Medal of Honor: Airborneby Jake Reardon
Last month EA invited Xbox Addict along with a bunch of other journalists, podcasters, and community members to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to take a look at their upcoming 360 WW2 shooter, Medal of Honor : Airborne. While they could have taken the easy road and hosted the event at a posh air conditioned hotel, EA decided to go the extra mile and immerse us fully in the culture of the 82nd Airborne division. With temperatures soaring well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, this was a community day like no other. Even while journeying to the base from my home in the great white north, there was a sense this would be an experience not soon forgotten. Not only did we get hands on time with the multiplayer, but there was also some time for some sessions with the excellent single player.
Medal of Honor Airborne is really taking a risk releasing a World War 2 shooter in what has of late become a stagnant genre. A lot of gamers are craving a new war to fight. Fortunately, MOHA has taken this fact to heart, and the passion and innovation put into Airborne should help elevate it above the WW2 stigma. So what makes the game unique? Enter the Airborne, and the ability to drop into the battlefield rather than spawn at preset locations. The multiplayer is 12 players 6 vs. 6 Axis vs. Allied fare, only the Allied have the ability to drop out of the sky, where as the Axis have the ability to shoot their opponents as they drop onto the battlefield. You would think this would give the Allies a distinct advantage, but there is actually a nice balance between the two sides. Dropping into the battlefield as Allies, you are able to choose a strategic location (say perhaps a contested flag), and really dictate how the battle unfolds. However, as the Axis, you are able to shoot your opponent out of the sky as they drop in and often times you can get a jump on a paratrooper who botches a landing (it takes them a few seconds to recover) by looking for the freshly falling chute. It really does feel balanced overall, and you should be able to enjoy playing as both sides. At first airdrops seem like more fun, but once you snipe a few allies out of the sky you should change your tune.