Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

Mission Photo Album

Mission Video

The cover art for Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.

The game’s cover art.

As I plunge into writing, I’ll tackle one of the first games I ever owned: Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.

To kick off this first-person shooter from 2002, I lace up the boots of U.S. Army Lt. Mike Powell on a dirt road in the middle of a deserted military camp. The U.S. Army Rangers of WWII, like Powell, were trained at Achnacarry Castle in Scotland, but there’s no castle here.

The four vacant tents don’t resemble the large canvas storage tents used by the Allies during WWII, as they were A-frame, and these do not appear to be. But, the whole area is a conglomerate of Allied and Axis equipment, and they’re similar to those used by the Germans.

Here, I am informed by Col. Stanley Hargrove, Powell’s mission commander, that I will “commence field training.” Sure, I don’t have to endure basic training, but I figure that if an enlisted man could make it though five to seven weeks of boot camp, I can deal with five to seven minutes of it.

A screenshot photo of the first scene in basic training from Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (MOHAA).

The first scene of basic training – an empty military camp with four wooden guard towers and a few tents.

As a pair of P-47 Thunderbolts buzz the trees, I’m instructed to look at all four guard towers. Do I have eyes? Yes. Can I move my hand even a little? Yes. Objective completed.

What comes next is simple: climb a wall, crawl under barbed wire, use some ladders. I’ve always found it easier to jump off a platform rather than waste my time with ladders. The health loss is minimal, and I often miss the ladder and fall anyway, or get stuck on it at inopportune times. It’s no fun to be trapped on a ladder with no way to defend yourself when enemies have opened fire.

Now that I know how to operate my body, I get to blow up a tank! A whole two minutes into my training! The German Panzer VI, or “Tiger” tank, is waiting for me in a motor pool that also houses a U.S. Army two-and-a-half-ton truck and an M3 Half-track.

The Tiger I explodes after Powell's bomb detonates.

The Tiger I explodes after Lt. Mike Powell’s bomb detonates.

Now it’s getting good. Well, as good as basic training can be, I guess.

After being thwarted by a locked door (the first one is always locked, so there’s always that stab of rejection), I enter the firing range, where I’m introduced to the Colt .45 pistol.

Then, I get a shot at the Thompson submachine gun and the Springfield sniper rifle.

For an Allied Assault veteran like me who’s playing the game for what feels like the thousandth time, firing at targets is quite monotonous. It’s a good thing the developers at 2015, Inc. placed a few exploding barrels downrange. While probably not the best planning on a real firing range, they provide a bit of amusement while going through the motions.

A screenshot photo of the German MG42 in Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (MOHAA).

Shooting the MG42 at explosive barrels.

The grenade practice is a bit harder, especially the closer targets, which are between an overhand throw and an underhand toss. This results in a few misses.

In a suicidal experiment, I drop a grenade at my feet, but only 12 percent of my health is lost. Pretty good, considering the situation. However, with enough grenades, I am able to kill myself and embarrassingly fail basic training…

Upon loading my saved game, I take a seat behind the MG42, the most destructive weapon in the game, and Hargrove prompts me to destroy the target. Easy. Once it’s destroyed, he offers me a chance to exit “when you’re ready.” Sorry Sir, I’m not ready. There are still some explosive barrels left.

~ by John on July 1, 2010.

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