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Medal of Honor: Vanguard (PlayStation 2)

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3.2
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Written by  :  Big John WV (25276)
Written on  :  Jun 23, 2008
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars

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Summary

Maybe it should be called Medal of Honor: Airborne Lite

The Good

I am a big fan of the Medal of Honor games, the first time I played Frontlines back in the days I was astonished and hooked. Since then I have gotten Rising Sun and played European Assault (not really much cared for that one). The weapons sounds are very realistic, aiming is easy to do and the button scheme is easy to learn.

I like the new health system, instead of the typical health bar, it has a new setup where if you take too many hits a redness appears on the screen, kind of like when walk into a cloud of smoke from a smoke grenade in Call of Duty 4, if you pull back and wait a moment it will go away and your free to continue on without a problem.

Really, it is like any other Medal of Honor game, new locales, missions, beautiful scenery and this time enemies that react better, for example if you can overrun a few enemy Germans, they will actually turn tail and run and try to join up with another group up the road. A very great idea, even funnier when you actually run in on a kamikaze run, some run in fear, others stare like a deer in the headlights while a few will try to fire, all in all fun.

The Bad

Well, there was some bad...and I mean bad issues with this game. First off, yes it is like any other Medal of Honor game, same story, take control of soldier, drop into enemy lines, take out enemies, destroy a certain objective (normally like a AA gun or tanks), mission over. Woo hoo. Sadly it's been done so many times before it has kinda gotten stale, almost becoming cookie cutter.

Another is very minor, more of a complaint not associated with a major gameplay problem, I have noticed when you shoot an enemy, what looks like a blotch of blood momentarily appears as the soldier falls and disappears in an instant, reminds me of Lethal Enforcers. Truthfully, I am glad they didn't put bloodshed in this one, but still if you are going to do just a little, either do none or go all the way.

This game does have some glitches, very rarely have I seen a wall disappear and reappear, a floor disappear while I am on it and actually fall down to the previous floor and Germans who just stand there like they can't see me. Another little weird glitch is that I was once a German, he goes to fall back, hits a wall and reacts like he landed on a grenade. Odd, but I guess every game does have its little issues. There was one major one I found there, in the last campaign in the first chapter you have to destroy a shore gun, afterwards a Panzer gets stuck in a ditch nearby causing the game to go into "cinema mode". Well before I blew up the gun I ran around the corner to take out two Germans when the cinema kicked in, but I guess since I didn't blow up the shore gun yet, the game couldn't understand it and stuck there in "cinema mode". Everything was still going on, background explosions, men screaming and my platoon looking around, but it's like it wouldn't get out of the widescreen perspective. Very very annoying and had to restart, didn't appreciate that.

Another problem is the lack of depth and weapons, the game seems too easy at times, just another first-person cookie cutter, but this time without a lot of weapons, only a few per stage, really there are only five American weapons (six if you count the frag grenade), the M1 Garand, Tommy Gun, the BAR (which is rarely found) and the Bazooka (which is essentially for some missions, but ammo is a pain to find). The Germans have a few, a sniper rifle, an assault rifle (which is very useful, use this instead) and another type of gun that reminds me of a SMG.

The game just seems like it's little problems add up to a huge one, one more minor before the major. If you end a chapter in a mission say with a German machine gun with full ammo and five grenades, when you go to the next chapter, same area, just like it hit a pause button and instantly picked back up...poof...your back to an American weapon and three grenades...yeah, very f'ing annoying. I can't understand why you just can't keep your weapons, I know it tries to make the game challenging, but it is so easy at times, it's almost like you can't die.

Ok, one more and it's major....it's too DAMN SHORT. Four campaigns, 10 chapters in all...that's it. You can breeze right through some of them, one took only 10 minutes, no kidding. Very disappointing.

The Bottom Line

Ok, a lot of rambling, sorry about that, but here is my advice about this game...rent it for one night, that's all you need. I rented this one for a week and beat it that night. If you can find it for a few bucks...maybe, but not definitely $20. Like my one-liner says, it seems like it should be called Medal of Honor: Airborne Lite, it's sad that the game just seems it was thrown together to throw PS2 owners off that Airborne was cancelled. Such a shame. It's a very nice game, just seems like it is incomplete, plus MOH needs to upgrade like Call of Duty, how about Medal of Honor: Vietnam? Hopefully, EA will take notice and bring out the next generation of Medal of Honor, but again as for this...just a one night stand will do.