Medal of Honor Heroes 2

fair
key review info
  • Game: Medal Of Honor Heroes 2
  • Platform: PSP
  • Gamepad support: N/a
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by: Alexandru Stanescu
  • Show system requirements
Say cheese, wherever you are!

While the Call of Duty series has evolved into the modern age thanks to CoD 4 and its modern warfare, Medal of Honor stays true to its original recipe still delivering WWII-based titles. Among these, Medal of Honor Heroes 2 is the latest and one of the few to ever surface on the PSP. As such, it's missing lots of features you'll probably see in next-gen games, but it's an equally fun experience, although its quality is not exactly what I was expecting. We're dealing with a mediocre game, with a boring single player campaign, saved by a multiplayer mode that will entertain you and your friends for days. Is it worth the play? Keep on reading to find out!

(Hi)story
You're John Berg, an OSS operative who has to infiltrate Normandy and reach behind enemy lines in order to stop Hitler from using his V2 rockets. The story's told through various briefings and with the aid of a narrator's voice. However, those short semi-cutscenes won't last enough to re-create the atmosphere of other WWII titles. I really had the feeling that I've heard this story before, mostly because it has almost nothing original and fascinating about it. It seems that if we play enough Call of Duty, Brothers in Arms and Medal of Honor titles we'll really learn all of the major World War II battles by heart, so history will never be a problem in school (unless we've finished it, but we can still brag about our knowledge to our friends).

Concept
Medal of Honor Heroes 2 is pretty much like every MoH title released to this date and it'll allow you to play through 7 missions which will take 4-5 hours to complete. While the single player doesn't pack enough punch to get you hooked on the experience, you'll probably fall in love with the multiplayer mode, if you're into FPS deathmatches. The objectives you have to fulfill in single player mode are fairly basic and predictable, ranging from planting explosive charges to picking up documents and just shooting every Nazi in the area. You'll also get a chance to man cannons in order to kill more enemies, but that's only a minor task of yours during those boring missions.

You'll use the analog stick to move and since we're into the controls department, I might as well say that the entire system pretty much fails to make the game playable. Although I got used to the control system pretty fast, targeting the Nazis and moving the crosshair can be a huge pain sometimes. Keep in mind that you'll have to use the action buttons in order to move that nasty crosshair and press the R button to fire. It's uncomfortable and weird if you're used to the PS2 and PS3 controls, but practice makes perfect, or at least it tries to. Press the L button to hit someone in the face with your fists/weapons or just hold the button pressed for a better view of the enemies and for more accurate targeting. This new view angle can be zoomed if you're using a sniper rifle, trying to increase your consecutive headshots record.

I must confess that the D-pad comes in handy at times, because you'll use the Up button to pick up or use objects and the Down button to crouch. You can usually carry 2 firearms and a grenade and you'll have to leave a weapon behind if you want to pick up a more powerful one. Also, although I got used to the game's control system, I never managed to learn that the right D-pad button changes the weapon, while the left one reloads. It's pretty easy to mistake one for the other and start reloading exactly when you were getting ready for a cool headshot. Speaking of weapons, there's a wide variety of tools of destruction you can use, like the Karabiner, the Gewehr Rifle, the Thompson, the BAR, the famous M1 Garand, the useful Springfield Rifle or the deadly Shotgun.

The game's length is also proved by the limited number of locations you'll be fighting in, from the first mission's port to a remote village, deadly sewers, a monastery or a city. These levels will also be featured in the multiplayer mode as maps, but by the time you get to battle real humans on them, you'll surely know all of their secret spots.

Gameplay
Playing MoH Heroes 2 can be fun for the first two hours, at least in the single player mode, specially because you'll be enthusiastic if it's your first play of a PSP FPS. In case it's not, you'll either be craving for a different experience or just switching genre. I'm not a great shooter expert and still I managed to finish the first 2 or 3 missions undefeated. You'll have to know that each mission is divided into several sub-missions which feature checkpoints. However, they're very rare and usually, after dying, you'll have to restart from the beginning of the mission.

