Medal of Honor: Vanguard

If there’s one thing Medal of Honor: Vanguard is good for, it’s showing off how good the Wii remote and nunchuk are for FPS games. In every other area, such as inspiring levels, mind blowing visuals, or even a long play time, it falls flat. So let’s start with the positives.

Medal of Honor: Vanguard lands on Wii after Call of Duty 3, meaning almost every other FPS franchise has already been Wii’d on. Most of the preceding games tried to get a firm grip on the Wii remote, but their hand slipped off. Fortunately, Medal of Honor: Vanguard has managed to avoid this problem and, by making good use of the buttons and motion sensitivity, you can easily get a handle on the controls.

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It gives you a choice between motion control and button control for most aspects, and it’s best to use a mix of both. In some cases, such as reloading, which is done either by twisting the nunchuk to the side or pushing the 2 button, the motion control can make you do a 180-degree turn instead of reloading so the button control is a better choice. In other cases such as aiming, the motion control for aiming is almost as good as using a mouse on a PC.

Just like using the mouse in PC games, sensitivity adjustments can be made in the options menu. Both of these options can be turned off or on in the options menu, so you won’t find yourself doing 180-degree turns by mistake. However, it must be said that the way the game goes about some of the level aspects, such using the Wii remote to steer the parachute and aim your gun, is quite intuitive.

Once on the ground you’re faced with the usual crawling through war-torn towns, bunkers and fighting tons of Nazis. The levels are split into four campaigns and don’t take long to finish. If you are looking for a long war game, you aren’t going to find it here.

The control scheme is the high point of this game and it really goes downhill starting with the level design. There is nothing wrong with the levels per se; it’s fun to run around bunkers or street killing the enemies and blowing things up, and they force you to use every weapon at your disposal. The problem is that they are unoriginal and you’ve done it all before in other WW2 games.

Visually, it doesn’t show of the Wii’s potential at all. It’s riddled with glitches, and being a port of a PlayStation 2 game has its inherit problems such as dated graphics. Possibly the sloppiest glitch is the colourful mess that occasionally appears. The first time it’s notable is in the intro FMV and it shows up frequently throughout the game. The above problem is merely an annoyance, but it shouldn’t be there at all. Another one is the grass: it looks pixilated, as if they ripped the sprites from a PS1 game.

The squad’s commander shouting the next order once you’ve completed the current sub-objective pushes level progress forward. It helps guide you through the game. Of course, just as the rest of the game follows WW2 game cliché, there’s one mouthy soldier who just gets annoying after a while.

It’s far from perfect, but it gives us a glimpse of how well FPS games can control on Wii. Unfortunately, the negatives outweigh the positives with the short single player, uninspiring levels and graphics glitches.

"MoH lands on Wii with guns blazing."
- Medal of Honor: Vanguard
Follow Own it? Rating: M   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 30 Min


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