May 22, 2002

Medal of Honor Frontline - Preview

Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
6/6/2002Electronic ArtsDreamworks Interactive1$99.95

Click To Enlarge Image
Just like Saving Private Ryan.
Since the Playstation 2's release about 18 months ago the console has been blessed with several amazing First Person Shooters. THQ's Red Faction proved a hit with the Geo-Mod technology allowing destructable levels while Infogrames' Unreal Tournament and Electronic Arts' Quake III Revolution both proved themselves equal to their PC counterparts. Soon these games will pale in comparison to a new king as Electronic Arts are about to unleash the most realistic FPS ever, both in in terms of real world situations (World War II) and the game engine and presentation. Medal of Honor: Frontline is set to blow away the competition and set new benchmarks for First Person Shooters.

Click To Enlarge Image
Infiltrating the submarine.
Medal of Honor Frontline sees you head back behind enemy lines with Lt. Jimmy Patterson. In this instalment of the smash-hit Medal of Honor series, Lt. Patterson returns and must use the confusion of the real-world offensive Operation Market Garden to infiltrate the German frontline and steal the HO-IX flying wing, an experimental Nazi weapon so powerful that it could turn the tide of World War II.

In keeping with the strengths of the Medal of Honor series, Frontline will put gamers in control of Lt. Jimmy Patterson as he carries out his critical missions in full 3D. Players will take Lt. Patterson on 15 crucial assignments ranging from destroying a German Naval base, rescuing a captured OSS operative from a Nazi held Dutch manor house, stowing away above and aboard a speeding Nazi armoured train, to disarming the undercarriage of Nijmegen Bridge, made famous in the film A Bridge Too Far.

Click To Enlarge Image
Time to let them have it, quickly.

Players will take on five missions, each consisting of at least three individual levels, all of which add up to one complete storyline. Perhaps more importantly the missions are based on real events that occurred during World War II such as storming the beaches, and re-capturing French towns. To help him succeed in his assignment, Lt. Patterson will have the assistance of a small squad of soldiers and a slew of new weapons, ranging from the Liberator Pistol, Panzerschreck, MG42 mounted machine gun-to the return of the ever-popular B.A.R. Patterson's friends and foes will all have much improved AI, making for tense and heated large-scale battles, with friends, foes, and even civilians all on screen at any given moment.

Click To Enlarge Image
Storming the windmill.
EALA continues to work closely with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to make sure Medal of Honor Frontline reflects the ideals and integrity of the prestigious Congressional Medal of Honor. The team also consulted with Russ Lee, the Smithsonian Institution's expert on the HO-IX, and Capt. Dale Dye, technical consultant for the original Medal of Honor, to insure the authenticity of the game.

Click To Enlarge Image
Who said textures were a problem?
Medal Of Honor Frontline includes 15 missions across fully realized 3-D worlds, using the advanced capabilities of the PlayStation 2. Including over 20 weapons, including the Liberator, Panzerschrek, MG42, B.A.R. and special items such as a disguise kit and a fake ID the developers are going all out to include plenty of variety in the game. During the game you will be attacking enemy units alone and as part of a crack military squad. It will also be possible to communicate with friendly units to organize deadly tactics - or take out the enemy's commander to throw the troops into disarray. The missions aren't all action however with several levels in the game particularly non-combat based, such as a disguised infiltration of a German-held Dutch manor house.

Click To Enlarge Image
Awesome detail at the train station.
While the game will struggle graphically when sitting beside the new PC Medal of Honor the game is a massive improvement over the PSOne games, and even other PS2 First Person Shooters. Medal of Honor Frontline marks the first appearance of the Medal of Honor series on the PlayStation 2. Lt. Patterson's latest adventure will make full use of advanced lighting and architecture capabilities, special effects, and realistic sound to bring World War II to life once more. The detail in the levels is simply amazing with little hint of the texturing problems that so many developers complained about earlier in the PS2's life. The developers have achieved the realistic look and feel of World War II with the assistance of the Smithsonian's HO-IX expert Russ Lee and technical consultant Capt. Dale Dye.

The sound should also prove to be a credit to the team with the orchestral music score being composed by Michael Giacchino who worked on the previous games. The sound effects are being done by AIAS award winning designer Erik Kraber and should also be suitably realistic with plenty of machine gun fire and explosions to keep you on the edge of your seat. In fact if you were looking away from the TV you would swear the opening Omaha Beach scene is actually a part of Saving Private Ryan as machine guns are fired, people shout out and explosions deafen you.

Click To Enlarge Image
I think it's time to duck.
It's pretty obvious that Electronic Arts have massive expectations for this game, especially with information coming out so early on the title. The great news for gamers is that much like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault on the PC this looks like a stunning title. It may not have as much visual punch as the PC game, but this PS2 title looks just as exciting. With EA's strong record on the PS2, and their typically strong quality controls there is little doubt in my mind that come June, and especially for FPS fans, there will be yet another "must have" game on PS2. Expect a release worldwide, including Australia, sometime in early June 2002.