The MEDAL OF HONOR series has developed quite a following due to the excellent titles that were released for the PlayStation. MOH is a first-person shooter series set during the middle of World War II. Recently, that following got the incredible MEDAL OF HONOR: ALLIED ASSAULT for PC. But in designing a game for the less-powerful PlayStation 2, wouldn't there be somewhat of a letdown in the next game, FRONTLINE? The answer to the question is yes and no. While the game isn't a technical marvel, the heart and soul carry it and make it one of the best overall PlayStation 2 experiences available to date.
The game starts out with a chilling introduction with awesome music detailing some of World War II's history. Then gamers are shoved into the role of Jimmy Patterson at the assault on Omaha Beach. Seriously though, the first couple missions are kind of lame. I've seen so much better, and it really feels like just a videogame version of the events, rather than a true recreation. But once the introduction is complete and the Market Garden scenario begins, the game really begins to shine.
It's not that FRONTLINE will ever blow you away technically. The levels are all fairly small and enclosed (compared to other recent games) and the graphics aren't that incredible. They are good but a lot of times there is nothing there to blow you away. The gameplay on is very tigh and responsive though, and is what you would come to expect from MEDAL OF HONOR. The great part is that it helps keep the game a lot of fun, but it's not the reason for the game's greatness.
MEDAL OF HONOR: FRONTLINE is a fantastic game because of its heart. While the D-Day mission leaves much to be desired, once you get into the rest of the game, every experience is very fulfilling. You are ready to kill more Nazi scum, you are ready to sneak into the docks, and you are ready to be a hero. The game plays out like a great war movie and each mission has you begging for more. It's hard to put the game down because it plays very well and the story is very compelling.
The biggest reason, in my mind, is the sound of the game. The full complement of voice-overs and sound effects is in the game and works really well. Everything is very detailed and sounds perfect. But really the musical score is the best part. Some of the music in the game is absolutely haunting. You truly feel like you are part of something bigger, part of the war for freedom, you remember those who have given your lives. Rarely, if ever, does a videogame invoke this kind of emotion in me. The musical score turns an average first-person shooter into one of the best PlayStation 2 games to date.
MEDAL OF HONOR: FRONTLINE features mediocre graphics, no multiplayer, and decent gameplay and under most circumstances would be a rental at best. But with the incredible soundtrack and the emotions that the game invokes, FRONTLINE is one of the best games of the year. MOH fans must check this one out.