Medal Of Honor: Above And Beyond, Review. A Little Real, Too Virtual
We analyzed the EA and Respawn game for Virtual Reality with many moments to remember, but not a few twists and turns too.
Medal of honor it returns, and does so in a hitherto unprecedented format: the format of virtual reality. Since its announcement, there have been only a handful of people who have interestingly followed what one of the mythical sagas could tell us about recreating historical war conflicts. More than by a series name that has been obsolete for a while, because Respawn Entertainment is behind it. Names as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Titanfall or Apex before them. A study that is synonymous with a guarantee of success and when it comes to first-person shooting, they know for a while. So a lot of attention has been drawn to being connected to the great Oculus project. The result is that sometimes it ‘s great, but other times – and not a few others – not exactly what we were expecting.
We already talked in a preview earlier in the week of what we were playing in the first of the six missions – not counting the prologue – in the game. We loved to see the handling of the weapons, as well as some moments of pure immersion that we had never seen in a shooter like this. In return, we noticed that the artificial intelligence of the enemy was not at a great level and that many times we felt that we were more in Time Crisis than in FPS virtual reality. The first thoughts and feelings increased, conceived, and changed in some cases. This is our final assessment of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond.
Six missions, six minutes
It all starts with a prologue in which we barely made it out of a live war zone after saving a few comrades. When we are in the hospital, we are checked, we are seen to be in a condition and we are invited to be a part of it OSS to help the French Resistance against the Nazi siege in World War II. Before all this, a doctor begins to calibrate what we see and feel as we play. From the on-screen indicators to the way you interact with the controls Rift Oculus S., going through other tasks. Everything is in order.
With the left stick we move, with the one we can see where we want and with the right stick we change, not continuously (it is missing) but in parts, where the camera is pointing. the side buttons of the controls allow us to pick up the weapons and leave them ready, so that the buttons on our index fingers are shooting. The game is quite agile and accessible in terms of weapons: each of them is in a different place: the pistol on the hip, two large weapons on the shoulders. The grenades, in the chest, where we stick the syringes to regain vitality. And for reloading, we put the ammunition in which it touches and remove the safety.
While everything is designed to respond quickly, it’s true that it doesn’t have the level of interaction and physics that Half-Life: Alyx, or the last Walking Dead, has. It is certainly not fair to compare it to the Valve game, as the comparisons will lose them all, but it is a recent reference, from this year onwards, and the differences are visible. The feeling is that we are in the middle of a world with which we have little interaction, and which is no longer valid in 2020. It is no longer enough. Anyway, weapon handling is the most immersive in the game.
Ag normal mode, it aims. We need to look carefully through the iron sight of the American rifle, calculate the recall of the machine guns well and aim with the steady hand with the pistol. Undoubtedly the best thing about the new Medal of Honor is: how we realistically interact with all sorts of weapons to land a headshot. Also with snipers and their remote sights, we increase or decrease the movement of our heads. Each weapon has its handle and displays. And we appreciate it. In fact, we highly recommend not to test the game in easy mode, because the goal will lose all its grace and with it, a large part of the game.
Gallery like a documentary
The game navigates through different missions with different circumstances. We’ve already talked about the first one, where the most interesting thing was the shooting with enemies coming from different sides as we searched for shelter and hid, kneeling in the middle of our living room, behind virtual stones. Per Above and Beyond a step further in the following chapters, and it is worth mentioning the wide range of situations in which we find ourselves. Starting with our air battle aboard a fighter plane, from which we take from a submachine gun, a heavier one or mark where we have to drop the bombs. The intensity of this mission is a great experience, with our head pointing in the direction we want to shoot just to move it.
In fact, it is at this variety of moments that the Medal of Honor shines the brightest. There is a time when we control and shoot a tank 360 degrees. The way to focus, as natural as the head, and the calculations when the bullets fell or the trajectory of enemy vehicles provide a very immersive level. The same thing happens when we have a machine gun on hand traveling through a forest at night on the back of a motorcycle and its flank. Or when we decide, in the middle of an attack on a moving train, to take an anti-aircraft machine gun and set fire to the approaching fighters at full speed.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond He often sins from being like an amusement park. The missions are certainly disconnected, and their development too often is a mere excuse for destroying the Nazis left and right in a thousand different ways. The good thing about this format is, many surface to the The second war I worry, does it allow you to experiment with a level of play with lots of great moments and popcorn. That doesn’t mean they probably aren’t great.
