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Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault - Few (very long) comments

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February 1, 2005 8:25:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

I recently played the DVD version of this game to completion. There
hasn't been too many posts in this newsgroup about PA, so here's a
review.

PA is set across three islands (Makin Atoll, Guadalcanal, Tarawa) from
the WW2 Pacific theatre. The start of the game has a training sequence
and then the Pearl Harbor attack before going to the island warfare.
Each island's campaign has several missions and sub-missions (with
some hidden objectives as well). The central character and his squad
members star in all the missions. Occassionally, story cut-scenes are
shown.

PA plays very different than MoH:AA. First of all the player character
(PC) is never alone. There is no mission in the entire game, where PC
goes alone in umm.. enemy submarine base or a weapons research
factory. In fact, most of the game is set outdoors, in the jungles
figthing through villages (comprising of 6-8 huts) and trenches. The
mission objectives are not very varied but the way they are achieved
(lots of scripting) indeed has more than its fair share of twists and
turns. There is also lot less spawning than AA. Throughout most of the
game, if the PC stands at one spot and keeps shooting, he can clear
certain areas, unlike AA where the enemies would just keep popping out
of the buildings until the PC moves ahead. The squad members can also
be given commands like 'fallback', 'covering/suppression fire',
'charge ahead'. In some of the sections where enemy snipers are
everywhere, the squad member can scout ahead and then start firing at
sniper's location, which gives you a good idea of where to aim (no
sniper town frustrations as in MoH:AA) The AI is generally very
competent and most set pieces are played out differently each time you
try.

Then there are few gameplay elements in PA that are very unique to the
genre, let alone its predecessor. For one, there are only 5-6
medi-kits in the entire game. Your squad member contains a medic (and
he's a major character throughout the game), who can heal the PC back
to 100% health, four times through any *sub-mission* on the default
difficulty level. When the PC goes to 0 health, his vision blurs and
he falls to the ground. If the medic is close-by he can come to the
aid. The Japanese soldiers can also finish PC off by their bayonets or
a shot to the head or they can shoot the medic and stop him from
healing you. The medic is invincible. Actually, all the main squad
members are, but when they go down they have to be healed by the
medic. This means, that when PC goes down and is yelling for health,
the medic may be busy tending to other fallen soldiers. The whole
mechanism is almost as arcadey as the regular spinning health pack
methods used by DOOM and all other shooters but at least it's
different and it plays really well.

Other than that, PA is probably the first game where the use of rifles
(even sniper rifles) as a melee weapon is practically required at
times. There are several factors which contribute to that. First, the
load times are very slow. Slower than that found in any shooter I can
think of. The game goes through 3 years of war and the weapons in the
early missions are not the ideal ones. Bolt action rifles take an
eternity to reload. Then, the weapon fire isn't very precise. I
believe the developers use a 'cone' model (for all guns except sniper
rifles) with area of effect damage, rather than precise point to point
shooting model in most FPS. When you are moving it's even harder to
hit enemies. If you played BF1942 in the early days, when there were
some bugs in DICE's damage models, where you couldn't hit anything,
then you will find PA even more unforgiving. You get used to it, but
it'll take time. The ammo is also very scarce. The only ammo boxes you
will find are the SMG rounds lying near machine gun nests. For the
most part you'll quickly run out of ammo after mission start and then
rely on those snatched out of the enemy. Finally, the enemy soldiers
have of habit of charging with their bayonets up. The PC can take may
be two or three of these soldiers while backpedalling (Painkiller and
DOOM style) but he'll go down if he doesn't find help from squad
members or if he doesn't use his own weapon for dealing melee damage.

Once again, having slow weapon loading times, scarce ammo, unforgiving
damage model and enemy Banzai charges don't make the game necessarily
better, but it does make it different. Some will find this
frustrating. I enjoyed the frantic action that was the result of these
gameplay elements.

The mission variety in the game is pretty good. Even for the 'defend
the line' type of missions where the PC and dozens of his fellows have
to hold off a Japanese charge, there's considerable freedom for the
PC. For example, he can be assigned on a machine gun up the hill, but
he can clearly see the battle going on 300-400 meters in front and he
can leave his post and join the battle there. There's an obligatory
flying rail-shooter sequence with a huge twist (SCROLL DOWN to next
paragraph, if you don't want to be spoiled but this is one gameplay
element which many gamers hated) that the rails come off and the PC
gets to fly a plane. The simulation sequence plays just like Crimson
Skies with slightly larger weapon range. However the FPS controls
don't work well there and it can get very frustrating for some.

Performance wise, the game plays okay. I ran it on 2.7G P4, 1 GB RAM
and 9800Pro 128meg at 1152x864 with 2xAA, 8xAF and every game setting
at max except for texture detail which I set at high instead of very
high. The frame rates stayed smooth until the very last mission and
even there it was playable. I don't know how it performs on a lesser
system. I definitely recommend checking out the demo before buying the
game, since a lot of people with older graphic cards have complained
about the performance.

