MOH: Airborne breathes life back into the dying WWII franchise
It's been quite a while since a decent Medal Of Honor game was released, hasn't it? Sure, people can have their opinions about the different games, but from a technical standpoint, none of the games were really that good. Probably the main problem would have to be that in almost every game you felt as if you were alone, fighting the entire war by yourself. It just doesn't make much sense to me. One man can't fight a war alone, and thankfully, Airborne doesn't follow in the footsteps of the other games.
Medal Of Honor: Airborne is unique in that the game allows you to start each mission where ever you like. You start out in a plane. After jumping out and activating your parachute, you get full control of where you steer, how fast you go, and more importantly, where you go. This allows you to land on buildings and other structures that would have otherwise been inaccessible to the player. It also allows you to do your objectives in the order that you want to do them in. Don't feel like destroying the AA guns just yet? Don't land by them. Don't want to deal with the tank patrolling around until later in the mission? Land somewhere else. You have total freedom over the mission.
Every mission begins something like this
Something that I really enjoyed about Airborne is the fact that every weapon in the game can be upgraded. When I say this, I don't mean that only your basic rifles and automatic weapons can be upgraded. No, I mean that anything in this game that can kill or seriously maim someone can be upgraded. This includes rifles, automatic weapons, sniper rifles, shotguns, pistols, and grenades. Yes, grenades can be upgraded to. You upgrade your weapons by killing people with the. Simple as that. Each upgrade means a special bonus that makes your weapon better. Some examples of the bonuses you can get are increased accuracy (lower recoil), large clip size, dual clips (two clips taped together for fast reloading), a knife bayonet, scopes, the ability to shoot grenades like a grenade launcher (only works for some rifles), faster rate of fire, and bigger explosion damage for the grenades. Now, all of this probably got you excited, but I'm about to ruin it for you. Each weapon can only be upgraded three times. You also can't choose with upgrades to get, as the game automatically gives the same weapon the same upgrades every time. Now, this really isn't a problem at all. I just thought I ought to warn you before you go out and buy the game saying "Oh man, I can't wait to shoot grenades out of my BAR", or "Oh man, I can't wait to put a scope on my Thompson", as none of those things are possible, I'm afraid.
The Thompson standing up has been fully upgraded, while the one lying down
hasn't been upgraded at all. The visual changes actually occur once you up-
grade the weapon.
The animations in the game are pretty good. Characters on screen move smoothly through the environment. They all run, shoot, and take cover behind objects without much hiccup during the animations. Another thing that I noticed was how your own character moved. While running through the world, you feel as if you actually have weight. In other games, like Call Of Duty 4, you just feel like a disembodied pair of arms photo shopped onto a background. In Airborne, you can feel the weight behind each step you take. You’ll also notice that your arms bounce as you run, which is pretty much reminding you that you are playing as an actual character and not a pair of arms. While the only time you can see your legs are during the mission briefings and while you’re parachuting, you always feel as if they’re there.
As far as controls go, Airborne could be a hit or miss, I guess. If you've been playing Call Of Duty for quite some time, have fun adjusting to crouching with the X button and switching weapons with B (Xbox 360 controls). Although you can change the controller setup to match COD somewhat, it really doesn't seem to make that big of a difference. All in all, after a few hours a play, the controls should feel natural and should work well for any kind of gamer.
The next thing I really want to talk about are the graphics. Medal Of Honor: Airborne is by far the best looking video game I have ever seen. And I'm not exaggerating either. Maybe a picture will help me explain:
Notice the spectacular lighting, details on the weapon and clothing, and the look of the environments. If you think these graphics suck, you obviously have no soul (just kidding! Wouldn't want to hurt your feelings!) And yes, this is what the game actually looks like during gameplay. This picture has not been pre-rendered or anything like that in any way at all. Believe me.
The sound is the next thing I wanted to talk about. Medal Of Honor: Airborne decides to recycle music from previous games, most notably from Medal Of Honor: Frontline. The music plays while you’re playing, unless you go into combat. When that happens, all you can hear is the lovely blast of your weapon. Something that I really liked about the music, however, was the Medal Of Honor theme song that plays during certain moments of the game. For example, in one of the missions while in the plane waiting to jump, you get sprayed with flak. One of the soldiers, who happens to be a young fella, gets hit in the side. The Seargent tells him to sit down because he’s going home. The soldier looks looks at everyone in the plane. Everyone looks back, and he says, “No….I’m jumpin’ with you guys.” When he says that, you hear a lone trumpet play the Medal Of Honor theme song for a few seconds, and I for one, got covered in goose bumps. That moment, up in the plane, about to jump to our deaths, was enough to get me a least a slightly emotional. The music is just perfect in this game.
The final aspect of Airborne is the multiplayer, but unfortunately, it’s dead. Only a handful of people play the game online, so I wouldn’t go buying this because you want to play online. Stick to the single player.
In conclusion, Medal Of Honor: Airborne is an excellent game. It combines action packed gameplay with an fun weapon upgrading system and beautiful music. I’m proud to say that when I first purchased my Xbox 360 (Elite), Medal Of Honor: Airborne was my very first game for it. It’s scary to think that if I had bought something else instead, I probably wouldn’t have ever ended up playing this game. While many people have many different opinions about this game, I for one, thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end, and I’ll be damned if you don’t either.