With scrolling credits, originalsoundtracks, filmic action sequences and name-brand actors playing top roles, the line between video games and movies has never been thinner. The incredibly popular Medal Of Honor series takes that connection even further.A run of first-person games set in the battles of the second world war, Medal Of Honor is renowned for its realism.
The games ditch the overdone overtones of typical war sims and come as close as possible to the experience of heading into combat. They also bear a striking resemblance to the grisly, gripping fight scenes of Saving Private Ryan. The link is intentional.
Steven Spielberg and his Private Ryan crew acted as advisers to the game, and entire sequences here seem modelled on the film's shockingly visceral battles. The game is also as historically accurate as possible; the creators brought in military experts to make sure too many liberties weren't taken.
Whether you'll notice any of this once you settle in to play the game is questionable.
The action in Medal Of Honor is unbelievably intense. Your soldier works his way through six real-life battles, including fighting Nazis on a speeding train and seizing control of a major bridge.
Most impressive is the D-Day storming of Omaha Beach, a stunningly real-life scene that begins on a heavily rocking ship and immediately throws you into the action as your mates are blown apart next to you.
The combination of relentless action, a wall of noise and stirring war music makes this scene alone the natural sequel to the similar sequence in Saving Private Ryan. It's the kind of thing you need to play over and over again to truly appreciate.
Medal Of Honor: Frontline is more war documentary than idle time-waster. It's the closest thing to the real deal I've ever seen. firstname.lastname@example.org
? ?rc="http://www.nowtoronto.com/images/cr itpick.gif" height="20" width="20">MEDAL OF HONOR: FRONTLINE for PlayStation 2, $80. Rating: NNNN
GRAPHICS: Bloody and brutal.
ADDICTIVENESS: War is hell, but it's also hard, and you'll need serious time to get this right.
ANTI-SOCIAL FACTOR: It's you and the enemy for the next few months.
PROXIMITY TO THE REAL THING: As good as it gets.