Medal of Honor European Assault

Medal of Honor European Assault - Review PS2

Medal of Honor European Assault - Review PS2ssault

Medal of Honor European Assault - Review PS2

European Assault is the latest in the Medal of Honor titles from Electronic Arts. After the great success of Frontline it was a shame that Rising Sun didn't add anything new to the format and generally came out as being a step backwards. It is therefore good news to reveal that the EA Los Angeles team have got things back on track with their latest instalment of the World War II series.

You fill the boots of GI William Holt, an American Intelligence officer, working in a freelance role through 4 different missions. Firstly, you start with the elite British SAS who set to cause as much damage as possible in a raid on St. Nazaire. Then you move to North Africa to join the Desert Rats against the Afrika Korps before moving to Russia to help out the Red Army on the Eastern front. Finally you are re-united with your American comrades for the epic Battle of the Bulge. The Eagle-eyed among you will notice that North Africa isn't in Europe so the name of the game is a little deceptive, but there's no need to be pedantic.

There is an abundance of WWII first-person shoot ‘em ups to choose from so its refreshing to see that some time has been spent to develop a game that offers a little something extra. If you are a seasoned MOH player than the first thing you'll notice is the 3 man squadron who stick by your side as you make your way through the battlefield. At times they prove very useful is helping you take out the enemy and will eventually do the whole job for you if you cower in shadows for long enough. But where's the fun in that? However, if you walk out into machine-gun fire they will dutifully follow you and take a pounding if you're not careful. So if you care about your brothers-in-arms a bit more thinking is required, this added dimension creates a noteworthy aspect to the game. (Although I have to say they can prove a little annoying at times when they position themselves between you and the enemy, especially when you have the target in your sights and one keen squadron member keeps sticking his head in the way!)

Each squad member has their own life meter which can be re-vitalised using a medikit, but this is at the expense of using the energy boost on yourself. Keeping your squadron alive is not essential for completing the level but you will receive bonuses for each member still breathing at the end of the encounter.

The second major difference of European Assault compared to previous MOH games is the freedom on the battlefield. In almost every scenario you have a free reign to decide which route you and your squad shall take. Each level has a Primary objective but as you choose your path numerous Secondary objectives will emerge. If you really want to master a level then you'll need to explore everywhere to unlock these objectives and to be honest a level will pass by rather too quickly if you don't put the effort in to find them. It is also to your advantage to take the long route around rather than the direct approach, as this will guide you and your men safely towards a dangerous machine-gun nest or Panzer tank.

The atmosphere generated is another major plus point in this instalment. Many of the missions involve you making your way through a very hectic warzone with bullets whizzing by your heard and explosions occurring all around. All of this really helps you to get immersed in the action. One of the fine tuned developments is the realism when a bomb detonates in your vicinity. Deafness and wobbly vision followed by a gradual crescendo of noise proves to be a very effective way of letting you know that you just came very close to being wiped out.

In terms of controls there isn't a lot different, the weaponry encompasses the expected selection of rifles, machine guns, bazookas, grenades, etc. each with their different aiming styles. As you can only carry 2 guns at a time it's a case of finding which guns suit you best and sticking to them. A very handy feature is using the left analogue stick to peer out from behind a box or wall to target the enemy whilst you remain relatively well guarded. You'll need to master this technique if you want to stay alive as the AI has been created to fill you with lead if you stand out in the open for too long.

Each mission intro includes narration from what sounds like a War veteran which helps get you psyched for a round of Nazi bashing. The decent quality graphics are carried by the superb sound effects that really help you to get engrossed in the environment. All these factors add to one of the MOH series' key attributes ….realism.

On the whole, European Assault is a wonderful first-person shooter that has been built upon the solid background of previous versions. If you were impressed with Frontline then this won't let you down and you'll find it a welcome return to the genre. If there's one thing that does let it down it's the lifespan of the game. The multiplayer option is always something that extends the longevity but lets face it, this game is at its best during the missions. Even by exploring the levels to their full it won't take too long to make your way through the game, but you will have lots of fun on your way.


8 out of 10


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