Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

This game was my introduction to online multiplayer First Person Shooters, released in 2002 by EA Games and developed by 2015, Inc. The third game in the Medal of Honor series set in World War II from the point of view from the Allies. A colleague of my father introduced him to it and invited him to eventually join a clan and once I honed my skills I also joined. The world of online multiplayer was a scary one, my only experience of multiplayer was split-screen on consoles with friends around my house or theirs. This was huge, I could play with anyone from around the world and with third party party software I could also talk to them, it expanded my world of gaming for the better. The single player campaign was what you would expect from World War II FPS and I will talk about it, however, focusing more on the multiplayer aspect as it was a defining aspect which transformed my gaming experience.

The single player campaign was an interesting one, especially for history buffs, you get to relive the Second World War from the eyes of U.S Army Ranger Lt. Mike Powell. All key battles such as Omaha Beach and the Invasion of Africa, you do get a relative understanding of the battles, not to the same extent of actually being there, but you get an idea of what happened. The way the campaign worked was that you are given a series of objectives on every mission, normally to secure a location, destroy enemy equipment or escort armor. You get to use the weapons of the war including their limitations, weapons such as the Enfield, Thompson and Springfield Sniper rifle. Overall a very enjoyable experience and is only made better by its following expansion packs Spearhead and Breakthrough adding missions and extra content for multiplayer.

Multiplayer is what you would expect from any FPS, you choose from either the Allies or the Axis and allowed to pick from their specific weapons such as MP.40 and the BAR including many others. You can pick from numerous different modes such as Deathmatch, Objective and Round Based, these were eventually supplemented by fans and “modders” with new maps and modes. I spent countless hours trying to hone my multiplayer skills to prove my worth to the clan and eventually took part in tournaments with my [BW-UK] clan tags.

Day of the Tiger Mission

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Most of the missions you do in the single player campaign are recreated as multiplayer maps and you can compete among your friends to see who the better player is. Above is an example of a map which was recreated as the multiplayer map “The Bridge” one of my favorite maps with the objective to blow the bridge up or protect it, numerous sniper nests made this map very tactical and on occasion a nightmare if you were having a bad game.

The graphics are impressive for the year the game was release, I remember thinking this was so life like and as most PC games you could “amp” up the graphics depending on how powerful your machine was making the game even more lifelike. You could pretty much modify it to look however gruesome or unrealistic you wanted. I remember my clan had a server and they added a blood mod and balanced weapon damage to reflect how it would be like to actually be shot by a weapon from World War II. They called it the realism mod, this transition was rather terrifying, you went from having to empty a whole clip into an enemy to one hit kills your tactics really had to change. That was the beauty of online multiplayer you could continuously modify anything and you would get a different experience from all kinds of servers.

In conclusion, this game really defined my whole gaming experience and opened a whole different world of gaming to me so I must put this in one of my top 10 games of all time. The years spent playing this game trying to become one of the best players of Medal of Honor Allied Assault really signifies how defining this game was for Online FPS considering Counter-Strike was leading the way in competitive first person shooters. I will give this game a solid 8/10 for the gripping yet somewhat historically accurate single player campaign and the ever evolving online multiplayer. Lasting to 2014 when GameSpy announced the shutdown of their master servers. Impressive.

Hope you guys enjoyed the read!

Dec

Football Manager 2012

It was one of the most highly anticipated games by sports fans
around the world, apart from the obvious battle between PES 2012’s Konami and
FIFA 12’s EA Sports. A non conventional game that has you within a database with
your favourite teams, leagues and players; pushing you to buy players, support
your team and fight tooth and nail for your job and in most cases as losses
anger the board of directors, the media decide to black list your name and
computer generated fans judge your managing skills. Do not be fooled by the set
up of this game, from the outside the game seems unappealing and needlessly
complex, but once you take up the reigns of your football team, you feel the
power to bring back trophies, and the addiction starts.

One of the most time consuming games of the century, due to the size of the game, it can go on endlessly, generating more and more youngsters with capabilities to put our
famous football stars to shame. However, this is where the game loses its replay
value as you watch people such as Christiano Ronaldo and Messi become coaches or
even managers you consciously decide that it is time to retire from the game.

Eventually, the gamer becomes furious over stupid results as
the games mechanics randomly select an outcome that ruins that gamers day. For
example say Inter Milan lose to Torino in a cup final, because the game has
created a dark horse and becomes childish and stops a world class team from
beating a second rate one, that gamers day is ruined till another match ends in
the gamers favour and again restores the gamer and game relationship once
more.

