Medal of Honor: Allied Assault is a first person shooter game made by Electronic Arts that currently retails for $49.99. You are Lt. Mike Powell, the silent protagonist, and you have been handed the mission of doing whatever your offscreen colonel tells you to do, be it chewing up Stuka bombers with your machine gun, going undercover in a Nazi base, or participating in the D-Day invasion.

The graphics are simply stunning. Based off the Quake 3 Arena engine, Electronic Arts have taken this engine and driven it to new heights. Very fine attention has been paid to detail; every weapon is an actual replication of its real life weapon. Tree trunk textures vary from one tree to the next; leaves sway gently in the wind when you stand still. Character models look extremely realistic - 'blinking' is done by the actual model itself instead of an animated texture. Since it is based off of the Quake 3 Arena engine, the minimum system specs are not very demanding.

A noticable flaw is the lack of any blood whatsoever. Electronic Arts apparently feels that gamers are not mature enough to handle the fact that humans bleed when shot. Clearly, EA is trying to appeal to a wider market segment as it has been bestowed the rating of "T" by the equally evil ESRB. Because of this, it becomes extremely difficult to tell when you have hit a person. An unofficial patch is out to remedy this.

Multiplayer has been wildly successful; at the time of this writing there are some 7000 players on at any given time. The lack of any real CD key checking has helped ensure this game's widespread popularity; it is often a staple at LAN parties along with classics like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Starcraft, and Quake 3 Arena. A few balance issues still plague the game:

  • History has been rewritten with the Omaha Beach multiplayer map. Instead of rushing up the beach to get mowed down, the Allies simply camped at the boat and sniped those Germans foolish enough to man the MG42 bunker guns
  • Rocket whores prevail in this game. The rocket launcher may as well have gone unchanged from Quake 3 Arena, since reloading a rocket is absurdely short, and the damage is roughly the equivalent of launching a thermonuclear warhead
  • The Allies may as well have been equipped with BB pistols - the Thompson, and the bazooka are the only worthy weapons that the Allies have. The MGS has a pathetic 20 rounds compared to the German machine gun's 30 rounds, with a slower rate of fire to boot too.

Despite all this, the gameplay is truly astonishing; the Omaha Beach mission is brilliantly planned and mapped. It's not entirely realistic, but Lt. Powell had to be superhuman or else he'd be perforated the moment he stepped off of the boat

All in all, an excellent game, and one quite worthy of your $50