Medal of Honor: Vanguard

A series best left behind with last-gen?

Wii, PS2

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By Ian Dransfield

The Medal of Hono(u)r series hasn't been a good one for a long time - not on consoles, at least. Rising Sun was half-finished tripe. European Assault was more than forgettable. Frontline aged very badly. But it's back in Medal of Honor: Vanguard, and this time EA wants you to feel like you did when you first played the PS1 versions of the game: impressed, happy and like it was actually worthwhile.

"Neither version of MoH: Vanguard is worth any time."

With the PS2 release they're trying to give the ageing console something else to be remembered for, and with the Wii they're trying to innovate the genre as much as the console has innovated gaming itself. And they've failed so utterly spectacularly that I feel quite sad.

Neither version of MoH: Vanguard is worth any time at all, and neither version adds anything to the fray that hasn't been seen before, bar the ubiquitous shoehorned in control schemes for the Wii. I'd be sad, but Rising Sun was the death knell for a series that is long overdue a burial.

It's standard Medal of Honor fare from the outset, and in fact the intro feels like it borrows very heavily from a certain (good) WWII-based shooter in Brothers in Arms, along with another (good) series in Call of Duty. MoH started the trend for Second World War shooters, but now the series feels the need to borrow wholesale elements from its competition. Ah, innovation.

The 'epic' battles are dull as the proverbial, the game feels sluggish and old on PS2 - in desperate need of a radical rethink and the cinematic aspect of things is so horribly saturated in this genre that it garners absolutely no attention from you as a player.

It's been done a hundred thousand times before and it's been done just as well, better, worse and every other way it could have been done. It's irrelevant, pointless and insulting that the game still holds these same pointless ideals - even going so far as to still suggest that this game teaches people something about the horrors of war and that this message needs to be put across. It's a little sickening really.

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