However, the game is always replayed, creating new seasons with
other teams to replicate the challenge of achieving top flight football. My mate even created a server in which we could all play
simultaneously in the same league. It was much more time consuming, and when
playing against a person with triple the amount of football knowledge as
yourself, your chances of securing an actual victory is nil. However still
fun as you could interact with the media and insult your fellow Managers as
their careers spiral down the pan.

In conclusion, the game itself is good but giving oneself a job as a
game, where the main aim to keep your job whilst achieving an ulcer in process I
give the game 6/10, and the only reason I rate it at that and not lower is its
replay value, you can continuously do different seasons with different teams
and if it goes wrong, you have a trusty ‘Load last save’ option that always
helps with reducing a gamers blood pressure.

Thanks for reading!

Dec

Heart of Darkness (1998)

A game created by Amazing Studios, and published by Interplay,
onto both the Playstation 1 and PC. Retro, I know. However, it was one of the
most difficult games to complete by any child; one of the games I remember from
my childhood was one of the few I couldn’t complete till I relived it 14 years
on. The game starts in a classroom with a boy named Andy asleep in class, who is
awakened by his teacher, who reprimands him and decidedly throws him in a
closet… (That would be illegal nowadays, that teacher would be sacked ha-ha
^.^) Andy then escapes and meets his dog called ‘Whiskey’(You can’t help but
think he will grow up to be an alcoholic) who then run to a park and eat a picnic.
Everything turns bad as a Lunar eclipse occurs randomly and Andy’s dog is
kidnapped by unknown beings. Andy overreacts and runs home, ignores his mothers
shout for his dinner and goes to some Tree house/Laboratory, gets in his flying
car (its 1998… :/), picks up a weapon and helmet and flies to what looks like the
Grand Canyon or Death Valley, crashes and then the game starts.

The graphics are in the context of its era, large sprites with
CGI pre-rendered cinematic during cut sequences of the game, mimicing the emulators
of today. However, it stood above the rest in my eyes in its difficulty, from
the very beginning the computer decides to throw everything it has at you,
without explaining what is dangerous and what is friendly. Well from the first
couple of scenes you realise everything wants to kill you, and it can in ways
that will irritate to the brink of insanity.

As a side scrolling game is has its trademark, enemies
can attack you from their screen but you can’t attack  them,
which comes at a delight when your hit from a firebolt from an enemy three
screens ago. However, the puzzles are semi-intellectual for a child’s game, not
giving you any hints until you’ve died 102,344 times, not on par with Portal
mind you, but difficult and bizarre, puzzles that relate to the storyline do
baffle but once you solve one, you will know for the next puzzles.

Well I recently decided to take this up a day ago, after taking a
lifetime to install it, choose the right compatibility settings so that it would
play on my PC and not warp on me. Took me and my housemates 6 hours to complete,
which in great scheme of gaming, is nothing, BUT, back in the day to the
untrained eye and to these modern puzzle games, this took weeks of dying,
retrying, restarting and controller throwing to complete. However, one term you
will say over and over again is ‘FOR F**K SAKE, I PRESSED DOUBLE JUMP!’, which
you will find delightful.

The difficulty does increase tenfold after the first area as your
best weapon is eaten by some massive lizard creature and the game becomes a race
against time to not get eaten by anything that has a shadow, whilst avoiding that
shadow because it also wants to eat you. You do eventually stumble across
another power/weapon in the game which helps in solving puzzles and removing
obstacles, which is helpful, and towards the end it gives you back your old weapon.
In addition, you gain a race of allies, whom look similar to flying
goblins, who smoke pot and have pictures of naked ladies (:S This game just
jumped up a couple of PEGI ratings.), you then team up against the big scary
‘Sauron’ looking character and to save your dog. Oh and enjoy the ending, not
saying anything…

To conclude this review I will give this game a 5/10, mainly
because of the difficulty and because of the genre of games it has joined. It’s
a game that deserves to be relived, it’s not like the new puzzle games that
take two attempts and the computer does it for you, you actually have to think.
The storyline lets it down; the main linear one is a standard hero versus army
led by an ultimate being that by chance has chosen to kill you (I never
understood why?), the storyline fillers are ridiculous but does add a small
hilarity factor. It does lose rating due to the lack of replay value, once
completed you will feel satisfied for another decade until you feel the need to
spring clean and stumble across it and decide the time is right to complete it
once again. However, it does have a difficulty changer, which I have not attempted to change yet worried about the consquences. Overall a ‘deffo’ for the retro gamer, for those who don’t like to delve into the past, it wont be your cup of tea.

Thanks for reading!

Dec