Review: Medal of Honor: European Assault

GC Review

War! Awhoe! Yeah! What is it good for? Well, for some great first person shooters, that's for sure. We can add one to the GameCube collection, because EA's Medal of Honor: European Assault is one hell of a war game.

European Assault is actually more of a tactical war game. Picture yourselves in the middle of an intensive battle with the bloody Nazis. You're hiding behind a crate, peeking at the enemy. It's time. You stand up and start running at the enemy. But just after a few seconds you realize this isn't Timesplitters. Before you know it, you're lying on the ground. Game Over. Introductory mission aside, MOH:EA isn't a game for Rambos.

No, this is Medal of Honor. Stealth is necessary. European Assault gives this type of play a new twist by giving players the option to hide and peek behind objects. These objects can be anything; rocks, tanks, walls, even gravestones can help you in the middle of a battle. You'll find yourself most of the time taking cover, peeking and shooting at soldiers who do the same thing. I must say, this feels rather satisfying. Especially thanks to the easy controls. While aiming your weapon, pressing the control stick makes you look next to the object; the C-Stick moves your gun; letting go of the control stick makes you hide again. This all works very well and really adds to the war experience.

War faring can be a hard time all by yourself; that's why three teammates are included in every mission to join you. It's your call if these men must attack or have to wait for a better time. There's nothing more to it; you can't give them more detailed instructions. These soldiers of yours mostly have the brain capacity of a cow, which makes them a great pain in the ass when they wander into your aim, but it's nice to have them by your side. The enemy on the other side is only focused on shooting you and your teammates. They sometimes hide, but the Nazis aren't smart enough to realize you're ready and aiming to shoot them when they reveal themselves. No, these bad guys are as dumb as your standard videogame enemy.

Thanks to the med kits spread out through the area you can heal your soldiers and yourself quicker than Jesus. And with the various revive points you'll find, you can get resurrected more often than him. But, if you do get to see the 'game over' screen, it's hard to pick up the game at the beginning of the mission again. Some of the missions can last for almost an hour, and when you die with the end in sight, it just isn't tempting to pick up the controller again. Maybe the inclusion of checkpoints will mean less frustration in future editions.

New in this game is the adrenaline mode. When you've managed to get enough kills and/or headshots you get the option to use adrenaline, giving you a few seconds to walk around like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his good years. Soldiers are shot down before your invincible might. Not a realistic addition, indeed, but for the sturdy type of gamer it's a welcome break from the stealth play.

Previous Medal of Honor games are famous for their music and videos. This game also has archive videos included; before some of missions you get to see how WWII really was. The orchestral music also helps you get in the right mood, jumping in at the right moments in the game, an experienced strengthened by surround sound, especially when the whiz of flying bullets come pumping out of your speakers. The presentation of this MOH gets a big thumb up. And, thankfully, loading times are acceptable.

Graphics are rather good. There are no new groundbreaking visuals here, but it does what it must do. Twenty or thirty soldiers can feature, with little breaks in the smoothness of the frame rate. The usual FPS faults aren't lacking, though; hands that go through walls, soldiers suddenly become invisible, walls flashings etc. Nothing serious to worry about, mind, but will these problems ever be fixed? It's an understatement when I say these kinds of faults don't add to a realistic experience.

The missions in MOH:EA are varied enough to keep you eager to know what comes next. Playing through the one-player mode takes around twelve hours. You get to fight in a couple of really different environments, like France and Russia, with the usual differences in style and objectives. The environments look large and wide open on first glance, but movement is really rather linear. Like previous games in the series, usually there is a main path with some sideways (for things like extra mission options). Still, desire for better medals is enough to have you trekking these paths over again. Enough to keep a high replay value.

Multiplayer is a whole different story. Thanks to 'no-line', we can only play MOH with four other combatants. This means you can get to fight out great big wars - with only four men. Sounds fun, eh? Indeed, it isn't. You need more players for this kind of play. Even the different battle modes can't prevent this. A co-op mode would help the multiplayer experience a lot, but EA decided not to include one. The final result is too average a multiplayer mode.

But, overall, Medal of Honor: European Assault is a great war game; great controls, great atmosphere. It continues the road walked with Frontline and tweaks some of the elements. However, the big picture is still the same. You follow a standard path while shooting the enemy. The AI of baddies hasn't improved. The game doesn't reinvent the war genre.

But - it's still very entertaining.

N-Europe Final Verdict

Absolutely a great atmospheric war game. Buy this game if you like playing soldier, soldier!

  • Gameplay4
  • Playability4
  • Visuals3
  • Audio5
  • Lifespan4
Final Score





Graphic bugs
Limited multiplayer
No checkpoints

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