Medal of Honor beta: first impressions, part one

Photo courtesy of the Medal of Honor website.

The Medal of Honor open beta kicked off on Monday, June 21, for the Playstation 3 and PC.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 owners got their hands on the beta a few days early on June 17, while the Xbox 360 version was delayed and will hopefully be released soon. It has also been confirmed on the Medal of Honor website that the beta will be extended for the Xbox 360 to make up for lost time.

Although details and trailers about the game have been floating around cyberspace before and after E3, not much was previously revealed about Medal of Honor’s hands-on multiplayer until now.

Medal of Honor’s online component is being handled by DICE, otherwise known for the Battlefield series, and most recently for the successful shooter that is Battlefield: Bad Company 2. While Medal of Honor takes the feel and sound from the Battlefield games, the overall gameplay feels faster and more intense.

After booting up the beta, players can jump right into a game or choose to see what unlockables are in store for them as they progress through the multiplayer.

Before deploying for battle

Players can navigate to the career section to check out some of the offerings of Medal of Honor. Career is similar to a soldier’s barracks, allowing players to see their stats, where those hard-earned experience points will take them and what gear they’ll take out into the battlefield.

The Medal of Honor beta features three classes for the player to choose from: rifleman, special ops and sniper. Starting with an extra ammo pack to eventually scoring suppressors, scopes and even brand new weapons, each class has their own unique unlock tree with 14 levels.

While each unlock tree is specific to a particular class, the sniper class is by far the most unique, while the rifleman and special ops trees are severely similar. Once a player receives enough XP from battle by scoring kills or completing mission objectives, the next item in the unlock tree will be able for use automatically.

The default class loadouts look like this:


  • Main: Weapon and two (2) frag grenades
  • Secondary:  Remote charges

Special Ops

  • Main: Weapon and one (1) frag grenade
  • Secondary:  RPG


  • Main: Weapon and one (1) smoke grenade
  • Secondary:  Grenade launcher attached to weapon
Photo by Zak Bratton

The beta features two of the four game types that will be available in Medal of Honor: mission or team assault. Mission is an objective-style, attack and defend game type.

Mission will take place on the Helmand Valley map, a rocky desert environment with plenty of spots for flanking as well as cover. Both sides will need to use teamwork if they hope to be successful in capturing or protecting the five objectives needed to win the match.

Team assault is the standard team death match variant, pitting Taliban forces against the U.S. Rangers in an all-out frag fest. The 12-on-12 battle takes places in the city ruins of Kabul, a vertical map with a lot of buildings, walkways and hiding places.

Although the unlockables are the same for everyone, loadouts during gameplay will be dependent on which side a player is on.

For instance, by default the rifleman on the U.S. Rangers side starts with an M16, while the opposing Taliban force rifleman begins with an AK-47.  The same can be said for the special ops and sniper classes, as well as the various weapon unlocks within each class.

Even though this provides a bit of depth and takes away from seeing the same weapons all the time, the M16 variant seems to be substantially stronger than its counterpart. The classes themselves also face a bit of a slant with the sniper rifle taking the same or sometimes more bullets to take down an enemy than the other two classes.

As players begin racking up kills, their scorechain will increase, eventually allowing them to use Tactical Support Actions. Those that are familiar with Modern Warfare 2 know them better as “killstreaks” but Medal of Honor brings an offensive vs. defensive approach to the table this time around.

Players can choose to support their team with a UAV or try to further increase their killing spree by using a mortar strike. Whether or not the player decides to back his team or go lone wolf, the defensive actions usually seems to be the better option in most cases.

For more information about the beta and details about hands-on gameplay, check back on the CSU-Pueblo TODAY website for part two of the Medal of Honor beta: first impressions article.

Zak Bratton is assisting editor of CSU-Pueblo TODAY online. He can be contacted at zc.bratton@colostate-pueblo.edu.

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