I am embarrassed to admit that this review took eons to complete. While 2010 might just be old news, Medal of Honor tried to come back in a big way with EA firing all cannons to give it a fighting chance against other modern combat shooters. The outcome among critics was split whether if the reboot of the franchise was a success or not, but there is a core group of gamers who love the new direction. First person shooters are notorious for being complicated with minute differences between guns and maze like, multiple tiered levels and any intel on what lurks around the corner will be appreciated by all types of first-person shooter fans.
Since this is my first strategy guide review, I had to soak in the entire experience. The presentation of the book is rather neat. The dust jacket complements the images on the hard cover that matches with the gritty look EA was going for with the theme of actual War on Terror locations. After being lured in by a slick presentation, the actual guide starts with no assumptions. It takes players who have never picked up a virtual gun and brings them up to speed with all the first-person shooter jargon and terms fired off by grizzled veterans who populate the servers.
As someone who has had to watch new players squirm with not being able to grasp the scope of these games without much context, I applaud the inclusion of this primer. Sure, in-game tutorials teach basic gameplay mechanics, but it glosses over the fact that it could be the first time a person has played a war type game. Once the ground rules and lexicon is set, the guide takes players step by step through the Medal of Honor version of Afghanistan.
The ability to look at missions from a static bird’s eye view is invaluable. The shortcuts presented in the guide will allow players to flank the Taliban so they won’t get bogged down hiding behind rocks and buildings. This extends to the multiplayer maps, where the information gleaned from that information will help players looking to improve their online game. Along with the maps, there will be hints and tips from the guide’s writers that players will be wise to read, especially if they are going for the brutal Tier 1 mode Medal of Honor has to offer. Everything is well explained and easy to follow so getting lost or not understanding the hints shouldn’t be a concern.
The last thing I took a look at was the multiplayer insert that explained all the unlockables to be found for racking up frags online. It was a handy tool to have when I wanted to reference something between online matches. The information is included in the bound copy of the book, but having that laminated card proved useful on more than one occasion.
This guide will be a use to anyone who has never played a first-person shooter to Medal of Honor fans looking for deeper exploration of the level design. This is a very substantial, comprehensive guide and is well done.