PC/Mac/Linux
enfrdeitptrues

 

System Requirements OS: Windows XP/ME/2000/98/95 CPU: 733MHz RAM: 128MB Video: 16MB DirectX 8.0

Breakthrough is the 2nd expansion for the WWII hit Medal of Honor. Like its predecessors, the game is an action-packed WWII fighter. This time around, you are in Northern Africa, Sicily and Italy trying to stop the Germans from expanding their territory. There are several new locations, new weapons, and somewhat new gameplay. I guess the big question is, \'Do any of these changes make Breakthrough anything unique/different or is it just the same old thing over again?\'

Gameplay

With this new expansion, the developers have taken a slightly different approach to the gameplay. This time around, you will have an extremely tough time finding ammo and health packs. This makes the already tough missions, even tougher and forces you to think strategically. This strategy adds a new gameplay element; you can no longer waste your machine gun ammo knowing there will be more to pick up. Every bullet is now important and you want to use the right weapon for the right situation. There are times you may even run out of bullets (happened to me twice) and I ended up having to whack the enemy with the end of my gun. Like I said, these missions are tougher than before. In some cases, the enemy spawns behind you from a previously cleared area. This higher difficulty results in several reload/save sequences which detract from the game. \'Breakthrough\' felt less immersive than the previous games. Instead of really feeling there, I felt more as a bystander watching the game. One of the strong points of \'Medal of Honor\' has been the co-operative missions with the friendly AI. They really helped to bring you into the game and feel like you are there. This time around, the friendly AI seems to distance themselves from you and really play minor roles in helping you against the enemy. Often times, they walk with you for a little bit and that\'s it. They stop at certain points. I tried getting them to continue following me, but nothing seemed to work. If my ally isn\'t going to walk any further, at least have him say something like \'I\'ll stay here and keep watch.\' This made the game very inconsistent from the previous ones. With the numerous weapons from the previous games, you\'d think something new would just be the same as what you\'ve used before. That\'s not the case here. Although each weapon continues to feel unique, nothing really stood out except for the new Italian Carano rifle. It seems to have slightly more powerful damage than any previous rifle. If used properly, you can usually down the enemy with one shot. \'Breakthrough\', like its predecessors, is highly scripted in its sequences and events. Unlike the previous games, this actually became problematic for me in \'Breakthrough\'. I had difficulty triggering some of the events at times, which left me standing there not sure of what to do. Sometimes I would complete an objective, but the actual completion is only triggered after walking to a certain spot. In one case, I had to retrace my steps backwards and walk through a specific door for the \'objective complete\' to show up. Overall, the gameplay this time is inconsistent, and spiced with some frustration. Except for the opening scene in the sandstorm, nothing else really stood out as in previous MoH titles. While previously, a tough part would have me cheering, \'Woohoo!!!! I made it.\' \'Breakthrough\' had me stating an exhausted, \'Finally.\' Multi-player adds several new maps and a new map type, but is not really any different from the previous games. The strong point of Medal of Honor has been, and remains, the single-player experience.

Sound

The sound is, once again, fantastic. With new weapons come new weapon sounds. Also, there is new music as well. This music is just as cinematic and emotional as the original. Full of the same snare drum, powerful brass, and strong strings. For some reason, a few of the tracks are noticeably distorted. There continues to be the nice set of ambient sounds as well. My favorite is the rain. There is quite a bit of rain in this game and the rain sounds are rather convincing. The voices on the friendly AI are quite good, but it would be nice to hear some new phrases from the Germans.

Graphics

I don\'t know what it is, but the grahpics just don\'t match up to the other titles. I\'m still amazed (even today) at both \'Allied Assault\' and \'Spearhead\', but \'Breakthrough\' had very few of those moments where I just wanted to stop, breathe, and take in the beauty. Perhaps there is less attention to detail, but I\'m not sure. Where the game wins graphic marks is in the smoke and haze effects. The opening scene of the game is very well done. You are fighting your way through a dust storm in Africa. It is extremely difficult to see in front of you. I must say, it was quite impressive.

Appropriateness

Once again, you are armed with a variety of weapons (pistols, rifles, grenades, machine guns, bazooka, etc). The intent is, of course, to kill the enemy. There is still no blood in the game. Language-wise, they seemed to increase the amount of profanity in the game. I was quite impressed with Allied Assault\'s extremely minimal use of bad language. \'Breakthrough\' stays with \'D\' and \'H\', but you will hear them used more often throughout the game. Although the missions themselves are fake, they are based on true battles and scenarios. You have another opportunity to learn about WWII and some of the battles in North Africa and Italy. There are short synopses of these battles in the manual.

Stability

For the most part, the game ran quite stable. There seems to be problems on exit, though. It always took quite awhile for the game to shutdown. One time I got a crash on exit. When I restarted the game, it asked if I want to run the game in a special \'safe mode\' because it had not properly shutdown the previous time. A friend gets this problem every time he exits.

Conclusion

This being the 2nd expansion, you are probably wondering, is it really worth it? If you are expecting it to be the same as the others, it is definitely different. The gameplay, new locations, and new weapons, made the game feel different from the previous games, but this difference did not enhance the game too much. Instead, the game seemed to lack some of what I really enjoyed about \'Allied Assault\' and \'Spearhead\', and replaced it with a bit of frustration. The game starts out great, but with some flaws. In the beginning, you can forgive these flaws because, well, it\'s Medal of Honor. But when these flaws continue through the rest of the game, you begin to realize, these weren\'t simple mistakes, but general gameplay mechanics.

Final Ratings

Gameplay C+ Graphics B- Sound A Stability A- Appropriateness B+

Overall B- 80%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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