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PC Review - 'Medal Of Honor : Spearhead'

by Rainier on Dec. 23, 2002 @ 10:10 a.m. PST

Set during the last year of the war in Europe, June 1944 to May 1945, the Medal of Honor: Allied Assault Expansion Pack gives players a sense of the courage it took to parachute behind enemy lines during Operation Overlord, halt the German counter offensive during the Battle of the Bulge, and engage the Germans as they desperately try to defend their capital, Berlin. Check out the review, as short as the add-on itself!

Medal of Honor Allied assault: Spearhead, is the much anticipated add-on for what was arguably the best game of 2002. War has been back in style now for a while. Movies like "Saving Private Ryan," "Windtalkers," and "We Were Soldiers" have used modern day technical marvels to spice up this old genre. The movement in videogames has been there for a while. Microsoft’s Close Combat series has seen a great deal of success and the Tom Clancy series of Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon and the soon-to-be-released Ravenshield have shown that there is a huge market for these type of games.

Medal of Honor was an intense and fun first person shooter, taking you from Normandy inland battling the evil Nazi Empire. You knew it was just a matter of time until an add-on was released, and Spearhead is the answer. I had many a frustrated evening playing MOH, some of these moments were due to the fact that in my old age, I am not the jerk-and-fire player I used to be, and others were a result of the tension I had from just getting jumped by a squad of Germans and fighting for my life. Spearhead takes more from the point of view of the tension than the frustration. How does jumping from a plane sound? Fun? How about after you jump from the plane, it explodes, and you have enemy ground fire and flak cannons all around you? Spearhead is not breaking any new ground here: there are no improved graphics or models, a few more guns to kill the bad guys with, but nothing spectacular.

You are Jack Barnes in this episode, all around tough-guy and champion for the Allies. One of the first changes I noticed in Spearhead is the AI has been adjusted a tad. It is now easier to sneak up on unsuspecting Germans, and not every German soldier has world-class sniper accuracy. One of the best things about the original MOH and Spearhead is the way the realistic surroundings completely immerse you in the game. Crouched behind a tree, you can hear the voices of your fellow soldier, the Germans talking and yelling, and in the distance, artillery is sounding off its loud booms.

Spearhead adds 12 new maps for multiplayer fans. One disappointing fact is the lack of new modes of play for multiplayer. The tug of war has been added, and it is quite fun. The spawn points are destructible, and if you lose them, you lose your chance for any reinforcements. There are no other new modes, and even though it is disappointing, it in no way ruins the game.

I’m not sure if there is an unofficial standard for how long an add-on should last, but Spearhead took me about five and a half hours to finish. I have heard some people say two and a half hours and some say six hours. Either way, it was worth the price to me and was a welcome addition to my gaming library. It could certainly have been a bit longer, with a few more missions to extend the game time. I played the game on my son’s 1.2 ath and GeForce 2 and had quite a bit more choppiness than I did for MOH. Spearhead ran quite well on my 1.8 with Geforce 4 and 512 ram, but then again, most games do.

If you liked Medal of Honor, then I have no problems recommending this game to you. You don’t get a bunch of new bells and whistles, but you get the same great game play that Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault gave you, and will have you hoping for another future expansion.

Score : 7.4/10

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