Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Medal of Honor Beta for Xbox 360 is live!

Well folks, it looks like EA was finally able to get the Medal of Honor beta online for Xbox 360 users this past Friday. Gamers who had already pre-ordered the game through GameStop will have received a hard copy of the code upon checkout or through an email (for those who pre-ordered online).

When starting up the beta for the first time, you will notice two available game types, Team-Assault and Mission. The Team-Assault game mode is essentially a team death match with a few interesting differences. The winning team is decided by reaching an overall score total, which in this case is 1200 points. The scoring system gives a base of 10 points for each kill, plus an additional 5 for a head shot, melee, and or redemption or savior kill (of a teammate). These bonuses add up quickly, making it possible for a team to win the match while having less overall kills than their opponents. Many Battlefield Bad Company veterans will recognize the Mission game type as having great similarities to the Rush game mode on BFBC and BFBC2. Attackers try to destroy a certain objective in the map, if they are successful in doing so, a new objective will appear and players advance to a new point further along in the map. There are a total of five objectives to destroy in the Mission game type on the beta. Defenders must stop the attacking team from destroying the objective by withering away the opponents ticket count, which when reaches zero, equates to a victory.

The game play is essentially a hybrid between the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The game is produced by DICE and EA, using the frostbite engine, leaning closer to the Battlefield series in terms of game design and weapon feel, while maintaining a fast pace and rewarding "point streak" rewards give it a resemblance to Call of Duty. Bullet damage seems to resemble BFBC2 more closely than in the Call of Duty series. Head shots on the MOH are deadly, let me repeat that deadly, because chances are if you don't head shot the other player in a firefight, you will likely be seeing the respawn screen. Although the hit detection system is still a bit flawed, and it is frustrating to deal with the 'delayed deaths', the beta still does a good job of finding a niche in the balance between the two FPS games. The frostbite engine combined with DICE's game developers have led to the creation of 'Call of Duty sized maps" with BFBC2 style texture and environment design. The beta maps are relatively well designed, providing a good balance for both teams.

Users can choose between three pre-determined soldier classes, Rifleman, Special Ops, and Recon. Players start out with a limited ability to customize their equipment, but as they progress by earning points with the respective class, unlocks such as combat scopes, silencers, muzzle brakes, extended magazines, and open-tip ammunition become available. Players rank up their own skill level separately from kit classes. The player ranking system is based on a 'skill level' which changes depending on the dynamic performance of the player in ranked games. Posting a 40-5 kill death ratio in a lobby filled with lower leveled opponents (in comparison to your own) will only net you a 10 point bonus on your overall skill level. Yet placing mid table in a lobby filled with players way above you in terms of skill level can net you a large bonus.

For anyone who has yet to try out the beta, I highly recommend giving it a shot. It may not be the most ground-breaking FPS to hit the 360 scene, but it sure is a nice change of pace from the usual MW2 or Bad Company. For those who would like to catch a game with me before the beta runs it's course, my gamertag is listed in the right hand column of the page.

Until next time,
- BakEd

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