Medal of Honor: Vanguard Wii Review - 09/04/2007

The war machine rolls on with what must be Medal of Honor's millionth incarnation. What comes around goes around it seems...

The franchise has flagged of late and whisper it; Call of Duty hadn’t just overtaken the series but had redefined it into something much better. So EA have gone back to the drawing board by the looks of things, this game is far superior to the rather tricky launch title Call of Duty 3, which was one of the hardest games to get to grips with due to an awful control system. No such problems here, the controls are crisp and intuitive with motion controlled exclusively by the nunchuck with aiming put to the remote: it’s a system that works really well and the sensitivity is spot on, something that could not be said of COD.

Well I say the controls work well, I mean in the main. You see, EA have made some strange choices of where the jump and reload gestures are, putting them on a sensor based movement on the nunchuck wasn’t the best of ideas, especially when jump is also mapped to a button on the nunchuck. If there was an option to turn jumping off it would have been adequate as a button, as quite a few times I was shot down, trying in vain to work out what had happened as the camera had spiralled out of control as I tried to reload.

The graphics aren't great, but they do their job well

The graphics, although poor by today’s HD obsessed world are on par with the PS2 version of this game - textures are noticeably jagged and smooth, with buildings sometimes replicating Lego, it’s not the Wii’s fault, once developers get into the habit of not porting across systems the graphics should catch up, one good thing does come out of the poor graphics though; the frame rate seems a consistent 60fps! Sound is very atmospheric and brings the game to life with your squad shouting things to each other, explosions going off in the background and nice ‘meaty’ sounding rifle shots.

The missions are fairly generic and follow your path through the game in a non-invasive way. It’s that old videogame cliché of going from location A, blowing something up and then moving onto location B, but hey it’s worked for years so why change it? One cool new addition is the use of the controllers as parachute arms - at some points in the game you have to float down to the game area, and where you land might help you gain an advantage, it’s a really good bit of interaction, unfortunately the times you use it are few and far between.

Cross the bridge at your own risk - obviously

The game is split into missions which in the main will take a while to get through - not only that, but the difficulty levels really add longevity to the title as the harder settings really ramp up the enemy AI to a cunning degree of cunningness. EA have also added a tremendous multiplayer, with the maps, weapons and modes all great fun and with up to four players (although I would imagine the screen would be over clustered, but it worked extremely well with two) - the graphics also seemed to improve in split screen. It’s a shame the Wii hasn’t had the online side of things sorted out, as this title would work brilliantly across WiFi, indeed the Wii with it’s unique control scheme is the closest thing to a keyboard and mouse and therefore crying out for a fully online FPS title.

Although the levels all feel overly familiar, I think they are suitably different so as not to feel that sense of Déjà vu - war games have the problem that there are only so many war stories to replicate, perhaps a look back through the history books will be needed in the future, after all how many WW 2 games do we really need? But this is a great addition and one that I fully enjoyed from start to finish. Here’s hoping the next Medal of Honour game is fully developed with the Wii in mind, and the few minor niggles are ironed out.

- Emera1d



EA Los Angeles
Wii - PS2