2002 Reviews

Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault

  • Review Date: 2008-09
  • Release Date: 2002-01
  • Developer: 2015, Inc
  • Rating: 8.0

Medal Of Honor, and in fact the entire realistic war-setting FPS sub-genre, flew under the radar for me. I like pure action, fantasy, medieval. Having to use realistic strategy and tactics in order to avoid the one or two hits it takes to put you down is not what I'm used to. Until MOD:AA, I'd never actually played a game from this genre. But having played through it, it's in fact very similar to the Soldier Of Fortune and NOLF series'. And in those games I actually enjoyed sneaking around corners and trying to make every press of the trigger a headshot. This is the same, only even more emphasised.

You can take a number of hits before hitting dirt, but there is more reloading in this game than any I've ever played. At times this can be slightly annoying, especially in the sniper town where you'll have to reload many times over before you figure out where the next sniper is hiding. Nonetheless, this was my personal favourite part of the game. The comparison to Saving Private Ryan was obvious; and a smart move as it made it even more realistic actually pitting yourself in a destroyed town with snipers everywhere, pretending your actually in Saving Private Ryan.

The other highlight was, of course, Omaha Beach, again from Saving Private Ryan. It was a very difficult level to begin with. I ended up getting through with 4% health left, even with many, many reloads. But while it was a highlight, it could have been much more on a grand scale - the feature of the game. I'd love to see the battle remade in a newer engine.

The gameplay was surprisingly enjoyable and well-paced throughout the game. But while it was very fun, MOD:AA does have some drawbacks. Firstly, it's far too short. The ending was very abrupt, with no big battle at all. The entire game I completed in just two days, 3-4 sittings. Other games would only be reaching the halfway point by this stage. Fortunately, there are two mission packs available for extra playtime.

The other disappointment for me was the design. While this is a 2002 game, getting on six years old now, the Quake3/IDTech3 engine is capable of better. Games that come to mind: RTCW, American McGee's Alice, FAKK2; all of which were released well before MOH:AA. However, it was probably slightly better than Soldier Of Fortune II, which used the same engine and was released only months later.

Having said that, some of the design was great for 2002 - the war-battered sniper-town, the dark snowy forests, small villages set among countryside. But there were other levels looking very flat and plain such as the submarine and Omaha Beach itself.

Overall though, the design was good enough and even for a short game, MOD:AA was a load of fun. Probably not quite as fun as Soldier Of Fortune 2, but I'll be sure to play the two mission packs and look forward to the two PC sequels released since MOH:AA.