EA Games Medal of Honor: Vanguard
- Stunning atmosphere, varied missions, varied gameplay.
- Occasional A.I and framerate issues, short single-player campaign, check points are few and far between.
Despite a few notable flaws, Medal of Honor: Vanguard manages to stand out from the W.W.2 FPS crowd.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
The Medal of Honor series started the recent blitzkrieg of WWII-themed shooters, and has since spawned about a million sequels.
With Vanguard, we return to some of Europe's greatest operations, like Market Garden and Varsity. This time the focus is on the 82nd Airborne Division, the first brave men to set foot on any given battlefield.
The Tip of the Spear
For the single player campaign, you take on the role of Frank Keegan, a Corporal paratrooper. Instead of marching to each battle, you'll bounce around Europe, dropping into the thick of conflict wherever needed. Right from the very beginning, you leap out of a plane and control your descent into a chaotic tempest of bullets, grenades, and hoarsely shouted orders.
The gameplay is lean and fierce, and as in previous MOH games, it is more pop-from-cover than run-and-gun. The enemy is always entrenched and it takes some meticulous movements to root them out. There is a great flow to the levels; many times, after clearing out the frontline troops, you can kamikaze rush to finish off the holdouts, while other times you must defend a building from advancing forces. Each combat situation presents new challenges, fostered by well-designed environment layouts. When you need to crawl on your belly to avoid snipers, convenient foxholes and trenches provide sneaky routes through the danger.
There are also several multiplayer modes supporting up to four players via splitscreen. Aside from the standard deathmatch, capture the flag, and king of the hill, there is a mode called scavenger hunt, in which players scurry to pick up supply drops that float down from the sky.
It's All About Atmosphere
The graphics look damn good for a PS2 game. You'll be fully immersed in the game and forget about next-gen promises mere moments into the first mission. The performance can slow down sometimes, but considering the graphical quality, distance visibility, and dense action, the framerate is actually pretty sturdy. The sound is excellent, of course, with realistic explosions, ambient sounds, and music that is beautiful but unobtrusive.
Despite all of the beautiful visuals and audio, there are a few gripes to be had. While the game touts weapon upgrades, in a normal playthrough you may only encounter a whole two enlarged magazines. Whoop-de-doo. The AI for the most part is decent, but the occasional spotty moment will have the AI behaving stupidly or oblivious to your existence. But the biggest issue is the sparse amount of checkpoints later in the game. During the last mission, you'll have to slog through fairly difficult sequences for more than a half hour, and if you die they expect you to do it all over again! All it takes is one unlucky grenade and you'll be cursing at the screen. It's not that the game is too hard, but come on--we should not be asked to repeat forty minutes of slow, methodical progress.
The game is also quite short. Normally we don't mind short and sweet, but you could seriously finish the game in one long afternoon. Still, despite some frustrations, the game is mostly an intense, exciting, and worthy entry in the long-running series.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Agents of Mayhem hands-on: Saints Row meets SHIELD
- 60 turns with Civilization VI: 3 key tweaks will change how you conquer the world
- Sea of Thieves is Rare's grog-drinking, accordion-playing, pirate silliness simulator
- Shadow Warrior 2 hands-on: Lo Wang gets even more wild with fast, furious 4-way action
- Xbox One keyboard and mouse support teased as PCs and consoles draw closer together
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCIT Assistant (Lotus Notes/Technical Support) 160616/ITA/991Asia
- CCDigital Business AnalystVIC
- CCITSM ConsultantNSW
- CCAEM Backend DeveloperVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160616/AP/185Asia
- CCMicrosoft .NET Developer (Server and Applications)SA
- FTLead Tableau Reporting ConsultantNSW
- CCSoftware Biomedical Solutions ArchitectSA
- CCIT Business AnalystNSW
- CCProgram DirectorNSW
- CCMobility Developer (iOS or Android)NSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - Clinical SystemsSA
- FTEnvironment ManagerVIC
- FTSystems EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - ServerSA
- CCSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCDynamics CRM DeveloperNSW
- CCSAP PI/PO ConsultantVIC
- CCScrum Master with Java development backgroundACT
- CCSAP ABAP - Senior developerVIC
- CCService Desk AnaystNSW
- CCSharePoint Consultant - Office 365NSW
- CCDevOps /Systems AdministratorQLD
- CCSenior Solutions Architect - Marketing and Distribution systemsNSW
- FTIT Project Coordinator- Data Center Infrastructure backgroundNSW