combination of sound, indicators, and the rumble pack that made me feel a lack of awareness. However, often I would be shooting at someone, and then have that pause, and then see my dead body. It was extremely difficult to make an adjustment to this.

Overall, my first interaction with MOH was a huge disappointment. It feels like DICE took a major step backwards from Bad Company 2. Instead of the game trying to establish itself with quality and originality, it gets stuck trying to determine whether it wants to be COD or Bad Company. I know I'm being extremely critical of a beta, but in today's gaming environment a beta is close to a finished product. Let's face it EA wouldn't allow this beta to be released unless it lived up to their standards of a final product. Unfortunately, for gamers like myself that are looking for a new gaming experience this fall, Medal of Honor doesn't look like it's going to live up to that role.

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