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Medal of Honor: Vanguard
FPS / Action
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15/05/07 Medal of Honor Review
Medal of Honor: Vanguard - Review
Written by Phil Thompson

Before we start, Iím calling it Medal of Honour (as opposed to Medal of Honour, as it is on the packaging, in the logo, on the disk, and in print ads), because Iím British, and thatís how you spell it in Britain. Live with it. ( Typical tolerance from Phil there - Editor )

Medal of Honor Vanguard Screenshot
'The bridge looked at me funny.'
Iíve always had an issue with Wii shooters. The aiming and control mechanics have never (or rather, in the six months of the consoleís lifetime) been very good, which is surprising considering how suitable the Wii Remote/Nunchuk combo appears to be for the genre. One would assume that the control scheme of the console would suit the genre absolutely, yet it has failed to do so on most previous attempts. Youíre probably expecting to read something about Medal of Honour being an exception, about how utterly stunning and well thought out the controls and game are as a whole. How wrong you are.

Medal of Honour isnít a bad game. For example, itís a huge step up from Call of Duty 3 or Red Steel. Rather impressive if you ignore the fact that theyíre both pretty damn poor to begin with. Alright, Red Steel was fairly user-specific in score and rating ( for some people it was a joy to play, and for others, as dodgy as British Gas pricing schemes in the middle of Winter ), and perhaps Call of Duty was alright if you blinkered yourself to the whole 'lazy PS2 port with tacked on controls and pixelated graphics, lacking the online multiplayer the other versions boasted' thing it had going on, but that doesnít give EA the right to throw their game together.

Because MoH is pretty much an absolute port ( minus the enhancment of certain textures, and the rather splendid lighting effects theyíve tossed in ), the main emphasis from both player and developer will be placed on the control mechanics, a feature which needs to be perfected outright before release. Sadly however, they havenít done a very good job. In fact, theyíve pretty much made an absolute hash of it. Not a Red Steel 'I-canít-see-what-Iím-doing-or-where-the-jolly-hell-Iím-going' hash, more of an 'I-can-nearly-see-where-Iím-going-but-canít-really-because-the-controls-arenít-very-well-contoured' hash. To be frank, the entire control scheme needs rethinking. The aiming is sloppy, the button mapping is lazy and seemingly random, and some of the movement is too heavily dependent on outside factors, such as control sensitivity and physical positining. I had to change the position of my Sensor Bar, just to get the Remote to recognise the IR field. That really shouldnít be necessary at all.

The game is, as made fairly obvious by the boxart, a WWII shooter, much like Call of Duty for those unfamiliar with EAís own series. You are but a foot soldier in the struggle to overcome the Nazi war machine ( as ever ), making it your job to, basically, go around shooting at anyone who looks even remotely German. Alternatively, if youíre playing as an American, you may as well continue in the tried and tested American way, shooting anything that decides to move, regardless of which team it appears to be on.

However, as has been proven many a time by games like Wii Play, Wii Sports, and the many other basic-yet-dastardly games on the system, simple doesnít always mean easy, or indeed shallow. The AI is surprisingly advanced, and doesnít generally go around shooting at walls you were standing in front of three seconds ago, as is the way of certain other games. Allies are at last able to work with you in an effective, productive fashion, rather than shooting your head off. Or indeed, in poorer games, shooting your head off, but missing, or having their shots pass through you as if youíre some sort of entity, because thereís no such thing as friendly fire, apparantly.

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