MoH Heroes 2 "plays realistic" and doesn't require you to collect medi packs in order to replenish health, since it turns your screen red once you start taking serious damage. You'll just have to take cover and wait for the red screen to fade away. The AI of the enemy is as artificial as it gets, no matter what difficulty level you select in the game's beginning. I had fun shooting them down in the most varied ways and positions by using a pistol or punching them with my bare hands. Nazis seem keen on shooting at walls and the scenery, or maybe your CPU-controlled teammates.

Let me remind that there will always be a squad ready to aid you, but they won't do any good, probably killing one foe out of every 30 enemies that attack you. They have a strange hobby of getting killed and lagging behind you, though... Heroes 2 is much more fun in the multiplayer mode, specially if you chose Deathmatch in the beginning. However, too many players on the same map will tend to make the game laggy and frustrating, getting everyone killed because of random grenades and lucky shots, but this issue usually plagues shooters with small maps.

There's not much you can do beside shooting Nazis and throwing grenades, although there's the occasional "plant a bomb" task or the option of manning big cannons, perhaps even collecting some important documents. However, your main "hobby" putting bullets through your enemies' skulls, while trying to complete all objectives.

Video
The game looks pretty much like its predecessors, but the environments aren't as good as those featured in the first MoH Heroes title. You'll dig the occasional grenade explosion that will blur your vision and change the way you see and hear things and you'll also appreciate the fact that taking damage equals a red blurred screen plus the sound of a pounding heart. The problem is that there are so many glitches you'll stumble upon, that the entire gameplay experience will be stripped of its fun in the long run. For example, you'll get stuck in the environments, because of a wooden stick or a small rock, as you won't be able to pass over them or jump. Also, the enemies have a tendency of passing through various objects, while their bodies can fall through the floor and the character you control enters walls. What you'll surely like in Heroes 2 are the explosions and smoke plus lighting effects, usually generated by the grenades and various projectiles crashing around you.

Sound

After you get shot, you'll hear that heart beat I've mentioned earlier, in case you've taken serious damage. The music and dialogs aren't impressive and I don't quite see a solid reason for not muting your PSP while playing the game. Although most of the other reviews praised the sound of the weapons you'll wield throughout the game, I beg to differ, because they all "sing" the same tune for me and there's nothing in the audio segment of this title that pleases my senses.

Multiplayer
If you're into 10-minutes-long deathmatches happening during those short breaks at school, MoH Heroes 2 will definitely suit your tastes. After choosing the Ad Hoc mode and Deathmatch sub-mode, you'll get a chance to select a type of soldier and the weapon you want to use. The soldiers vary only when it comes to their uniform, so you'll select either Rangers, Rookies, Regulars or Elite soldiers. The infrastructure mode allows you to play against up to 31 players on the Internet, while the ad-hoc mode will pit you against 7 of your friends in a wireless shootout.

Take part in a deathmatch or team deathmatch, setting the friendly fire option on or off, if you're in for friendly kicks in the behind after the match. There are many other options to toy with in order to improve the multiplayer experience, pretty much the main reason for buying this title. Choose the aim/strafe assist and autobalance, the number of rounds, the points limit, round time and the number of max players.

Conclusion
I expected more from the sequel of Medal of Honor Heroes, a decent game in its days, but this PSP title isn't exactly what I was hoping for. It's got glitchy visuals, a sound that makes you want to mute the console and an AI that's at least laughable. However, you'll forget these setbacks when you'll start shooting your heart out with your friends in a multiplayer session. Seems that sometimes the fun factor prevails and important features like graphics and sound don't matter when we're about to purchase a game.


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story 5
gameplay 7
concept 7
graphics 6
audio 6
multiplayer 8
final rating 6
Editor's review
fair
 
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