I actually went out and picked up a game at full retail price the day after it was released.  One might ask why would someone who is as frugal as I would do something like this.  As it turns out, I have a little extra cash on me.

For those who don’t know, I just got back from spending a year in Iraq, and when you aren’t burdened with things like a wife and kids, cash seems to pile up pretty quickly.  I have already invested in sacks with dollar signs on them, as well as a tuxedo and top hat.  The monocle is in the mail.

Until all of that comes in though, I have been rocking out some MoH.  I have to say that I am confused by the manner of what we are allowing in games and what we aren’t.  I remember a little game called Six Days in Fallujah that was canned because people thought that it would be disrespectful to the Soldiers who fought in said battle back during the beginning of the Iraq conflict.

I can assure you right now that the military isn’t that thin skinned.  As someone who has seen his fair share of insanity in both Afghanistan and Iraq, I have heard some of the most racist, misogynistic, un PC comments while on missions.  And they are all said with a laugh and received the same way.  At this point, most combat soldiers are jaded to the point that a video game isn’t going to set them off and force them to start protests in the name of good taste.

Six Days was eventually canceled.  They found soldiers who had no problem crying like little bitches about how it was too soon to start profiting off the sacrifice of soldiers (funny that we allow Halliburton to do it though – ZING!).  What we have in place instead is Medal of Honor, whose big claim to controversy was putting in a team named the Taliban.  I can assure you that there is still a team with small brown people speaking Arabic, but they are now called OpFor for oppositional forces.  Your delicate sensibilities will not be harmed.

I will also let you know that you cannot buy this game on any Military installations.  You can find Modern Warfare 2 which has a team of little brown people named OpFor as well, but I think they are Brazilians, so you can get away with it.  Resident Evil 5 taught us the lesson that black zombies are bad, now Arabs are as well.  At least we are learning.

MoH takes place as you play a range of Special Forces military hunting down the Taliban in the mountains of Afghanistan at the very beginning of the war.  The first very surprising attribute to the single player campaign was the simple brilliance of the writing.

Did you play Modern Warfare?  Remember just how messed up the plot was to that thing?  I was under the assumption that the writers all huffed a bunch of glue and smashed the keyboards with their heads to come up with that mess.  It has that Fight Club feeling (the movie, not the game) that you need to see it a couple times to truly understand it.  I have tried this to no avail.  On both Fight Club and MW2.

You aren’t going to have that issue in MoH.  There is nothing overly confusing about what you are there to do.  There is a plot of sorts, but it is one of character.  You actually do care what happens to your fellow soldiers in the game.  And you will end up hating the Taliban.  Sure, no one likes them, but you will come out of this game with a raging hate-on.  Upon completion I found myself wandering around the local military installation searching for a C-130 to duct tape myself to so I could be back in the fight.

The downside is that you will blow through it in about five hours and there isn’t much of a replay value there.  I do on occasion like running through some of my favorite levels on MW2 to kill some time, but as I look back on MoH, I find myself not being excited about the combat aspect of any map.  It feels as if there is no finality to any of them, and indeed the game itself.  This effect is not lost on the gamer that this war will push on into a future we have all seen happen.  It gives the player a chilling realization.  Sadly, it makes it hard to want to experience again.

Multiplayer proved to be the disappointing aspect of the game.  It gives you the feeling you are playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2.  Unfortunately there aren’t many buildings to bring down with grenades on the few maps I played.  And that isn’t few because I stopped after a few games.  There dosen’t seem to be much variety in the map pack, unless it is suffering from the problems I seem to have when I play MW2 online and never see Terminal, Rust or High Rise pop up.  I’m tired of Karichi!  It doesn’t help when I get messages that the EA servers are filled up either.  I don’t know if that is on my side or theirs, but I’ve never had that issue with any other online shooters I’ve gotten into

I’m not overly thrilled with the leveling system either.  Perhaps this is something I missed in FPS shooters when playing online, but having three classes that you level up rather than being able to choose a limited loadout and building your best arsenal seems silly to me.  Then again, It could easily be that I am biased against MoH because I played so damn much MW2.

Either they suck or I do.  Whoever turns out to be wrong, I suggest you convince your friend to buy it and borrow it until the next Call of Duty comes out and you can have fun there.  Unless you play it on the PC.  Then your life will suck.