Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is a virtual reality first-person shooter game developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. It was released on December 11, 2020, as an Oculus-exclusive game.
Why It Rocks
- The game highly encourages you to find creative ways to defeat your enemies whenever you're indoors or in camp sections. Just capping enemies in the face is not as satisfying as knocking the light out of an enemy with a thrown helmet before capping him in the face with an M1911 pistol.
- Speaking of which, pretty much almost everything in the game that can be picked up can be used as weapons. For example,
- After pressure-washing the swastika off an Allied fighter plane, you can use the same pressure washer to knock incoming Nazi soldiers off their feet and blast holes through their bodies with it.
- You can grab a pencil and shank enemies with it John Wick-style.
- You can grab hard objects like helmets and use them as throwing bricks to knock the light out of enemies and temporarily stun them before shooting them.
- If your weapon runs out of ammo, you can use them as makeshift clubs to kill enemies.
- You can throw bladed weapons at enemies. This includes trench knives and meat cleavers.
- The weapons are satisfying and fun to use and fire, from the way they reload to aiming down their scopes/sights.
- Ammo and explosives are plentiful and found in convenient locations, allowing you to collect ammo and reload on the fly in the middle of heavy firefights.
- Hilarious ragdoll physics that make enemies fly in hilarious poses when blown up by explosives
- You can spin-cock your Winchester 1887 shotgun with one hand just like the T-800!
- Deathmatches in multiplayer are fun as there are some nice maps to play in alongside all of the available weapons that can be obtained in Story Mode.
- While most World War 2 games put D-Day as an afterthought level that you play in the beginning, you actually get to experience the famous beach assault for real, and in VR no less. This includes fighting off enemy soldiers, healing up injured ally soldiers and carrying half-dead soldiers to safe points.
- Really good sound design that immerses players fully into the game
- Nice graphics that show a lot of World War 2-era France in beautiful virtual reality details
- The game has an okay but lengthy and quite enjoyable story that lets you know all of the characters that you'll be allied with before taking part in D-Day.
- The game has a nice in-game wartime Gallery that contains numerous short films documenting the last surviving World War 2 veterans, including Colette, which was nominated for "Best Short Film" at the 2021 Oscars.
- It is currently hard to find players to play with in multiplayer at the moment due to the low player count. As a result, multiplayer lobbies can be empty at times.
- Balancing issues with some guns in the game. For some reason, the Winchester 1887 can insta-kill enemies both in multiplayer and Story Mode, but the Thompson SMG and MP40 take at least 30 bullets to kill in multiplayer.
- Picking up objects can feel finicky at times.
- No blink movement as an available option in the game
- As the game's file size is at a massive 170 GBs, you need to play the game with the Oculus Link connected to your PC as the Quest 2 cannot handle it by itself.
- Optimization issues on some older Oculus headsets
- The animations can be stiff at times.
- You can't do anything other than stand and watch when you're in a cutscene.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond received a mixed reception from critics and fans of the Medal of Honor series.
On Metacritic, the game received a critic score of 67/100 ("mixed or average reviews") and a user score of 6.3/10 ("mixed or average reviews").
Windows Central gave the game a 2.5/5, praising its short films, environment, sound design and guns while criticizing its semi-outdated mechanics, stiff animations, finicky object picking, on-rails sequences, levels and story.
ShackNews gave the game an 8/10, praising its graphics, campaign, combat and short films while criticizing its lack of accessibility options and huge filesize.