CALGARY - At this point in my gaming life, I feel like Ive killed more Nazis than the entire RAF. Between three Call of Duty titles, three Brothers in Arms titles, 10 Medal of Honor titles and a summer addicted to Wolfenstein 3D, my body count is somewhere in the hundreds of thousands.
CALGARY - At this point in my gaming life, I feel like Ive killed more Nazis than the entire RAF. Between three Call of Duty titles, three Brothers in Arms titles, 10 Medal of Honor titles and a summer addicted to Wolfenstein 3D, my body count is somewhere in the hundreds of thousands. That number has been rising since the release of the eleventh Medal of Honor title, a first-person shooter that changes up its traditional linear gaming experience for a free-roaming battlefield, where you head toward any marked area on your map and help reclaim it for the allies. As the game begins, you fall out of an airplane with your squadron and parachute to the ground. While in the air, you can navigate yourself to either land in a safe zone, marked by green flares, or in enemy territory, which can often get you mowed down before you even get your rifle in your hands. Whats cool about this is you can choose to land in elevated areas and snipe off the enemy from afar, or near a bunker so you can go Rambo on them with a machine gun. That alone makes this perhaps the best Medal of Honor since Frontline. The great graphics, based on the Unreal Engine 3, crisp sound and frenetic gameplay also help deliver that feeling. But the enemies in this are a bit too spot-on. Enemy bullets seem magnetic, as youre hit whenever you leave cover, sometimes from guards with semi-automatic rifles who are barely in range of your scope. There are some moments you can peg an enemy off with a single shot to the head, while at other times youll have to hold down the trigger on one three feet away just to stop him pistol-whipping you. And perhaps because its been a lifetime of killing digitized Nazis, Airborne feels tired. Even as new levels and missions open up, its difficult to shake the feeling that youve done this many, many times before. Second World War shooters have become a genre of their own, but theyre starting to feel like a lazy production. Sure, theyre easy and non-controversial - the conflict is obviously painted in black-and-white terms (i.e. Nazis are bad, the Allies are good), but there has to be something else. War might be good for absolutely nothing, as Edwin Starr sang, but surely out of the hundreds of wars and thousands of battles humanity has felt the need to fight, we can find another to glorify through gaming. How many times can we storm the beach at Normandy, take out turrets at Omaha Beach or land in Operation Market Garden? The upcoming Call of Duty 4 (Nov. 5) has decided to forego its traditional Second World War setting for modern warfare. Maybe its time the Medal of Honor series followed suit. Four of five stars