Medal of Honor Pacific Assault

Medal of Honor Pacific Assault = MOHAA in the Pacific. The game was released 14 years ago. I played it 7 years ago. It has been given away for free on origin.com a few times. I thought, why not load it up and blast through it again. Sadly, the only thing new I have to say about MOHPA is that it has some problems running on my newer PC.

Release Date:

November 2004.

Pros:

  • Everything that made MOHAA so much fun is also in Pacific Assault. Graphics are better. Story presentation has improved with a narrated story, better cutscenes and a character with a name. Sound and music are about the same as MOHAA which is great. Fixed guns and on-rails shooting are present just enough to make the game fun without getting too boring. Of course the first-person experience has also improved with more things that can be done.
  • Similar to Call of Pripyat, there are options to turn off the HUD and crosshairs for a more difficult, but more immersive game.
  • If you get incapacitated you can bandage your wound and call for a corpsman to heal you. They do not always make it to you, so life and death depends on where you are and where your mates are. There is also a limit to the number of times you can be healed.
  • To accompany the cutscenes there are nice archival video footages from history. The pre-rendered and game engine cutscenes are already good, but the full motion video sequences makes it even better.
  • There are supplemental documentary type videos about the USMC, The Pacific War and the game.
  • There is also a pop-up facts feature which when turned on, displays snippets of facts as you play. It can be quite distracting, but at the same time it can be interesting.
  • On the harder difficulty levels, the game feels very realistic. A couple of hits and you are down. You can bleed to death. It reminded me of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. somewhat.

Cons:

There is a problem with viewing pop-up facts with pause. Sometimes during a cutscene, the game would just pause for no reason without any pop-up facts. The continue key for pop-up dismissal also would not work. I had to press pause on the keyboard to continue and the cutscene would get skipped. I am not sure if this problem was present in older PCs as I have only noticed it on my current Windows 10 PC.

The game does not run smoothly on my newer Windows 10 PC. Every 2-3 minutes the game would pause for about 1 second and the HDD light would be on. I definitely did not have this problem on my older Windows 7 PC.

Sometimes the CTRL and ALT keys would stop responding. A quick fix is to ALT-Tab out of the game and then back in. These are the default keys for crouch lower and aim through iron sights/scope.

  • Cutscenes do not display properly in wide screen. The main game playing part displays OK.
  • Invisible walls are in most first-person shooters, but in Pacific Assault it is extra annoying. Trying to hide among the trees is made extra difficult because the invisible walls are so close to the main path.

Other Points:

  • Medal of Honor Pacific Assault is a very linear FPS, much like MOHAA before it.
  • The AI for your team mates have vastly improved since MOHAA. They do not do all the work for you, but at least they learnt not to stand out in the open to get shot.
  • Your team mates are invulnerable. They will get shot and go down, but they never die. I am unsure whether to flag this as a bad thing or a good thing, because at the higher difficulty settings, you really need their help.
  • There is a tutorial which is appropriately placed in the bootcamp level, but it comes after the prologue level. It is good that the tutorial teaches everything, but you have to get past the prologue first.
  • In one level, you pilot a plane. The flight model is very simple so flying with keyboard and mouse is manageable. Being an IL-2 fan though, I found the whole sequence a waste of time and wished I could skip it. Others may find it more fun as it does add something different to the whole running on the ground and shooting.

Biases:

  • Reviewed version 1.2, Director’s Edition of the game.
  • The online servers have been taken down and I have not had the opportunity to try Pacific Assault on LAN. So, I have no idea what mutiplayer is like.
  • I completed the game on hard difficulty. Strange thing is I was only given the completion medal for medium difficulty. I do wonder whether this medal downgrade was due to my changing the settings to turn off the HUD.
  • I really liked Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, so it’s no surprise that I like Pacific Assault as well.
  • I also really liked S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat.

DRM:

  • Uses SafeDisc.
  • A serial code must be entered when installing the game.
  • The Disc must be in the drive to play the game.

Patches:

  • 1.2 – Patches version 1.0 to 1.2. Set check point saves in version 1.0 works after patching to 1.2, but any in between check point saves get reverted back to the previous check point save.

Minimum Requirements (as stated in the readme.txt):

  • Windows XP or Windows 2000
  • 1.5 GHz Intel Pentium IV or AMD Athlon processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 3D video card with 64+ MB video memory which fully supports DirectX 8.1
  • At least 3.0 GB free space on your hard drive for Standard Edition, and 4.5 GB free space for Director’s Edition.

Computer Played On:

  • Windows 7 64 bit.
  • Intel Core i5 2.3GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1GB RAM
  • Conexant SmartAudio with egg speakers or earphones.
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips:

  • To skip the intro ads for Intel, THX and EA, create a new shortcut using mohpa.exe, then add +set cl_playintro 0 +set ui_skip_eamovie 1 +set ui_skip_titlescreen 1 to the shortcut. Found this from here.

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