“Fireteams!” This is the one element that EA is hoping to identify the latest Medal of Honor from the modern war competition. Though MoH shares several key mechanics with its close cousin, Battlefield, the small teams nature pushes the the franchise further away from its powerful relative.
Fireteams, a major component to the multiplayer component of MOH, are pairs of special forces soldiers that are constantly connected via spawning, communication, and sight. You and your Fireteam partner are encouraged to share information, work closely together, and protect each other from harm. Aside from the constant contact, players can spawn on top of their partner, so long as they can find cover long enough for the spawn timer to tick down.
This pairing makes another key component to multiplayer, classes, especially important, as players should choose classes that work well together when paired. I was partnered up with a Brazillian pad player, and we made a genuine attempt to compliment each other’s abilities. When he chose assault, I chose the heavy gunner, helping lay down supporting fire while he captured key objectives.
There were six classes in all, each of which held a special, powerful ability that could be called upon in battle. My gunner’s support abilities were a deployable UAV, which marked enemies as though they were sighted, and an attack chopper, which could be used as a spawn point and a stationary turret via the side chain-gun.
Other special abilities included napalm strikes, remote controlled missiles, and strafing runs. I know what you’re thinking- this all sounds oddly familiar. Well, it should, because these serve a similar purpose as Call of Duty’s killstreak rewards, the difference here being that a player cannot simply snowball through better and better attacks.
Otherwise, the game was the standard territory capture mode from other shooters. The press in the private booth battled the development team’s QA department in a bombed out desert city. The map was roughly the size of a standard Call of Duty map, yet I found navigating the terrain somewhat difficult. I lost my bearings repeatedly, but this could also be a symptom of physical fatigue after days of playing vidya.
The QA guys took advantage of this and showed no mercy, toying with me and my partner as we bumbled from flag to flag, trying to capture points. Though we tried our hardest to work as a team, eventually everything devolved into chaos, as we spawned straight into firefights and crowded around flags and cover.
Did I have fun? Yes, and I love the fireteam idea. Forcing people to work together seems like a great concept, and this mechanic rewards solid teamwork. I look forward to hearing more about the title and its additional multiplayer modes, as well as hopping online with a friend for some tag-team fire fights.