Medal of Honor already had an expansion in the rather above-average Spearhead. Following the Allied campaign into Ardennes, Spearhead provided a decidedly short look at the Battle of the Bulge. In the tradition of Medal of Honor, there was plenty of scripting and action, and little mindless running around.
So what else to expect from Breakthrough? Besides taking the player into Italy on Operation Husky, thereís very little thatís different. The graphics are a touch better, with generous use of special effects, but the engine is getting old. Quake III Arena was state of the art for its time and the upgrades by EA and 2015 were quite serious, but like an aging beauty queen, itís easy to start telling where the plastic surgery and makeup have gone too far. Itís impossible to mask the graphical shortcomings, while the price for the improved graphics has gotten quite high Ė performance hit is disproportionately large for the level of improvement.
There are several new weapons thrown into the mix but few are worth noting, except the 40-round Moschetto submachine gun. The rest of the guns are simply too similar to what the player had in previous games.
A noteworthy and irritating gameplay departure is that you can no longer pick up ammo off dead enemies. You could hear them firing guns. You could see them firing guns. You could get hit by the bullets those guns fired, but damn you if you can find the gun on the enemy once heís dead. Sure, this makes for more of a challenge by forcing the player to conserve ammo, but itís a ridiculous game design decision.
Medal of Honor managed to find a nice spot between realism and arcade action for itself, but compared to more recent titles, it feels clumsy. In particular, when compared with games like Enemy Territory, it seems to have made the wrong choices. Medal of Honor chose to be realistic when limiting the playerís speed and jumping ability, while giving him considerable resistance to damage. Enemy Territory allows players to move quick but take little damage.
Weapons certainly feel more realistic in Medal of Honor, as foes drop like flies after a few rounds, but that only exacerbates the problem of the player being a giant walking target. Stumbling clumsily around an open area, being knocked around by a dozen rifle rounds before finding your shooter hardly feels like an exceptional game. Medal of Honor has clearly been left behind. A simple solution would have been to decrease enemy accuracy, increase damage and increase player speed.