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Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Medic Update and Medal of Honor

So, yes, I finally dove into the MoH beta tonight. But more on that later. First is the medic update. With the engineer update still to be released, and with the changes the medics update weapon underwent, I'll stray from speculation as to what the shotgun revealed in the Mac Update video actually is.

The medic's update weapon is called the Blutsauger, or Bloodsucker/Vampire in German, when released, was probably the most powerful weapon one could think of for the medic. Not only did it allow the medic to retain his slow health regeneration, but it also healed him as he did damage with it. Of course, that the medic even needs a close range weapon should be a non-issue, seeing as their job is to keep the killers alive. One must also put into play that the medic update was not even named the Medic Update. Rather, it was the Gold Rush update, the first major update to the game, and they tagged along the medic's weapons and achievements with it.

The main drawback to the Blutsauger came at the cost of random critical hits when fired. Offset by the massive +3 health boost per each needle, at ten needles per second, this really didn't hinder it. Add to this that in competitive gameplay random criticals are turned off, and suddenly the Blutsauger became the go-to weapon for medics the world over (in TF2, of course). On September 15th, 2009, Valve changed the Blut's effect on the medic and the medic's abilities themselves. Without the Blut equipped, he now recovers from 4-6 hp per second, but with the Blut only 1-3. At first it may not seem like such a big deal, especially with random criticals reinstated, but playing a Blutsauger medic, and I can say this from experience, is almost detrimental to your health. The increased health regeneration saves precious seconds to reach a health kit or get behind allies. Plus, since the damage output for both the main syringe gun and the Blutsauger is the same, it really comes down to what you want to sacrifice and your confidence with your needle aiming. Watch competitive medic play now and you'll see a mix of syringe run and Blutsauger play, though the former is now the more prevalent.

Enough about that though. Let's talk Medal of Honor. Let me start out by saying that, no, it is not a Modern Warfare 2 clone, nor is it Battlefield: Bad Company 2 repackaged. Rather, it is a little bit of both with some major tweaks from both. On the MW2 side, there is the decreased map size, the high intensity action and the fast, sharp gameplay. On the BC2 side, there is the excellent sound design, weapon animations and team based, tactical play that must occur for a team to win hands down. There is also the kit selection system that limits you only as much as the beta is allowed to contain, even though customization is still quite varied. The little something extra is the realism that comes in MoH. Calling in a mortar strike is quick, but what is really rewarding is seeing that walkie-talkie calling in a UAV, or the cell phone detonate the C4. Also, the battlefields are real places, created with the utmost care for balance and game enjoyment. The weapons too look and feel like real weapons, and the sounds they make sound like the actual gun. Also, there's a tank. And tanks are always awesome. Granted, the bullets and cannon of the tank take way too many hits to kill right now, but given the confined space of the map (currently there's only one) in which a tank gets used, that's okay. They also need to be harder to destroy, though not to the extent of BC2. I killed one with my gun's grenade launcher, so something's wrong there.

Speaking for myself, for what else can I do, I think I'll grow to lie MoH because it is not MW2. The killstreaks, while not named such, are decidedly not MW2 killstreaks. Getting 11 kills will not let you pilot a chopper with explosive rounds or a giant plane with guns the size of houses. You get one missile that you guide yourself or a strategically placed mortar/rocket strike that then goes out of your control. There is not the constant fear of joining a game to nuke-boosters or hackers (as yet), though camping still plays a little part. I saw one of those today. Killed the little bastard too. Excuse me. Can't stand campers. The support streaks also help: new ammo types and UAV recons and others keep the game balanced without causing player to hunker down in houses and wait out the storm. If there is any CoD game I could compare MoH to in any way, its CoD4. Minus the helicopter and add some more awesome (yes, I said it), there is a real comparison to be made.

But that is a story for another time.

Thanks for reading,

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