Medal of Honor: Frontline Review

Developer: EA Publisher: EA
Release Date: May 30, 2002 Also On: GCN, PS2, and Xbox

Medal of Honor: Frontline is a relatively good war-time simulator, which has much more credibility to the story than say, Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War. However, story credibility isn’t what makes a game fun or good; lucky for us, both the story and game itself are good, even though there is an overall lack of game play variety in Frontline. The basic concept is killing Germans with guns, man turret guns which kill Germans, and kill more Germans. This November 2003, I went ahead and borrowed Frontline from my friend. After beating it, I played Rising Sun, but never got around to reviewing Frontline. Like in any other FPS, Frontline has a lot of killing involved, as illustrated in the last paragraph. Unlike Rising Sun, Frontline isn’t totally generic in any and all senses. Instead, it succeeds to entertain for long periods of time and lasts a relatively long time (maybe 10 hours for newcomers).

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Enemies grew less intelligent in Rising Sun, which leads you to believe EA has something against the Japanese. Enemy intelligence in Frontline are slightly above average, however, there are evident problems at times, where enemies seem to run out in swarms, instead of strategizing with comrades. At least they don’t run out at you like they do in Rising Sun. Somehow EA managed for their AI engine to get worse instead of better. That’s good news for Frontline though.

Frontline isn’t kind to people when it comes down to checkpoints; in fact, there are none. Since the levels are extremely long for a FPS, dying and restarting missions can happen plenty of times throughout the game’s entire length. This is remedied by the fact that you can restore health with med kits and can collect enemy ammo by simply killing them. Frontline also has mounted machine guns and cannons (found on the train level).

Before I move on to the graphics section of the review, I would like to talk about the different areas that you will encounter throughout the game. You start off at Normandy, where you must storm the beach and take it from the Germans. I wasn’t as impressed with this level as others in the gaming media were, but the overall game was more exciting than this single level, at least for me. Other areas include French and German villages, a German submarine, a submarine pen, etc.

Medal of Honor’s graphics are less than stunning, but get the job done. The characters look alright, but character models are over-used and mouth movements aren’t well done. The same soldiers seem to appear throughout the whole game, which makes the game feel tremendously impractical. The music (though worn-out) is well done and the sound effects are the best that I have heard in a video game to date, except maybe Halo and a few select titles. The sound effects in Frontline can’t compare to something heard in a movie like Saving Private Ryan, but they are as high of quality as you will probably ever see in the near future.

Frontline was given far too much credit when it was released in 2002 for the PS2. It received critical acclaim for what is quite simply, a slightly above average FPS. By our standards in early 2004, this is probably below average. For history-lovers, political junkies and war-time cronies, Frontline is highly recommended for a rental, but one time through will be all that you will need to get the entire feel of the game.

Graphics: 6.5
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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