I have been playing the Medal Of Honor BETA pretty much since it was released. I have also been reporting bugs, glitches and the like to the Devs at Dice.
Below is my official review of the BETA.
Hitbox - Unlike most games, MoH uses a skeleton hit system. What this means is, you have to hit the other players "bones" for them to register. While an neat feature, it leads to players asking why they couldnt kill someone. Grazing the other player doesnt count anymore.
Weapons - So far, the best part of the BETA. Weapons actually feel and handle like their real world counterparts. The weapons have a feel of weight, and the recoil is about as accurate to the real thing as you can get. Sights however, are a different matter. I have found myself sometimes having to aim high left on distance shots just to get a hit. While in real world combat, it may be necessary for "Kentucky Windadge" I feel that its not needed here. Then again, it could just be something that needs a quick tweak and is good to go.
Weapons have several different things you can attach and add on to make them work better for you. There are red dot sights, holographic sights and ACOG's to choose from. You can also attach silencers and for sniper rifles you have laser range finders. There are also several ammo options, you can go with. You can choose from standard or extended magazines, the later has more ammo to spary around obviously. But, you can also choose better ammo. Hollow point ammo is a new feature that has been added in. So, you can give up more rounds to shoot for better bullets. They increase your damage output by a beefy little percentage. All of these you have to work for and unlock like in any other game.The nice about this is all snipers start off with a red dot sight. They have to work and unlock a scope to use. The one bad thing about the overall weapons package is that with the "Rifleman" class, everyone has an M203 grenade launcher. This is offset by the damage of the grenades being tweaked, but hinders your ability to use it effectively. From what I have seen, you pretty much have to hit right at the feet, or hit them in the chest if you want them to go down. Yes it keeps the noob tube to a minimum but sucks when you are trying to clear out a group of soldiers defending one of the objectives. The one thing that is nice to see, is each side has specific weapons to that side. You wont see any of the taliban running around with M4's, or the US soldiers spraying with AK's.
Maps - The two BETA maps seem to be very well made and have alot of potential. The Team Deathmatch map "Kabul" offers players tons of hiding spots, and good perches for shooting behind cover. Tight alley ways, and small open patches bring the combat closer, and makes it faster. The second map for the Campaign game mode is a valley in the middle of no where. The attacking US side has only rocks and trees for cover in some spots, while the Defending Afghani's have buildings and walls. The map is open enough to allow for flanking tactics, and narrow enough in spots to set up effective bottle necks. The level design is magnificient, you actually feel as if you are in the 110 degree heat running uphill into bullets. Several more maps are going to be in the final version, and if they keep what they have going with the BETA maps we are all in for a treat.
*the big one*
Gameplay - It's very fast, but also Team oriented. The gameplay is an even blend of the Call Of Duty pace, with the teamwork requirements of GRAW or Bad Company 2. Overall, a very interesting mix. You are never out of the action for more than a few seconds, even when you die. Spawn locations are far from safe, and many times I have found myself being killed only seconds after I have spawned in. This can get frustrating really quickly. Sometimes, the pace can be too fast though. With dying and respawning often times you find yourself well behind the front and have to fight just to get back to where you where. There is an option to spawn on a team member, but as I have found this is often as safe and secure as throwing matches into a bucket of gas.
In most FPS games sniper/campers can become something of a nuisance. Does this apply to MoH? Yes and no. Yes, because there are always the "l33t-S1p3Rz34" in the server that is just a fact of life. However, with the map layout, there is more cover and more avenues of approach than one would expect. This can basically stop a sniper cold. Also with the ticket system, unlike BC2, you dont get back all of your tickets after you take an objective. You only get back a few, so teams with more snipers than shooters will find themselves about to loose 9/10 rounds because of this. I feel that overall the balance of weapons and classes has been very well done here. No one class is overpowered, and all have different pieces of kit that compliment them. Be it, C4/IED's for snipers, or smoke for spec ops. The point here is, no one class or player cant do it on his/her own. It requires teamwork and coordination to get a "W" here.
As we have seen done in the CoD games, there are killstreak rewards. These range from simple mortar strikes, to player controlled cruise missles. Unlike CoD there are also team support actions. These are things you call in instead of mortars. They range from UAV's, to better ammo and armor. There is a very unique twist to these actions though, they only effect those within close proximity to you. So, if you want more points and more players to get the ammo, you are going to have to be close. Thusly, reinforcing the whole teamwork thing.
VoIP - Like in BC2, is being promised in the release version. There have been numerous reports and postings in the BETA threads at EA regarding this and the PC community has made its voice heard on the matter. However as it stands now, there is none in the BETA. The PS3 version of the BETA has it built into the game engine, so one would assume that it can be done for the PC verion as well. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope that Dice will learn from BC2 and have VoIP working for us at release.
Squads -Simply put, there are none. You are one big 12 man squad. There are no "leaders", it is basically up to the person that wants to talk the most to take charge. This makes things difficult in the teamwork aspect. Instead of being able to work and communicate with 3-4 guys in your squad, you are working and talking with everyone. I am still not sure how I feel about this. Its great if you have the one guy acting as the SL and giving orders because then the entire team is on the same sheet of music. It's bad because it can quickly turn to chaos. Command and control is shot to hell when there are 11 other guys you have to worry about. There is also no way of telling who you are next too without being fairly close, so assiging people to small teams is almost impossible. The spawn feature also hinders the squad aspect. You never know who you are going to spawn on, when you chose that option. So being able to keep small teams together goes right out the window. Practice, SOPs and solid comms are what is needed to keep the team working together. Leaders are going to have to step up. You arent always going to be "Rifleman #2", eventually you are going to have to take charge to get things rolling.
Support Roles - There aren't any. There is no "Medic" class, or "Assault" class for ammo. Your health regenerates, thats about as good as you are going to get. As far as ammo, there are points scattered around the map (marked with a bullet symbol on the mini map) that you have to go to in order to get ammo. In order to get there though, you are going to have to fight for it. There is, however, enough ammo around to support a land war in Asia for 10 years. The only draw back to this is most of the ammo points are exposed to enemy fire. So restocking ammo is going to require players to pull security, and secure the area around the point itself.
Overall -Overall, I would say that this game has alot to offer. Alot of the things in game we have seen before by other titles, but MoH goes about them in a different and unique way. The teamwork is strongly encouraged and rewarded, but at the same time there are elements that can pull away from it. Sometimes the pace can be a little to fast, but once you get into it has a very nice flow. The skeletal hitbox is something that just needs getting used to. It can be a pain in the rear when you first start, but actually requires more skill to get a kill than most other games with blocked hitboxes. So getting that 300 meter head shot makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Maps are good but I think maybe opening them up a bit more might make them work better and allow for even more room to maneuver.
What is going to make or break this game is its ability to offer us something new. With the current BETA missions we are getting a good look at what the final release has in store. There are at least 3 more game modes going to be included in the release and I am excited to see what they bring. But, based off of what I have seen so far, I would say that EA/Dice has a good start.
No announcement yet.
Medal Of Honor (Beta) Review/Report