Joystiq hands-on: Medal of Honor Heroes 2


For impressions of the PSP version of the game, check out PSP Fanboy.

The Medal of Honor Heroes series is an intriguing one. Opting to avoid "next gen systems," the franchise has stuck to the decidedly non-HD pastures of Wii and PSP. Both platforms have struggled to find many great FPS games, due to the control challenges inherent to each system. However, Heroes 2 triumphs over these shortcomings by tailoring the experience to the unique control schemes of these systems.

One of the biggest problems with Wii FPS games was the size of the bounding box, which made it difficult to look freely in a FPS environment (example: Red Steel). However, Metroid Prime 3's "Advanced" control scheme gave players mouse-like precision by significantly reducing the size of the bounding box. Medal of Honor Heroes 2 expands even further upon this idea, by giving players the option of fully customizing the sensitivity of the game. This allows players to play with precision that matches Nintendo's best efforts.

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In addition, Heroes 2 supports the Zapper peripheral in both the campaign and a brand new Arcade mode. Although players are free to play with the Zapper in the campaign, it's clear that it's meant for this new game mode. Arcade is a translation, of sorts, of the campaign mode into a fully-fledged light gun shooter. What originally looked to be a tacked on addition at first revealed a surprising amount of depth. There's a good amount of variety in these segments, thanks to the varied controls. You can take cover, zoom in on enemies, and even use an assortment of weapons, each with a rather unique feel. The sniper rifle feels fantastic, and the rocket launcher is an obvious blast. Although each level does seem to go on for a bit too long, the branching paths and hidden secrets make it a fun and worthwhile addition to the game.

The single-player campaign doesn't stray far from previous Medal of Honor titles, offering the same arcade styled FPS gameplay the franchise is known for. The enemy AI isn't too advanced, and mission objectives are rather easy to find thanks to the linearity of the game. Clearly, the game's biggest strengths comes from its controls, as opposed to game design. All the functions of the Wii Remote feel solid, which says more than a lot of other FPS games for the system. For example, players must twist and tilt the Nunchuck to peek around corners. It feels natural, and gives the player a significant tactical advantage during battle. Also akin to Metroid Prime 3, players will encounter moments where they must move the controller towards the screen, pulling levers and switches through motion controls, rather than button presses.

Medal of Honor Heroes 2 for Wii hardly revolutionizes the genre. However, it does get FPS controls right. With 32-player multiplayer support (no Friend Codes needed), Heroes 2 is seemingly the best offering online shooting fans will have on Nintendo's platform.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.