Medal of Honour: Rising Sun
World War II. The one, according to the movies anyway, Britain had very little to do with. And it seems like the videogame fraternity has forgotten us too as yet another doubleyah doubleyah aye aye game has appeared and focuses on the Americans' entry into the war. Starting with the attack on Pearl Harbour, MoH: RS sees you take a tour of duty as a Marine in the Pacific islands. There are certainly worse places to be stuck with a backpack full of ammo, a fistful of grenades and a penchant for shooting anything that moves.
Fans of the series will be expecting various things from this new instalment and I can assure them that these features are all present and correct. Huge set pieces? Check! The opening level in Pearl Harbour is pretty intense. The atmosphere is spot on with the sky filled with thousands upon thousands of Japanese planes. The feeling of being against insurmountable odds is great. Giant warships are being sunk left right and centre and you are right in the middle of it all. It's not only a very nice and exciting start to the game, but good fun even if it is only an "on-rails" section. From there things venture back into more familiar first-person territory with a mission based in the Philippines. And it's here where things start to go a little askew. After such a great opening, things really calm down and never really get going again despite the field Commander's insistence that it's all or nothing. Perhaps it's WWII fatigue, or perhaps the franchise has indeed become stale since the majority of the team left to do their own game, but the certain something that made past instalments so great is definitely missing.
Fear ye not fans of the Honourable Medal! This time there is a superb new co-op mode to brighten even the dullest mission in enemy territory. Utilising the science of split screen gaming you and a friend may venture deep into Japanese controlled areas and shoot them in beautiful unison. While the missions remain pretty much unchanged the addition of having a buddy there with you makes the game a lot more fun. Also included are many online modes for use with the Playstation 2 Broadband Adapter. Unfortunately at the time of writing this I do not possess such marvels of modern technology, but if the co-op and split screen modes are anything to go by, the online stuff should be lots of fun too.
So overall it is not a great game unless you are a huge fan of the series or crave some co-operative or competitive play based in the era that was World War II, though you could certainly do a lot worse. While it lacks the punch of its previous incarnations it is still a solid and reasonably fun game. But you have to ask yourself, how many WWII games can you stomach before you get fed up with them? For me this was one medal too many.
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