Choose your place on the battlefield
After a seemingly endless wave of gritty wartime blasters from Call Of Duty to Hour Of Victory, the last thing gamers need right now is another WWII gun-toter. But in taking the action to the skies, moving away from linear levels and adopting landscapes with more opportunities for vertical gunplay, the latest Medal Of Honor succeeds in making harrowing battlefield action feel fresh again.
At the beginning of each level players are parachuted into a teeming battlefield, each based on a real skirmish the first wave of US WWII combat drops. But aside from the perilous descent which sees players unable to use guns and at the mercy of German antiaircraft fire and canny snipers, these airborne set-pieces also change how the levels play; moving away from the linear layout of most war games, players can enter the fire-fights anywhere they like on the map - in turn challenging gamers to land in a safe place where they can hook up with allies - and the unscripted nature of the battles allows you to see German lines getting forced backwards as you advance into hostile territory.
Parachuting into the levels also gives players the chance to land on vertical structures such as church rooftops, then rain death on enemy soldiers lurking on the streets below.
Other new features such as the ability to upgrade your gun and pull off perfect headshots by gently squeezing the trigger also help Airborne feel different to the other wartime blasters, and while theres a steep learning curve to master by being dropped into combat, nailing this unique approach makes for a more satisfying and nerve-racking experience.