Gaming Today Reviews Medal of Honor Heroes 2
The Wii seems like a potentially perfect platform for first-person shooters. Control your movement with the Nunchuk’s analog stick, aim with the Wiimote and fire with the trigger; simple enough. Developers have failed to really take advantage of the Wii’s motion controls with any FPS to date, but Medal of Honor Heroes 2 takes tremendous strides forward in establishing a solid control scheme for Wii FPSs.
Your impressions of Heroes itself will likely vary greatly depending on what you expect out of it. If you’re hoping it’s comparable to Call of Duty 4 or any of the other triple-A FPSs that have been released in recent months, you’re going to be very disappointed. But if you take Heroes for what it is – a fairly simple, straightforward WWII shooter built for the Wii and PSP, you’ll find it to be a surprisingly enjoyable experience.
The onus with Wii FPSs has been the lack of a solid control scheme. Heroes’ setup works very well, although it’ll take a few hours for you to really get the hang of everything. Given the lack of buttons on both the Nunchuk and Wiimote, there’s a lot of crossover with how things are handled from one weapon to the next. For instance, after firing the shotgun you need to pump it by moving the Nunchuk up and down. The rocket launcher, on the other hand, is best aimed by holding the Wiimote over your shoulder (pointing backwards) and then aiming with the Nunchuk’s analog stick.
You’ll get a lot more out of the controls if you opt to fully extend your arms and get into it rather than go the limp-wristed-Wiimote-gesture route, which unfortunately is a pretty tiring exercise. Nevertheless, pumping your shotgun and blasting Nazis never gets old, even if the aiming system for grenades is awful. The controls in Heroes are as good as you’ll find in a Wii FPS right now and do an excellent job of giving you a real sense of being in combat.
Heroes packs in a lot of content. The single player isn’t the longest ordeal, and will take you around 5-7 hours to complete. If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll lose interest four or five missions in, as the objectives are completely arbitrary and seemingly have nothing to do with one another. That wouldn’t be a major problem if the action was fun, but it’s a stretch to claim it is, given the downright boneheaded AI.
You’ll see enemies take cover behind boxes that are two feet tall, but they won’t crouch behind it. Instead, they treat it as if it were a wall completely protecting them, when in fact they’re completely vulnerable. Sometimes they’ll run away from grenades; other times they’ll outright ignore them even if they’re laying a few feet in front of them. Examples of intelligence are few and far between when it comes to enemy AI.
Monster closets are also a noticeable issue. Enemies will suddenly spring out of nowhere once you’ve hit a certain trigger, like fulfilling one of your objectives. While the AI issues aren’t quite bad enough to counteract the immersion factor from the controls, when you see enemies pop-up out of nowhere – and you will notice them, especially when repeating a single area – it just really drags you out of the experience.
Luckily, support for the Wii Zapper and a lightgun mode make the campaign’s problems much more tolerable. Suddenly the extremely linear level design makes sense, and any quirks with enemies are more difficult to notice.
Multiplayer is really where this game shines. Support for up to 32 players online is quite a feat on Wii. While the gametypes are fairly run-of-the-mill with deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the flag, the straightforward nature of the game becomes a non-issue thanks to the non-stop action and excellent motion controls.
Graphically, this isn’t the greatest looking Wii game, nor is it the worst. Competent seems like a fair way to describe them, although the level design gets fairly boring as you see the same set pieces – a lone barrel, two barrels, two barrels with one on its side, etc. – that all look the same within the confines of each level.
While the single-player and offline game as a whole packs a lot to it, multiplayer is really what makes Heroes worth checking out. When playing a full-on 32-player match online, there’s no sign of any of the problems that plague single-player. What you’re left with is a simplistic, fun first-person shooter that sits at the top of its class as far as titles on Wii go.
The game does a nice job of setting up each level during the single-player, but it’s just a shame that the actual missions don’t seem to correlate.
Nothing spectacular, and nothing terrible. It’s a typical WWII shooter graphic set, just without the fancy effects you’d see on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
The music is surprisingly good, and each of the weapons sounds fairly distinct. Voice acting during the pre-mission briefings is well done, too, but the repetitive in-game voices get on your nerves quickly. Stop telling me to take cover!
There’s a lot of meat to the single-player, and depending upon what other FPSs you’ve played, you may or may not find a lot to enjoy. Multiplayer, on the other hand, is a straightforward affair that’s mainly reliant upon pure action and the unique control scheme.
While Medal of Honor Heroes 2 isn’t a terrific FPS, it’s definitely entertaining and at the top of the class when it comes to the genre on Wii. The control scheme isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we’ve seen yet, and throw in a decent multiplayer, and you’ve got an FPS that’s worth checking out.