Medal of Honor: Allied Assault + Spearhead + Breakthrough

The game version of Saving Private Ryan but with a much better storyline. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault is a World War II action first-person shooter.

Release Date:

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault: January 2002.
Spearhead: November 2002.
Breakthrough: September 2003.

Pros:

  • The tutorial is excellent. It teaches not just the features of the game but also the basics of how to play first-person shooters. For anyone that has not played a first-person shooter before, this is an excellent game to learn with.
  • The speech is excellent. The acting sounds very convincing and contributes to the game feeling like a movie.
  • The music is also excellent. Appropriate music is played at the right times to set the mood of the game giving it an even better movie feel.
  • The stories for the game are also excellent and presented well through the mission introductions and in game events. This combined with the good speech and music makes MOHAA feel like you are playing a movie.
  • Omaha Beach.
  • The enemy AI is good. Some know how to hide and run around and others are stupid and come charging forward. You can also sneak up on them. The AI is pretty much on par with Red Faction.
  • There is a good mix of close quarters battle and open space gun fights. There are also a few stealth missions where you have to get a disguise and not alert any enemies. Much like Red Faction.
  • There are mods, custom maps and bots available. Check out the external links list.
  • You get to drive vehicles and use fixed guns.

Cons:

  • There is an option for surround sound but it does not work with the Logitech G35. Reading around, it looks like surround sound was not implemented properly for MOHAA. Apparently some people managed to hack around to get surround sound working, but I could not get it working.
  • Your team mates AI are very stupid. Sure they know how to shoot the enemy now and then, but they like to stand out in the open and get shot. Sometimes they also come and stand right in front of you while you are trying to shoot the enemy.

Other Points:

  • Besides the story being better than Saving Private Ryan, MOHAA also does not have the blood and guts of the movie. Some people will not like this, but I personally did not mind. There are mods to add blood to the game. Check out Filefront if you are interested.
  • In plain Allied Assault, you can only gun whack with the pistol even though your enemies can whack you with their rifles and sub-machine guns. Spearhead and Breakthrough fixes this so you can gun whack with other guns too.
  • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault has six missions with a few stages for each mission. Spearhead adds an extra three missions plus some new weapons and Breathrough adds another three missions plus some new weapons. The expansions also add a couple of new multiplayer modes and new multiplayer maps.
  • Surprisingly, there are still people that play MOHAA multiplayer(2011). I managed to squeeze in a few games and yes it is still fun. Not as good as Battlefield 1942, Star Wars Battlefront 2 or Call of Duty 4 but still fun enough to play. I did not get to play Spearhead and Breathrough on multiplayer though.

Biases:

  • Reviewed version 1.11 of plain MOHAA, version 2.15 of Spearhead and version 2.40.
  • I played Medal of Honor: Allied Assault back when it was first released. I do not remember much about it though. When I saw the 10th Anniversary box in the store only one thought came to mind, "Hey that's the game with Omaha Beach.".
  • Replaying MOHAA was good fun. It also reminded me of another WWII FPS - Call of Duty. I remember enjoying Call of Duty although I do not actually remember what the game was like. MOHAA stuck in my head because of Omaha Beach.
  • I really liked Serious Sam, all the Doom games and Quake 2.
  • I also really liked SWAT 4, Red Faction, Bioshock, Alien Vs Predator, Soldier of Fortune 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, Rainbow Six, Rogue Spear and Call Of Duty 4.
  • I also liked Red Faction 2, Painkiller Overdose and Star Wars Battlefront 2.
  • I also liked Battlefield 1942, Delta Force and Spec Ops 2.

DRM:

  • Serial numbers must be entered when installing the games.
  • The appropriate CD must be in the drive to play the games.
  • There is a DRM free version available on GOG.com

Patches:

Minimum Requirements (from Readme.txt of Breakthrough):

  • Windows XP, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows 98, or Windows 95 (Windows NT is not supported)
  • 733 MHz Intel Pentium III or 700 MHz AMD Athlon processor
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 8x CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive
  • 800 MB free hard disk space plus space for saved games (additional space required for Windows swap-file and DirectX 8.0 installation)
  • 16 MB OpenGL capable video card using an NVIDIA GeForce, ATI Radeon, NVIDIA Riva TNT2, ATI Rage 128 or PowerVR3 Kyro II chipset with OpenGL and DirectX 8.0 compatible driver
  • DirectX 8.0 compatible sound card
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse

Computer Played On:

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM (laptop version)
  • Logitech G35 headset and/or Realtek HD Audio(no idea what model) with my egg speakers or Logitech ClearChat Premium PC Headset.
  • Win XP Pro
  • 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:

  • Add +set cl_playintro 0 to the game's shortcut properties target to bypass the introduction movies and go straight to the main menu. This works for Spearhead and Breakthrough as well.

Recommended Mods:

  • Mod Editor. A nice little tool to enable/disable mods(raw pk3 files). It only works with MOHAA so files must be manually enabled/disabled for Spearhead and Breakthrough.
  • City Nights Final. Brings modern day weaponary to MOHAA. Not just that though, it also has two single-player maps and a few multiplayer maps. The mod seems to work OK with the MOHAA campaign although there are some sounds missing. I have not played through the whole MOHAA campaign with the mod.
  • EagleAR bots. A nice package that adds bots to some default maps of MOHAA, Spearhead and Breakthrough.
  • If you are looking for something different in bots, try The Complete Mod v3.1. The mod adds an easy interface to control bots and also a working scoreboard. It also adds other stuff, but I have not tried them out. You will still need to download the jv_bot mod separately or get it as part of the EagleAR bots pacakge. Using The Complete Mod with the EagleAR bots package seems to cause some crash to desktops.
  • For more single-player goodness try VC Addon (v1.1). This is pretty much a mini campaign made up of a few large maps. The objectives and compass may not always be accurate so a little bit of exploration is required. A part from that it is a very well done single-player addon.

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