Written by  :  vicrabb (7299)
Written on  :  Sep 11, 2008
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.67 Stars2.67 Stars2.67 Stars2.67 Stars2.67 Stars

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Disastrous adventures of Lt. Mike Powell

The Good

MoH is making its beginning on PSX and it's the first FPS involving WWII to have a such impact on the community. So, EA wanted to expand it to computers. After all, it's THE platform for FPS... at this time (and being a non-console player, I still find that the computer is very well adapted for FPS).

MoH: Allied Assault takes you in WWII in the shoes of Lieutenant Mike Powell, from the US Army, belonging to the OSS office. His first mission sees him in North Africa, trying to save his squad (saving a member nearing death is rewarded by a medal - and it's the only one I couldn't have) and freeing a secret agent from the Nazis' hands. After destroying tanks and cannons, Mike is firing at planes on the airfield, in a jeep, similar to the ride with Moody in Call of Duty: United Offensive.

His second mission is to sabotage a U-Boat in Norway and is your first contact to the disguising gameplay. Find an enemy's uniform, his papers and if you keep your weapon in the holster, you will be not bothered by Germans, only at checkpoints. Eventually, you will have to kill officers if you need papers. But remember to do it quickly or the alert will be given. If you can steal the U-Boat manifest, you'll be rewarded by a Norvegian medal. I was very happy to find it in my medal case.

After that, our dear Powell is sent to France... during Overlord. So, you will have to find a way on the beach to your unit. I assure you that your life will be soon near zero. And if it wasn't sufficient, you'll also be trying to find lost units in villages, calling artillery, etc..

Then, you're still in France, in a special mission, for freeing a secret agent (or a pilot) and leading him in the French resistance, where you'll meet a young woman, reminding me the heroine of MoH: Underground/Resistance on PSX - well, this is really her. Anyway, you'll be in a stealth mission: if you're spotted, kill the enemy before he can give the alert. You can cut it by pressing the action key.

Then, you're sent to Brest in order to find a tank crew and lead them to a enemy tank. Before you can find them, you'll be in a village in ruins, with snipers at every corner. It's a frustrating passage because you can't spot them very well. It's in this mission that the tank ride, as raging as in CoD later, happens.

Finally, you're sent somewhere in a SS "fortress", near the Siegfried line. The village part is the most pleasurable part with the Norwegian and French resistance missions. As in this last one, you have to be careful with the alerts. Anyway, it's the last part that is really frustrating. Well, gaining the medal by limiting the casualties to four isn't easy as many snipers are arriving but I did it. It's after that. Going deeper in the bunker, freeing prisoners and then planting explosives... You don't know it, but you won't have time for breathing because you have to escape the fortress in fire and with Nazis trying to stop you and the fact that you don't recognize your path can make you nervous. And then, it's a pain in a ass to exit the building with SS firing at you when you have a few HP.

As you can see, the gameplay is varied. If the core is to shoot to every enemy you can meet, except when disguised, you will have to plant explosives, steal documents, free prisoners, ride a tank and even disguise yourself as an officer. You can be cured by a medic on the field (very useful during Overlord). Yep, you have objectives you can control by pressing TAB but if you're successful in secret ones, not mentioned in the game, you'll be rewarded by a medal in your medal case in the menu. Save lives, steal documents, lead a a full tank crew alive to their destination, finish the Overlord part (this one isn't even so difficult to find), destroy tanks, try to limit casualties to four and do the sixth mission in the three difficulty modes for having a full medal case.

Usually, you will find a passage about graphics here. Well, for once, it's in the bad part.

Soundtrack is better than graphics. The music is nice and well adapted to the situations, the voice acting is good even if I would have preferred subtitles like in CoD (not only when Germans are speaking) and the sounds are convincing.

About lifetime or/and replay value, there is a multiplayer mode and I suppose that MoH is doing better in it than in the single player campaign. With the three difficulty mode, if you want to go back to Hell, you can. Me, I'll stay at Easy, thank you.

The Bad

Flaws? Yes, this acclaimed game has a lot of flaws.

About difficulty, I only played the game in Easy Mode. You're sure that was the easiest level? No way. The enemy make damage. A lot of it. Medikits are sometime hard to find. Nazis spot you before you can do the same. And even with the indication of the origin of the fire, often, you can't see where is the enemy. The accuracy of your weaponry is disappointing, even with the crosshair well placed, you can miss your shot. You're always wondering if you're gonna live or not with a low HP. I DO not want to imagine what the game is in the hardest mode.

The missions aren't so enjoyable. I mean, only some parts of them were really interesting like the disguising for example. I also loved the second part of Overlord. But you are always wondering what you had to do. Then, you don't know if this silenced weapon will be used or not. Well, you have to be careful but everytime, you're spotted. And adios discretion!

Now, it's time for my famous complaint about the tank ride. I know now where the team behind Call of Duty found their ideas for it. A good part of it were behind MoHAA. If your turret isn't in the same direction as the front of the tank, you'll be trying to position you in the right one, losing seconds and being at the enemy's mercy. Even the jeep ride was easier. Well you weren't driving and it was somewhere very slow but you didn't have to worry about the destination, you had just to concentrate on the Nazis. Well, thanks god, they did the chaingun automatic in CoD.

Graphics are... ugly. It's very rare that I say that about a 2002 game but having play with the same engine on others games, it's always angular, collision management is frequent and well, I can't say that it was beautiful. Half-Life, a 1998 game, is better in this domain. Even Tomb Raider in 1996 was more impressive that MoH in 2002. I can even say that BlueShift, the weakest link in the HL trilogy, is better than AA. Are you sure that the team had exploited the engine at its maximum? You're really sure that MoHAA is younger than Half-Life? Even Quake III Team Arena seemed more beautiful than MoH.

The Bottom Line

As much as I'm not really trying every existing FPS, I consider myself as a fan and a regular player. So, to the hardcore gamers, play CoD instead of it, if MoH is missing in your game collection, don't buy it. For occasional players, MoH can be a good experience of the WWII, even if CoD is better. If you're a MoH fan, if you don't have AA in your collection, you can try it.

I was disappointed by the game in a famous series. Perhaps that in 2002, it was a very good game but I'm not sure that now, it can bring pleasure. Yes, some parts can. But overall, the game hasn't very well aged. When I'll finish Breakthrough, MoH will be out of my hard drive memory, like CoD: United Offensive or Painkiller Overdose. CoD: UO? I wasn't in my shoes when playing it. Overdose? It was bugging, despite liking it, I couldn't afford to let the game eat my memory. MoH: AA? I didn't like it from A to Z with the exception of L... If you prefer, I didn't like the game except for some parts. But they can't save it from disappearing from my computer. Poor Mike Powell, I'm sure that he deserves a better destiny than this one.