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What Critics Are Saying About Medal Of Honor: Above And Beyond

Before games like Call of Duty conquered the war-themed FPS market, Medal of Honor dominated charts and attentions. But, as Call of Duty evolved with new, more contemporary scenarios (and the occasional futuristic one), Medal of Honor got left behind. In 2012, the franchise went into hibernation, seemingly never to return. But in 2019, EA and Respawn Entertainment announced Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, a title that would resurrect the franchise through the magic of VR. Audiences had high hopes for the game, but according to reviews, it isn't worth the 13 hours of playtime — or the 170 GB of hard drive space.

While sites such as DualShockers praised Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond's sheer spectacle, setpieces, and gunplay, these reviews were in the minority. Most critics were severely underwhelmed at best. For example, PC Gamer found the gunplay so awkward that weapons were ironically more accurate when fired from the hip than while aiming down sights. The worst offenders are apparently sniper rifles, since their scopes are placed in the middle of the headset. Instead of naturally aiming with one eye, the reviewer had to cross their vision to see anything through sniper sights. Not a comfortable sensation.

IGN, meanwhile, loved to soak in the sights of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond's virtual landscapes — partially because they were beautifully rendered, but mostly because NPCs were ugly. These digital vistas were one of the few things that kept the site's reviewer going since they found the game's shooting repetitive and its dialogue far too slow and weighed down by exposition. The game was riddled with, as they put it, "peaks and valleys." The peaks consisted of viewing peaks, and the valleys were everything else. It didn't help matters that the game's interactivity paled in comparison to Valve's Game Awards-winning Half-Life: Alyx.

Smaller, independent critics also tended to agree with the negative reviews. JarekTheGamingDragon's playthrough, for example, was plagued with stuttering and framerate issues, despite playing on a computer that exceeds Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond's hardware requirements. If that wasn't bad enough, whenever Above and Beyond stuttered, the game forced Jarek to drop whatever he was holding in-game, and since Above and Beyond stuttered a lot, he became the world's most klutzy WWII soldier.

The general consensus is that if Half-Life: Alyx pushed VR games forward (which it did, according to reviews), Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond tried to pull it back. The game is not fun, and its VR usage comes across as a gimmick that holds back an already mediocre experience even further. EA might have hoped Above and Beyond would resurrect gamer interest in the Medal of Honor franchise, but instead the game demonstrates why the series died in the first place.