Game review: Medal of Honor – Airborne

In general I’ve been a big fan of the MoH series of games. I own them all and
they tend to get past my “pirate before you buy” game filtering system.

A word about that, I suppose. PC games are expensive and my expectations from
an expensive computer game are quite high. I’m not going to part with my money
unless I’m certain the game in question is worth every penny. Case in point,
the Splinter Cell series: Splinter Cell, awesome; Pandora tomorrow,
incredible; Chaos Theory, amazing; Double Agent, buggy piece of crap.

SC: Double Agent was a console port that was doomed for several reasons.
Firstly, it required a graphics card that supports shader model 3, secondly,
for many people, it simply didn’t work out of the tin and required hacks to
config files to get it to work. When I did finally get it to even start the
tutorial the game crashed within a few minutes and subsequent restarts resulted
in further crashes, graphics glitches etc. All this fun for £29.99. Have
you tried getting a refund for a computer game recently?

So yes, I pirate before I buy with a few exceptions, one of those being the MoH
series of games.

MoH: Airborne is, as with all this series of games, set of various theatres of
combat in World War II. In this case you play the part of Boyd Travers a
Private in the 82nd Airborne Division. Each level of the game starts with you
aboard an aircraft a few seconds away from your drop point. The jump out of
the plane, your parachute opens and then you pick a landing point and start
with the usual MoH run around and shoot all the bad guys whilst achieving

The game play itself is quite reasonable though you will be quick to notice the
AI being both omniscient and skull-smackingly dumb simultaneously. Your squad
mates will cheerfully wander into your line of fire (fortunately without
consequences for you or them) yet, at the same time, use your sniper rifle’s
scope to zoom in on a enemy soldier in the distance and he’ll pretty much
immediately jump into cover and then start taking frighteningly accurate pots
shots at you with an automatic weapon held in one hand and waved randomly over
the top of a wall. Ooooh-kay.

“You have full control from the moment you jump. Steer your parachute and start
fighting anywhere” the back of the box claims. Well that’s not quite true.
For starters you jump from an impossibly low altitude giving you a very short
time to move significantly around the map. Then you’ll aim for a rooftop a
little way away and smack into an invisible wall in the air which pushes you
around to a less favourable landing zone. Not quite what I’d call “start
fighting anywhere”.

Frustration will set in when you die, and you will die many many many times.
When you die you are transported into the boots of another soldier just about
to just out of an airplane. You then land and continue the mission where your
left off, well, nearly anyway. One level is set in an old train yard with
enemy snipers lurking in every awkward location. You’ll spend a long time just
working out where these buggers are, carefully pick them off one by one, die
and….. every single one of them respawns, every single time. Arrrgh.

This is not a bad game, unfortunately neither is it a great game. If you’re a
fan of the previous MoH games then go buy this one, you’ll forgive the
annoyances because of the great atmosphere and attention to detail. People new
to the MoH series will, I feel, not enjoy this so much.

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