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Sit down, children. I'm going to tell you a story. This is the story of the greatest World War II shooter ever made and the middle school aged Mr. Deck who play the bejeezus out of it. I recently found the War Chest for Allied Assault - it includes the base game as well as both expansions - for like $2 on GOG's summer sale. Remember the fondness I had for this game as a child, I decided that couldn't just NOT buy it. Holeeeeeey crap, playing through this was like returning to my glorious childhood without today's adult concerns like bills, taxes, and the always looming specter of a nuclear holocaust at the hands of an orange psychopath.
Allied Assault is broken up into six missions, each one taking about an hour to complete and being broken into roughly four parts. You start in North Africa and proceed to fight in Norway, Normandy, Brittany, and start the Allied push into western Germany. The game centers around Lt. Mike Powell (odd for me since I used to go to church with a guy who had that name) and his exploits with the OSS. The gameplay shows its age, but I don't mean that in a bad way. There's no regenerating health; you have to find health packs to replenish your hit points. There's no aiming down the sight; your crosshairs is all you get. There's no sprint; you either casually jog through the battlefield or walk. While it took me a few minutes to get used to this again, I actually prefer this style of play over more modern conventions.
Another reason that the game feels so damn good to play and why I love it is that it runs on id Tech3, the same engine as some of my other favorite shooters - Quake III, Star Trek Voyager Elite Force, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and the original Call of Duty. id Tech3 is my second favorite engine of all time, second only to Unreal 2.5. I know, it's a weird thing to have a "favorite" for all, but I'm a weird dude. In this case, however, my weirdness helps this game make me even happier than it already would. It may not feel "modern" per se, but I'd still take Allied Assault over Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3 any day. Being an older game, however, it does show its age visually. Having been released 15 years ago designed in part for Windows 98, even a bottom-of-the-barrel low end PC these days can run it no problem with settings maxed out, and that does help it look a little bit better. The faces still look kind of blocky, and the environments - especially the trees and shrubberies - still show their low resolution natures, but the character and gun models all look fine, even if not "photo-realistic."
One other aspect of the game that I never noticed as a kid but stuck out to me during this replay is the music. The soundtrack isn't super dramatic or in your face like a lot of shooters tend to be, but the music chosen is both very fitting for the game and only loud enough to accentuate the action rather than distracting from it. It's used to enhance the tone of the game, not set the tone, and that's a delicate balance that a lot of games don't always manage to nail. Allied Assault does it masterfully. With regards to the multiplayer, it's still accessible, but since GameSpy is long gone, it can be rather cumbersome to find a game if you're not playing LAN. If you care to go through the effort of finding and connecting to an online game, however, it's got really great team deathmatch and capture the flag.
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault is the greatest World War II shooter ever made. I stand by that claim, even in 2017. The story it tells, the tone it sets, and the combat it puts you through are all so well crafted and balanced that it's hard to find any true complaints. Sure, it can be a little bit of a pain to get running on modern PCs, but that's true of most old computer games, and when compared to some like Starfleet Command or Star Trek Armada, this one's downright simple to get to work. With how cheap the War Chest is on GoG as well as being available on Steam plus how daggone low the system requirements are these days, there's really no excuse for folks not to play this game.
My Rating - 5 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.