“ Manufacturer: Electronic Arts / Genre: Action / Genre: Shooter / FPS / ESRB Rating: T - (Teen) / ESRB Descriptor: Violence / Platform: Windows / Online: Online Gaming Support / Online: LAN Gaming Support / Control Elements: Mouse / Control Elements: Keyboard / Distribution Media: CD-ROM „
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Having played and enjoyed other 'Medal of Honour' games on both Playstation and Xbox I thought I'd give the PC version a go. Some technical information from the box is at the bottom of this review.
This game was released in 2004 and is suitable for players over 12. I think this age guide is appropriate, there is violence as it is a war game, but nothing too gory or graphic.
I bought this game for £5 new in a game shop, considering the box contains a manual and 4 discs I think this is very good value. The game Medal of Honour - Allied assault has 2 discs, as well as these you also get 2 expansion packs in the box (Spearhead and Breakthrough).
It can be bought online for around £8 including delivery.
Installation is quick and the install screen pops up automatically when you insert the disc. Once installed, each time you insert the disc you just have to press play on the screen which pops up.
When you start the game your screen will show an office which is your home screen, here you can load games and start new games. You can save more than one game so more than one player can save their progress. You can also select to go online and to play multiplayer on this screen and visit the briefing room, in the briefing room you can replay missions and do training.
This was the first war game I've ever played on the PC, most of my PC games are controlled by the mouse, or the arrow keys and space bar. Without the training available in the game I would've given up on the first day. I found it really difficult to use the keyboard to control the movements and there seems like there are far too many keys to use to remember what each is for, once you get into the game though, you realise that there aren't really that many and you soon learn them. You can change some of the keys you use to make it easier for yourself if you with in the options menu.
You can also select your difficulty, I played it on easy at first while I got used to the controls, I tried a few levels on medium which is the same but with less life available to pick up and the enemies are harder to kill. I tried one level on hard but decided it was going to be a disaster as you can't get hit at all or you will be killed. I'm still trying to finish the medium level.
You also have the option to change the quality and volume of the music and sound effects in the game along with options for lots of visual aspects of the game such as the depth of colour, lighting even down to the detail of terrain and weather effects. I left all of these settings as they started but I would imagine for someone who's really into graphics these options would be good to have. The graphics throughout the game are excellent.
When you've set up your profile and changed your options you can start training which will teach you how to use each weapon and give you some target practice which I definitely need, one of these training missions is to throw grenades into holes in boxes which are different distances away, this took me a long time to get past but really did help as grenades are a big weapon in any war game that I usually avoid because I'm not good at throwing them. After all the practise on this game I had no problems.
On the screen when you start the missions which shows you directions and an arrow to show you which direction you are to go toward, you life and ammo will also be on the screen.
You can pick up life along the way in three sizes, each giving you a different amount of health. Ammunition and weapons can be collected along the way and there are lots of cool weapons to choose from.
I find the levels progress nicely, starting off quite simple and giving you a chance to navigate and get used to moving around and climbing and using extra items such as binoculars. It also teaches you how to take cover and you get plenty of chance to use what you have learned in the training room in the early levels.
The game is based in World War 2, some levels are based on scenes from 'Saving Private Ryan' the film and most missions consist of clearing areas by taking out the enemy, their vehicles and their buildings using the various weapons available. You will also have to travel around and save prisoners. You have a team of soldiers with your team, you have several objectives in each campaign and if you manage to do some secret objective you may get medals. You also get a medal at the end of the game depending on how well you've done. There are lots of objectives and over 50 levels so this game took me weeks to complete. I think even for people who play the game for hours at a time it would last a long time, especially if you play the team game, multiplayer and online features.
If you're considering getting the original game without the expansions, I really think the extras are worth buying the war chest. You get new game types, new maps and new levels. Each expansion adds around 12 new maps as well as new maps and levels. For the price of the expansions and delivery it seems to cost almost as much as this whole collection so it's well worth getting.
I have to admit that although I really did find everything about the game fantastic, I don't think I'll be in a rush to play another war game on PC without some kind of controller. The keyboard controls were just difficult for me who is used to a gamepad for consoles. For someone who likes war games and has no problem using the keyboard to control their player this game is a must have! The missions and graphics are fantastic and the game alone is worth the price it is available for, the addition of the expansion packs makes it excellent value and it is a game I really enjoyed, so much so that I am playing it again on a harder level.
Info (from the box)
OS - Windows 98/2000/ME/XP (also works on Vista)
PROCESSOR - 733 MHz
MEMORY - 128 MB RAM
HARD DRIVE - 3.2 GB
CD - DVD - 8 Speed
VIDEO CARD - 16MB OpenGL
DIRECTX - Version 8.0
SOUND CARD - DirectX 8.0
MULTIPLAYER - 1 CD per PC
NETWORK - TCP/IP Compliant (2-64 players)
INTERNET - 56.6 Kbps (2-32 players)
INPUT - Keyboard / Mouse