Medal of Honor Heroes 2 PSP
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now
You wouldn't normally associate the PSP with being a system that's capable of providing an enjoyable FPS experience. Medal of Honor Heroes 2 is both enjoyable and surprising in that it provides not only an enjoyable single-player experience but is also enjoyable to play online. The game is in many ways a clichéd Medal of Honor experience and the length is also rather short but from start to finish, it's all enjoyable stuff.
Playing as an OSS operative you must infiltrate Normandy and attempt to undermine the Nazi regime. The single-player campaign plays out over seven missions and for anyone who has played previous Medal of Honor games, it will all be familiar. You'll begin with the Normandy beach landing (on a far smaller scale here than in previous games however) and you'll also fight in a port, village and monastery etc. It's all familiar stuff but it's all enjoyable too. In defence of the game's brevity, there's nothing here that simply bogs the pace of the game down for the sake of it. The action is free-flowing and it hardly ever seems like you're playing missions that are simply filler and not taking the campaign further.
When you're done with the five to six hour single-player game you're probably going to want to give the multiplayer game a go. The game supports up to eight players for ad-hoc play and up to an impressive thirty-two players in infrastructure mode. The game types on offer include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Infiltration, which is essentially a Capture the Flag game. The multiplayer modes are actually quite enjoyable and add a fair amount of replay value to the game.
The game's controls might take some getting used to unless you have played the original Medal of Honor Heroes. You'll move with the analogue stick (pushing the analogue stick to the left and right will enable you to strafe) but you'll have to press the square and circle button to turn left and right. The X and the triangle button lower and raise your view. The R button is used to fire your weapons (and throw grenades) whilst the L button is used to aim down the barrel of your weapon. The down directional button is used to change your stance, the left for reloading, the right for cycling through your weapons and the up directional button for using items. The control scheme does initially feel a little odd but it soon feels quite comfortable and compensates for the lack of a second analogue stick quite nicely.
There are some aspects of the game that are a little disappointing. The AI isn't as challenging as it might be. You'll often see AI soldiers simply enter the line of fire and generally make ineffective use of cover. The AI soldiers appear to respawn ad nauseam until you complete your objectives or reach a checkpoint which feels a little unfair. The AI of your companions also appears to be rather poor and they also don't seem to mind throwing themselves into hazardous situations without any thought for their safety. It would have also been good to have had the ability to save during a mission but given how short the single-player campaign is, it's probably not surprising that you can't save your progress mid-mission.
Heroes 2 could have been better in terms of its presentation. From a graphical standpoint however, the game is quite good. The textures are a little bland but on the whole the graphical quality is pretty much what you would expect from a PSP title. The load times aren't too bad and the frame rate holds up quite well. Unfortunately the game isn't subtitled. This means you'll be oblivious to the dialogue in the game's cutscenes as well as the comments made by your AI comrades during the course of the missions. You are given text briefings before a mission starts. Any objectives you are given appear on the screen in text and you can recall these at any time by pressing the Start button. You are also notified in text when a checkpoint has been reached and when an objective has been completed. By default there are markers that appear over the heads of your enemies so even though you're playing the game on a small screen, it's always clear who your enemies are. The game has a tips section (that can be accessed from the main menu) and all of these tips are in text.
Medal of Honor Heroes 2 is a pretty satisfying PSP FPS experience that should manage to please those who are looking for both an enjoyable single-player and multiplayer experience. The single-player campaign is rather short but as we said earlier, the game doesn't really contain any missions that are simply there to bulk out the experience and the action moves along at a good pace throughout. The multiplayer options are also pleasing and it's impressive to see a PSP FPS allowing up to thirty-two players to play together. It is a shame that the game isn't subtitled however.