Men of Valor

Standard playthrough. Hardest difficulty setting.

Personal Weapons: The Marine is forbidden to drop his personal weapons.

Surprisingly enjoyable for a game released a decade ago, although I’d still rate it lower than the first installment of the Vietcong series. Naturally, since Men of Valor was made by 2015, the developer behind the first Medal of Honor,  it is generally a cinema-like experience – and the first film that comes to my mind as a comparison is John Wayne’s Green Berets, not Platoon or Full Metal Jacket. There are several scenes which were certainly meant to be dramatic, disturbing or even shocking, but I guess that finishing SpecOps: The Line before playing this old-fashioned shooter made me numb and indifferent to the so-called horrors of war.

As always, it’s the tiny details that I remember most:

1# Death Animation

The player suddenly loses control over the Marine and hears his comrades screaming for help. Only then the protagonist falls to the ground and the screen fades to black. Simple, but convincing.

#2 Epistolary Narrative

Letters from our Marine to his family and friend, and then letters received by them, all full-voiced. You could hardly call it innovative, but it’s a nice change from the simple diary entries in Call of Duty games.

#3 Grass Is Everywhere

In comparison with Vietcong, the graphics are less convincing, but the high grass encountered everywhere, hiding enemies and obscuring line of fire, helps to feel the reality of jungle warfare more than explosions and tracer rounds.

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