Remembering Medal Of Honor: The Forgotten Master Of WW2 Games

The story behind how a titan that created a new genre succumbed to time and poor decisions.

Story Highlights

  • The Medal of Honor franchise was once the world’s most popular FPS war game.
  • It brought new tides to its genre with great settings, simplicity, and cinematics.
  • The title was dealt with some poor decisions by EA and lost itself to time.

Medal of Honor was once the Crown Jewel of EA games in the early 2000s. This franchise took over the world with its fresh take on the genre of WW2 war games with a legendary campaign over all its titles, great maps, and one of the most fun early LAN-based multiplayer features in titles like Allied Assault.

Fast forward to today, almost no one is aware of this title anymore, and its veterans haven’t even thought about it for some time. Contrary to other classic titles from that age of gaming, like the Delta Force Series or even IGI, this title could not ingrain itself as a classic in all, except for some die-hard fans of EA.

What Were The Medal Of Honor Games?

The Medal Of Honor Games were a series of War Shooter games based on the events of WW2. Not to be confused with the title “Medal Of Honor,” published in 2010, which is a remaster, the original Medal Of Honor was released in 1999 by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation.

I am one of the few souls who played this title religiously around 2010 and loved the original titles like Medal of Honor Allied Assault, Vanguard, and Airborne. These games had a spectacular campaign for that time and an outstanding multiplayer feature, which was thoroughly enjoyed at LAN parties. Spielberg’s direction was evident in these titles and gave the players a taste of what the War FPS genre could be.

The Reddit user u/Shableep summed up what most veteran fans of the title felt or still feel about the franchise to this day.

Medal Of Honor Lan Party
The beauty of MOHAA and Lan Parties | Source: Reddit

How Medal Of Honor Shaped The Modern FPS Genre

Medal Of Honor wasn’t necessarily the first war-based shooting game ever made. However, it was the first of its kind. MoH brought simplicity to the table in a genre saturated with mutants, mechanical robot soldiers, super soldiers, and sometimes demons.

Medal of Honor was set in the time and events of WW2, so naturally, the enemies were spartan german nazi soldiers. The mechanics were simple: find weapons, ammo, and sometimes documents to blend in and take down the Axis forces from the inside.

MOHAA Enemy Characters
Slightly Upscaled Nazi Soldiers From Allied Assault | Source: Moddb.com

Additionally, the direction of the game was revolutionary for its time. From the eerie aura of Normandy to destructive battlefields like Omaha Beach, it was set in reality. Spielberg set these games beautifully, showing the soul and life of every allied soldier during the war through these games.

This new cinematic shooting format created a massive demand for games in this genre, which would soon be filled with FPS titles like Counter-Strike, War-titles like Call of Duty, and even action shooting games set in a cinematic manner like the Halo franchise.

The Titan’s Fall From Grace

Unfortunately for MoH, the market it had created was soon saturated with better and superior titles, the most notable being Call Of Duty. Naturally, with time, players got tired of the war-based game format and wanted to experience something different.

Most formats in gaming have a shelf life of a few years at best, and games must adapt if they want to survive. Games like MoH create a saturated market, but when players want something different, they fail to satisfy most of their needs.

The Medal of Honor franchise failed to change its format well, which is evident from its last (non-VR) release in 2012 with Warfighter, which did not set well with most of its fanbase. Additionally, EA abandoned the title and started focusing on its more well-known franchise, Battlefield.

Whether this shift to Battlefield was successful is a discussion for another time, but it is evident that it did not do justice to the Medal of Honor franchise. EA tried to bring the game to a VR format with Medal of Honor Above and Beyond in 2020 but failed to capture this Titan’s true essence. A Steam review by Frank Costanza on Above and Beyond sums up the missed shot quite well.

Medal of Honor Above and Beyond Review
How Above and Beyond disappointed the MoH fanbase even more | Source: Steam

Is Medal Of Honor Still Worth Playing?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that the old titles, although not the best graphically in today’s age, are some of the best stories and mechanically fun games to try out. Of course, I already stated I’m a die-hard fan, so I’ll let easterkeke on GOG speak for the best MoH title, Allied Assault.

MoH Allied Assault Review
The true essence of the Medal Of Honor Games | Source: Gog.com

This title holds a lot of nostalgia for me, as I spent most of my early gaming days engulfed in killing Nazis. However, I recommend the old titles, especially Allied Assault, to every shooting game enthusiast. It has a fantastic campaign, but you can also set up a LAN party like the old golden days and have a great night in its multiplayer mode.

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Ibrahim Akhtar is a guides & features writer at eXputer. He uses his passion for gaming to provide insightful takes in his articles. Ibrahim spends most of his time defending Baldur's Gate from the forces of the Absolute. He has accumulated more than 15 years of gaming experience, having 1000 hours in The Witcher 3 and twice as much on Skyrim V. Ibrahim has previously worked at TopTierList. You can keep up with his Steam account to stay up to date on his latest explorations.

Experience: 1+ Years || Previously Worked for TopTierList || Education: Bachelors in Data Science.

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