The problem is, it doesn’t always work. The game invites us to interact with a mine detector to go through an area full of these deadly traps. Not being found on a ship while trying to evict her. And face references to enemies that come, always, perfectly staggered. And everything is going relatively well for the first three episodes. But something starts to go wrong in the fourth and fifth. The scale of the formula is not as we would expect.
That’s when sequences that don’t work so well start to be introduced. Speed and many pre-assigned trails make little sense of skiing down long snowy trails while shooting one way or the other. Swimming in the sea in the middle of a submarine is uncomfortable, tiring and not very comfortable. We will not say that a funny situation is not recreated, but it is true that the way to interact with our environment in this situation is quite simple. Because it is also simple certain very incredible climbing moments. In addition, there are some sections that are not in the interaction with sabotage, opening doors, stealing plans or planting bombs while landing on a beach but soulless transfers. In physics, in interaction, Oculus gives much more (Alyx, Single echo) and the Medal of Honor seeks to give it sufficient space, including talks and conversations, so that we take into account if they are not steps that are on the level.
The last chapter recovers the beat a bit with certain epic moments, but when we finish the game we have the feeling that it is the best, which we have already seen in the first of the 7-8 hours that the total campaign. Once you are familiar with the aim and control of a gun at the equator, is when AI is the enemy, static many times and without adequate reaction, it is making a tooth. The global calculation of a player’s experience is that we had a good time, we had moments where you only make things possible in virtual reality, but reality is still present, the one that could have been given more. Note that we can play all stages of each mission when we are finished to find all the collections hidden in them, which provides a certain replay value.
It is at this point where it is surprising and enjoyable to include a gallery that tells, through the eyes of war veterans, events that took place in World War II, such as landings Normandy. You also go to places that live in the game, such as the beach Omaha through the eyes of one of the doctors who was there. This documentation is interesting because of the voice that witnesses give to one of the bloodiest wars in mankind, even though it is true that they are still two worlds that do not fit well together. Like oil and water, one goes through those galleries and testimonials and it’s hard to connect them, beyond the stage, to what we live by while playing the video game. There is something artificial, and we are not referring to it as a video game in itself, which shows very clear obstacles in what we were and the experience of those war veterans. And this is not going to break Virtual Reality, at least from now on.
For his part, multiplayer it is an experience worth exploring in future installments and other disciplines. While we have not done much more than the organized games and it will be necessary to see how it works in the right environment and the servers that are open to all, we can say that the performance and modalities seem to be adequate . On the one hand, in Europe we had a ping around 30ms, which allowed for a solvent experience in this sense. On the other hand, the solvent multiplayer numbers with nine maps are available, taken from campaign moments, and a good variety of modes.
In addition to the classic team duel, the all-in-one mode or dominance, the game has other proposals such as an explosion ray: a mode in which we had to place ourselves within the emerging points on the map so that, killing from the inside, they will give us more marks. Finally, a crazy free-for-all mode where everyone has a timed bomb that can leave it stuck anywhere and explode after 30 seconds. If we kill someone, we score many more points. Each mode allows a maximum of 12 players and also the possibility of bots that are, quite, obscure.
The game experience is completed with mode survive in which we have to keep out as long as possible, killing as many enemies as we see fit, and getting the highest score.
CHUN audiovisual level, Is not only the most amazing title we’ve seen in Virtual Reality, and handles better indoors than outdoors, but it’s also true that it has great moments such as seeing a large vehicle through certain fires or explosions, and having different models our fellow travelers are well deserved. There is no more detail and richness in what is around us, and there is no doubt about it. The game has voices in English and subtitles in Spanish.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond wants to be the veteran saga that makes way for warring FPS in virtual reality, and there are times when it succeeds. The handling, aim and response of the weapons is a great experience, and we will quickly take cover, throw grenades and reload as we try to finish off the charming Nazis. It’s in the various scenarios behind planes, trains, boats or tanks, where the game gets you hooked: it’s impossible not to have VR for variety and for precise control. But the experience is diluted after half the campaign, the enemy AI is simple enough and the development of the missions, erratic. The taste ends up being bitter because when it promises high-flying action, it works. But it doesn’t always deliver. The rare interaction with our environment also exacerbates the global computation of experience. Solvent multiplayer balances with various modes, maps and tight ping of the scales and opens up a path that will be interesting to see in other installments and franchises. There are extra things, like the gallery, that are worth stopping by. Although it makes us feel that it is far from what it could be.