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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
EA Games
GENRE: First Person Shooter
PLAYERS:   1-4
November 10, 2002
Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor: Airborne

Medal of Honor Heroes 2

More in this Series
 Written by Ryan Smotherman  on September 18, 2002

First Impressions: I think I'll put aside my EA hatred for this one.

The original Medal of Honor title, simply called Medal of Honor, bust onto the Playstation scene back in late 1999. The EA published and Dreamworks Interactive developed title dazzled both First Person Shooter and World War II enthusiasts alike. With it's incredible gameplay, immersive atmosphere, and convincing visuals and sounds, there was very little fault to be found in the game. And in turn it quickly became the top FPS, not to mention action title, for the console. Since then the series has spawned three sequels, all which are spectacular in their own right ? Medal of Honor: Underground for the Playstation, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for the PC, and Medal of Honor: Frontline for the Playstation 2. With the huge success of Frontline on the PS2, EA has decided to finally take a title in the series the multi-platform route (gee, I can't believe it took them this long), as it will be heading to the Xbox and Gamecube this fall. Wondering what is in store for this Xbox version of the PS2 blockbuster? I'm sure you are; so let's do this.

MoH: Frontline once again throws players into the boots of O.S.S Ranger, Lieutenant James Patterson, complete with a mission to steal a secret weapon known as the HO-IX from the Nazis. But of course, this isn't going to be easy. From the get go you find yourself smack dab in the middle of the most revered battles of World War II (and possibly of all time), the invasion of Normandy, or D-Day. And in this level you'll find quickly what Medal of Honor is all about. That being, intense gun fights, perfectly placed scripted events that move the story along in very dramatic fashion, and an audio and visual presentation that makes you truly feel like it's 1943 and you are fighting off the Axis power for the sake of the world. Since Frontline is a first-person shooter, naturally the majority of the gameplay will revolve around gunplay. As you make your way through the huge, mission based levels you'll collect a variety of weapons accurate to that time frame. Ranging from pistols such as the Colt .45, machine guns like the MP40 and Thompson, and a variety of sniper rifles. And when things get real messy you can get behind an insanely powerful stationary gun, or use some anti-tank weaponry, guaranteed to get your adrenalin pumping.

While Frontline will certainly have enough fire power to satisfy any shooter junkie, a multitude of mission situations will present themselves, some that don't require you to run in with guns blazing. Some levels will require stealth, and some will put sniping enemies from a distance at the forefront, but all will call for strategy and skill. Needless to say, throughout the games 19 levels, you're sure to get a good dose of different play mechanics.

When it comes to FPSs and a console, you always have to worry about the controls. And it's really no different here. Actually, one of the main complaints about the PS2 version was that it could be hard to aim at some points, especially in the midst of an intense gun bout. Hopefully a little tweaking has taken place to help improve this (maybe some sort of auto aim or something). EA has implemented a variety of controller configurations to choose from, so everyone should find something to their liking. I know I'm really taking a stab in the dark here, but I'm guessing the default set up will be very similar to Halo's.

For the most part, Frontline is going to be your typical EA port, but one of the few additions to the game is an interesting one. This Xbox incarnation will in fact feature a multiplayer deathmatch, supporting up to 4-players through split-screen play. Not much is known about this new feature, besides the fact that it appears to be your standard console deathmatch fare and the levels are being created from levels found in the single player campaign, but it's sure to add a little replay value to the game once you're finished with the single-player mode.

On the visual side of things, once again, not too much has changed when compared to the PS2 version; except for some cleaner textures and nice particle effects. Even though it hasn't received any sort of major facelift, what's here is looking really good. Great looking character models, well-detailed environments, and amazing weapon effects present themselves, all of which sport that unforgettable World War II flair.

Surprisingly, one of the most noteworthy additions to the Xbox version of Frontline is its full support of DD 5.1. Any DD 5.1 user will tell you that it adds a whole new dimension to gaming, and Medal of Honor is certainly a game that was made for people with nice sound setups, as the audio has always been a staple in the series. Yup, the series has always been known for it's spectacular recreation of real life weapon effects and it's enthralling musical score, which was recorded by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. All this coupled with the historically accurate visuals should equal an extremely immersive experience; continuing the series lineage quite well.

Final Thoughts
Besides the slightly enhanced visuals, full support of DD 5.1, and the inclusion of a multiplayer deathmatch mode, Medal of Honor: Frontline is basically just a port of the PS2 version. The good news is that the PS2 game was just so darn good that it really doesn't matter. Frontline really just represents everything that has made the WWII inspired series so great, and it's good to see it's finally going to hit Microsoft's console. Look for the title to hit the Xbox in late October.

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