Imagine my surprise earlier this week when I found “Medal of Honor Beta” in my Steam Library What?! I didn’t pre-order the game (seriously, $60 for a PC game? No thank you.) so something was “up,” as the kids say in 1988. But then Matt Burns, angel that he is, did a little bit of sleuthing. Turns out that anyone who bought Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has access to the beta. Lucky me!
I start the game up, and after fiddling around with the video settings—max everything, thank you very much—I log into my EA account then create an in-game profile. Then I select server browser, not wanting anything to do with matchmaking, select a non-full lowish ping server, then off I go.
The multi-player part of Medal of Honor is being developed by Dice, the same company behind Battlefield: Bad Company 2. You would have guessed that right from the word “go,” since the game looks and plays pretty much identically to B:BC2’s multi-player. I literally said, “Did I launch the wrong game or something?”
Nope, this is MoH, all right. I know this because everyone has beards.
And let’s just say this now: when the game comes out this fall, I fully expect to see fake outrage from people who excel at spreading fake outrage, like the Drudge Report and Fox News. They’re going to call it “anti-American,” “anti-troops,” or “pro-Taleban” or “pro-al-Qaeda.” This is because the teams are broken up into two parts: the Americans and the Taleban/al-Qaeda (I’m pretty sure you’re only the Taleban in the beta). But honestly, you might as well be playing between the Red team and the Blue team; there’s nothing distinctly “American” when you play as the Americans (well, outside of the equipment you start with) just as there’s nothing distinctly “Taleban” when you play as those guys.
It really is merely: Team A attack the base, Team B defend the base. Nowhere, at least in the multi-player beta, does politics even get hinted at. There’s nothing so much as “you’re fighting for your country!” when you play as the Taleban in the streets of Kabul.
The game is 100 percent agnostic. Which, of course, will be ignored when the game comes out, and EA will be attacked for not being pro-American enough. And it will be completely unfair to EA, since, by all accounts, they’ve tried to make the game as unoffensive as possible.
But yeah, when the outrage beings, remember where you saw it first. “Wow, this is just like what Nicholas predicted.” Call me Nicholas the Octopus.
The beta itself? Look, if you even remotely like games like B:BC2 or Modern Warfare 2 you will feel right at home, again, particularly if you’ve played any of Dice’s games in the past. The beta is limited to basic modes, and I’m not even sure if Dice will have anything more complex in the final game, but I had no problem jumping into a game and spraying bullets.
The Americans start with newer equipment than their opponents, but that doesn’t mean the fighting in unbalanced. It’s not rocks against tanks or anything like that. It’s one well-armed side against another well-armed side. One attacks, the other defends. Simple as.
Each side has the same three classes: Rifleman, Special Ops, and Sniper (I play as sniper because I’m sneaky like that), and there’s a few different modes. There’s a standard team deathmatch and a mode where Team A has to attack a base and Team B has to defend a base. So, you shoot your fellow man over and over again until your side wins (hopefully). Along the way you earn points that you can later use to upgrade your equipment, like an extra magazine clip. Presumably the final game game will have more “prizes.” You also earn medals for your in-game heroics.
If none of this sounds revolutionary that’s because it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad
It’s no secret that I’m essentially burned out on shooters. I can still tell whether or not a game is good, but you can only eat so much ice cream before you’re like, “Man, do we have anything else to eat?” I suspect that people who are still into these games will be more than happy with the game when it comes out, but for those of you who are a little more like me, maybe a little tired of the genre, well, I’m not sure that there’s too much here to sway your opinion. What’s here is all sound—I did notice a few graphical glitches while playing, but that’s to be expected a few months away from release—but it really is a case of merely more of the same.
Furthermore, I tend to be more into the single-player campaign when it comes to FPSs. I’ll play the multi-player for a bit, usually until I get frustrated with the fact that everyone else seems to be Jedi Masters. So if I were to get MoH, it would pretty much be exclusively for the campaign mode.
Does that make me a bad person?