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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review: This 4K monitor plays nice with consoles
- 2 Firewalla Gold review: Powerful home network security in a tiny box
- 3 Alienware AW3423DW review: Quantum dot OLED renders rival monitors obsolete
- 4 Acer Aspire 5 review: An affordable laptop that’s enjoyable to use
- 5 Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 review: This gaming laptop oozes luxurious power
Latest News Articles
- This real-life “aimbot” uses a physical mouse to cheat at shooting games
- Bethesda’s classic Elder Scrolls games arrive on Steam—for free
- We tested 22 different RPGs on the Steam Deck
- Steam Deck’s first major update adds a lock screen, Windows 11 support
- Sony is getting serious about bringing more PlayStation games to the PC
PCW Evaluation Team
Set up is effortless.
The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.
Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
- Best Unlimited Internet Deals in 2022
- Microsoft’s universal ‘One Outlook’ client just leaked out
- Liquid Retina vs. Liquid Retina XDR: Which display is better?
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies