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SummarySpearhead: Digging deeper MoHAA's grave
The GoodMedal of Honor Allied Assault: Spearhead is the first add-on for the first PC MoH game. If you remember correctly, I didn't like Allied Assault. Perhaps it was because of playing more recent games like Doom 3, Painkiller, Vietcong or FEAR, perhaps it was because I'm worshipping Half-Life or perhaps because I played Call of Duty before MoHAA.
But why play Spearhead and Breakthrough, the other add-on? No, it wasn't because they were improving the multiplayer (I'm not interested in it, apart from Team Fortress 2). No, it wasn't because I hoped that they really were fixing some mistakes. Nope. I only bought MoHAA Warchest, meaning that I bought the game and its two add-ons. It's like Call of Duty Deluxe Edition, Half-Life Generation, The Orange Box or Age of Empires Complete Edition. Three games for a good price on a certain auction site.
After my poor experience with MoHAA, I was hoping somewhere that Spearhead will be more interesting. Now, I'm wondering if Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault was a good buying... But it was with CoD 2 Collector's Edition... I wanted CoD and why not acquire MoHPA?
Back to Spearhead.
After playing Mike Powell during three or four years of war (beginning with North Africa, going to Norway, living hell on Normandy, making friends with the French resistance, driving a tank near Brest and making SS some scary things like making explode their fortress), you control a certain Jack Barnes, who lands behind enemy lines a few hours before Overlord. There, he's trying to find allies and... well, find British soldiers. He helps them to destroy canons, a bridge, kill a colonel, etc.. He's awarded with a special medal, usually reserved for the British soldiers. I know that MoH is a game but come on, British commandos already on the French's soil BEFORE Overlord?
Barnes then is in Belgium (reminds me United Offensive...) near Bastogne, trying to survive to a raid on a German supply (with an irritating tank and its gunner), firing with a big gun while the stolen truck is trying to make its way to the Allies' lines (and trying to destroy tanks, halftracks and others Nazis with bazookas) before being under attack, trying to find a medic for the hit Captain, defending right, left, then right flank, before assaulting ruins in an epic run through the battlefield as intense as Powell's own run during Overlord in MoHAA.
And then, Barnes is with the Red Army in Berlin. I thought that American army arrived later in the city. Anyway, you're given the job: infiltrate the streets, trying to find the Chancellery and steal a tank. Now, you're up for a horrible tank ride. And then? Well, it's the end.
You know, it's not difficult to shoot with a weapon in a game. If you don't forget to duck, you'll be able to survive. You're going to play with British, American and Russian weapons. Yep, your GI will be an expert in foreign weaponry. Anyway, the fact is that you have to complete objectives from posing charges on tanks to stealing documents without forgetting trying to bring a tank for your friends from the Red Army. A good point is that you can use Flacks, AA guns or other enemy's artillery.
Still no word about the graphics in the good points. It's very rare for me not to defend an old game from the usual complaints when compairing with new graphics engines.
For the soundtrack, nothing new to add, it's still good music, adapted to the ambiance. The voice acting is pretty good, like the sounds. What should I say more?
You've still the three difficulty modes and the multiplayer. So, it can be a good lifetime but not a good replay value. Are you crazy? Easy mode is hellish! Even the medikits are rare....
The BadThe fact that you're not disguising yourself anymore is disappointing. It was my favorite passages in Allied Assault and then nothing? Instead, you're given more and more actions, with some surprises like your bombs in Berlin who made “Pschiiiit” because of the rain...
But the worst of it is that the tank ride is back. After Call of Duty, its add-on and Allied Assault, it's my fourth catastrophic experience with a tank. If it wasn't for the three big boxes with the red cross on it in the middle of the level, I wouldn't have survived this horrible passage.
You're quickly lost when trying to complete your objective: following the arrow to your objective can be delicate. I remember that during the attack in Belgium, I couldn't find the medic or the left flank. Or also during Berlin, the fact that I thought that trying to get past the square under tank fire wasn't the right way (in fact, it was). All of that for getting a map.
I also remember my dear British friend (the leader of the unit, the only one who stayed alive) disappearing from my view and couldn't see where he went. He even didn't go with me for the next part of the adventure...
And I was even stuck near a T-34 who explode because I didn't understand that the Germans crossing the bridge was aiming for the T-34. After having understood, I tried to reposition myself and horror, I was stuck. I was under heavy tank fire and I had to switch quickly between my chaingun and my normal gun while praying surviving this. I did but my HP was low. I was only on easy mode... where a gunshot costs you 5 HP except with chainguns who take you 1 HP but with their firing rate...
Still no changes in graphics. I mean, it's still ugly. I don't know if it was said about it when it was released but something sure is that I would have say the same thing.
Spearhead has a new feature in this domain: a beautiful rayed texture for some weapons, also for some German pants... What? It's not a new feature? Relax, I was only joking. Spearhead didn't bring a new feature, it brings a bug for the texture. And I had still this thing in Breakthrough. Well, you're quickly used to this ugly thing but you will always be disappointed by it.
The Bottom LineSpearhead is like CoD: United Offensive: centered on action and with objectives difficult to understand. Graphics didn't improve. The only thing which is improved is the multiplayer, I didn't tested it but I can say that it was probably where the efforts were concentrated.
Easy mode is more hellish than in Allied Assault, the tank ride is horrible with the switch between two weapons (for that, Call of Duty made the chaingun fire automatic, that was an improvement) and your accuracy is still low when your enemy is hitting you more than you on him. He spots you before you can do the same and in 90% of case, you're wondering where he's hidden.
Spearhead isn't saving Allied Assault. It's just giving him a near fatal shot. Breakthrough will be perhaps the savior with the North Africa and Italia campaigns... but the second add-on is finishing the grave in reality. It's another story.
You like MoH? Spearhead will be enjoyed. You're an hardcore gamer? Avoid it at all costs. You're an occasional gamer? It will depend on your opinion on MoHAA. Why did I try it despite my disliking? Only for the story and the campaign. I'm currently in my WWII FPS period, so why not? It was a mistake, I didn't regret doing it because I can express then my feelings about. It's only my wallet that is suddenly crying about my spent euros.