Graphically, it's excellent. The jungle vegetation is rendered in
great detail. The animations are not bad. The screen shakes and
rattles, especially when the PC is using an SMG, are gorgeous. The
graphics are not up to the level of FarCry or HL2, but it's not far
behind either. I'd say it's one of the best looking PC games.

The game length is roughly 10-13 hours on normal difficulty.

The game is also fairly polished. Even the game menu is full of
details with a radio running in the background that gives war news and
the songs from the era. As you progress, some of your missions make it
to the news as well. A lot of times, I spent 5-10 minutes on the menu
screen just listening to the radio.

Overall, I'd have considered the game, one of the best FPS ever if not
for one big flaw. The game is very very linear. I normally don't
complain about this, but in a game set on jungle islands it doesn't
feel right to have just one 12-14 ft wide winding path where the PC
can't even go and hide in the trees. The trees are basically just
corridor walls. If there's a machine gun nest, then the PC can't
cirumvent it at all. He has to take cover at carefully placed rock
croppings and either charge blindly or use sniper rifle or ask squad
members for covering fire. The PC basically moves from
village/supply-depot to another one through these winding corridors.
It's very restricting. The game does open up in the last levels a bit,
which are fantastic, but it's still not good enough.

In short, PA is a pretty good shooter with a very different feel
compared to earlier Medal of Honor games. It gets monotonous at times
but the action set pieces are played out differently, thanks to AI
(both scripted and non-scripted). I'd consider it a classic, if its
islands were not made up of open areas joined by long and very narrow
corridors. Still, it's worth recommendation and the best MoH game in
the series.

My 2¢
--
Noman
PS: Some may find this info useful... When I played the demo, I got
stuck on the sequence where you had to shoot down zeroes. In the
actual game, I passed it on the first try. I think they toned down the
difficulty a bit.
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 8:25:12 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

noman wrote:
> I recently played the DVD version of this game to completion. There
> hasn't been too many posts in this newsgroup about PA, so here's a
> review.
>

Excellent write-up, thanks.

GS.
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 1:47:42 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

In Pacific Assault. Can you play as a Japanese players. Are there
Japanese missions ???




noman wrote:
> I recently played the DVD version of this game to completion. There
> hasn't been too many posts in this newsgroup about PA, so here's a
> review.
>
> PA is set across three islands (Makin Atoll, Guadalcanal, Tarawa)
from
> the WW2 Pacific theatre. The start of the game has a training
sequence
> and then the Pearl Harbor attack before going to the island warfare.
> Each island's campaign has several missions and sub-missions (with
> some hidden objectives as well). The central character and his squad
> members star in all the missions. Occassionally, story cut-scenes are
> shown.
>
> PA plays very different than MoH:AA. First of all the player
character
> (PC) is never alone. There is no mission in the entire game, where PC
> goes alone in umm.. enemy submarine base or a weapons research
> factory. In fact, most of the game is set outdoors, in the jungles
> figthing through villages (comprising of 6-8 huts) and trenches. The
> mission objectives are not very varied but the way they are achieved
> (lots of scripting) indeed has more than its fair share of twists and
> turns. There is also lot less spawning than AA. Throughout most of
the
> game, if the PC stands at one spot and keeps shooting, he can clear
> certain areas, unlike AA where the enemies would just keep popping
out
> of the buildings until the PC moves ahead. The squad members can also
> be given commands like 'fallback', 'covering/suppression fire',
> 'charge ahead'. In some of the sections where enemy snipers are
> everywhere, the squad member can scout ahead and then start firing at
> sniper's location, which gives you a good idea of where to aim (no
> sniper town frustrations as in MoH:AA) The AI is generally very
> competent and most set pieces are played out differently each time
you
> try.
>
> Then there are few gameplay elements in PA that are very unique to
the
> genre, let alone its predecessor. For one, there are only 5-6
> medi-kits in the entire game. Your squad member contains a medic (and
> he's a major character throughout the game), who can heal the PC back
> to 100% health, four times through any *sub-mission* on the default
> difficulty level. When the PC goes to 0 health, his vision blurs and
> he falls to the ground. If the medic is close-by he can come to the
> aid. The Japanese soldiers can also finish PC off by their bayonets
or
> a shot to the head or they can shoot the medic and stop him from
> healing you. The medic is invincible. Actually, all the main squad
> members are, but when they go down they have to be healed by the
> medic. This means, that when PC goes down and is yelling for health,
> the medic may be busy tending to other fallen soldiers. The whole
> mechanism is almost as arcadey as the regular spinning health pack
> methods used by DOOM and all other shooters but at least it's
> different and it plays really well.
>
> Other than that, PA is probably the first game where the use of
rifles
> (even sniper rifles) as a melee weapon is practically required at
> times. There are several factors which contribute to that. First, the
> load times are very slow. Slower than that found in any shooter I can
> think of. The game goes through 3 years of war and the weapons in the
> early missions are not the ideal ones. Bolt action rifles take an
> eternity to reload. Then, the weapon fire isn't very precise. I
> believe the developers use a 'cone' model (for all guns except sniper
> rifles) with area of effect damage, rather than precise point to
point
> shooting model in most FPS. When you are moving it's even harder to
> hit enemies. If you played BF1942 in the early days, when there were
> some bugs in DICE's damage models, where you couldn't hit anything,
> then you will find PA even more unforgiving. You get used to it, but
> it'll take time. The ammo is also very scarce. The only ammo boxes
you
> will find are the SMG rounds lying near machine gun nests. For the
> most part you'll quickly run out of ammo after mission start and then
> rely on those snatched out of the enemy. Finally, the enemy soldiers
> have of habit of charging with their bayonets up. The PC can take may
> be two or three of these soldiers while backpedalling (Painkiller and
> DOOM style) but he'll go down if he doesn't find help from squad
> members or if he doesn't use his own weapon for dealing melee damage.

>
> Once again, having slow weapon loading times, scarce ammo,
unforgiving
> damage model and enemy Banzai charges don't make the game necessarily
> better, but it does make it different. Some will find this
> frustrating. I enjoyed the frantic action that was the result of
these
> gameplay elements.
>
> The mission variety in the game is pretty good. Even for the 'defend
> the line' type of missions where the PC and dozens of his fellows
have
> to hold off a Japanese charge, there's considerable freedom for the
> PC. For example, he can be assigned on a machine gun up the hill, but
> he can clearly see the battle going on 300-400 meters in front and he
> can leave his post and join the battle there. There's an obligatory
> flying rail-shooter sequence with a huge twist (SCROLL DOWN to next
> paragraph, if you don't want to be spoiled but this is one gameplay
> element which many gamers hated) that the rails come off and the PC
> gets to fly a plane. The simulation sequence plays just like Crimson
> Skies with slightly larger weapon range. However the FPS controls
> don't work well there and it can get very frustrating for some.
>
> Performance wise, the game plays okay. I ran it on 2.7G P4, 1 GB RAM
> and 9800Pro 128meg at 1152x864 with 2xAA, 8xAF and every game setting
> at max except for texture detail which I set at high instead of very
> high. The frame rates stayed smooth until the very last mission and
> even there it was playable. I don't know how it performs on a lesser
> system. I definitely recommend checking out the demo before buying
the
> game, since a lot of people with older graphic cards have complained
> about the performance.
>
> Graphically, it's excellent. The jungle vegetation is rendered in
> great detail. The animations are not bad. The screen shakes and
> rattles, especially when the PC is using an SMG, are gorgeous. The
> graphics are not up to the level of FarCry or HL2, but it's not far
> behind either. I'd say it's one of the best looking PC games.
>
> The game length is roughly 10-13 hours on normal difficulty.
>
> The game is also fairly polished. Even the game menu is full of
> details with a radio running in the background that gives war news
and
> the songs from the era. As you progress, some of your missions make
it
> to the news as well. A lot of times, I spent 5-10 minutes on the menu
> screen just listening to the radio.
>
> Overall, I'd have considered the game, one of the best FPS ever if
not
> for one big flaw. The game is very very linear. I normally don't
> complain about this, but in a game set on jungle islands it doesn't
> feel right to have just one 12-14 ft wide winding path where the PC
> can't even go and hide in the trees. The trees are basically just
> corridor walls. If there's a machine gun nest, then the PC can't
> cirumvent it at all. He has to take cover at carefully placed rock
> croppings and either charge blindly or use sniper rifle or ask squad
> members for covering fire. The PC basically moves from
> village/supply-depot to another one through these winding corridors.
> It's very restricting. The game does open up in the last levels a
bit,
> which are fantastic, but it's still not good enough.
>
> In short, PA is a pretty good shooter with a very different feel
> compared to earlier Medal of Honor games. It gets monotonous at times
> but the action set pieces are played out differently, thanks to AI
> (both scripted and non-scripted). I'd consider it a classic, if its
> islands were not made up of open areas joined by long and very narrow
> corridors. Still, it's worth recommendation and the best MoH game in
> the series.
>
> My 2¢
> --
> Noman
> PS: Some may find this info useful... When I played the demo, I got
> stuck on the sequence where you had to shoot down zeroes. In the
> actual game, I passed it on the first try. I think they toned down
the
> difficulty a bit.
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 9:10:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

<richmarin@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:1107672462.427561.296600@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...



In Pacific Assault. Can you play as a Japanese players. Are there
Japanese missions ???




No, just american.
!